8 Oct 2014, 9:50 am
The Shot of Poison (Issue 54)
Depo-Provera ("The Shot") is an injection given to women every two or three months in order to prevent pregnancy.
After getting the shot myself in January, and developing a breast lump within 2 weeks, I finally did some research. Googling often means finding information linking to strong marketing efforts. Therefore you will find tons of sites about the effectiveness of the drug. However, if you dig a little deeper you will also find some shocking facts.
The drug was developed in the 1950's for a different use but rejected because it seemed to cause heart defects in babies. But while the drug was being tested on women in Brazil, researchers discovered that it was also able to prevent pregnancy. As a result of this finding, studies were done on rats and the drug was approved as a contraceptive.
Despite the fact that the drug was still in the early testing phase, doctors from Jamaica to Los Angeles were already prescribing it to women as the newest contraceptive. Some of these women died of cancer, and others committed suicide (depression is now a well-known side effect of Depo-Provera). Researchers lost track of most of the women in the study, and the research was disregarded.
A few years later studies began on dogs, monkeys, and over ten thousand women in Atlanta (a disproportionate number of whom were poor and black). The dogs developed breast cancer, and the monkeys developed endometrial cancer. Because Depo-Provera was found to cause cancer in beagles, veterinarians stopped giving it to dogs, and the animal version of the drug (Promone) was taken off the market. Testing continued on women, however.
According to the makers of the drug, they paid government officials, hospital employees, and others more than million in the early 1970's in order to secure sales of Depo-Provera internationally.
The FDA denied approval of Depo-Provera at least three times because of safety concerns. Meanwhile, the drug was being used on millions of women in over ninety countries, such as Nigeria, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Thailand, India, and other developing nations. There were reports of liver cancer, decreased bone mass, and children born with extra or missing fingers.
Despite objections, the FDA approved the drug in October 1992.
Depo-Provera is made by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Pfizer is also being sued because of the heart attacks, deaths, and birth defects attributed to other drugs they manufacture, as well as for illegal drug promotions.
The medicine can cause irreversible bone loss in women, which can lead to osteoporosis. Young women on the shot are more than twice as likely to develop breast cancer. Infants exposed to the shot while in their mother's wombs were 80 percent more likely to die in their first year of life, or to have webbed toes and fingers, and chromosomal anomalies.
It was also found that it tripled a woman's risk of contracting certain STD's, by interfering with the immune system, which in turn makes a woman up to five times more likely to contract HIV, if exposed.
Apart from a long list of other side effects, Depo-Provera is well known for decreasing a woman's sex drive, and in California, it is sometimes injected into child molesters as a punishment!
The original article and resource list is available in a different post.