I am 35 and I smoke. My doctor is aware of this and prescribed me nora be anyway and told me it was safe for women over 35 who smoke. I'm also 50lbs over weight. The prescription insert says do not smoke while taking nora be. This information is contradictory. Is nora be safe for smokers or not?
When I worked family planning, our Drs (actually they were a nurse practitioner and a nurse midwife who went to more school so that they were trained to diagnose and treat female complaints) would not prescribe ANY birth control pills to any women 35 years old or over who smoked. Smoking and taking the Pill GREATLY increases your chances of stroke, heart attack and blood clots. In fact, if a woman was on the Pill when she turned 34, and was still smoking, she was advised at that time she either had the year to stop smoking or be thinking about another method once she turned 35. Your Dr is taking a great risk. He may be thinking since you are taking a progesterone only pill that the dangers are not as great. This is simply not true. Take the insert to your Dr and talk about you concerns. I truly wouldnt trust it. I wouldnt want to be laying in that bed after having a severe stroke drooling and essentially brain dead and the Dr standing over me saying "Oops!". There are other options for birth control and I'm sure one would work for you. The Pill is just not safe for women who continue to smoke. The progesterone only ones dont carry quite as much risk as the ones with estrogen but they still carry risk. It is up to you to decide if you want to take the risk. Your Dr, as far as I'm concerned, is being very careless and risky with your life and well being. Is he an OB Dr or a general practitioner? I would consult a good OB doc for a second opinion either way and preferably one who is not a colleague of your Dr. Unless new research has come to light that I dont know of, the Pill risks the lives of women over 35 who still smoke. If you want to continue to use the Pill, you should consider smoking cessation. The American Lung Association has a smoking cessation program that they do telephonic counselling for free or at least they used to-check their website, if not they probably have resource links. Quitting is singularly the absolute best thing you could possibly do to improve your health. You might also try calling the members services or customer service numbers on your health insurance card. Many plans offer free smoking cessation (or at very low out of pocket cost to you) because they now recognize the value of these services. It is less expensive to prevent complications from smoking than it is to treat them when they occur and at some point a smoker will have at least some of these issues. You are very smart to do your own research and weigh the consequences before trusting this Dr without question. They make mistakes and poor choices too! I, personally, never take anything without looking it up and being aware of what the drug is for, when to take them, and any possible interactions and side effects. Dont be too terribly concerned on the side effects on most meds as many people NEVER get the side effects but smoking, in this case, is more than a side effect, it is a contraindication meaning it significantly effects a smoking woman.
- Nora-Be Information for Consumers
- Nora-Be Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Nora-Be (detailed)
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