New contraceptive patch wearability assessed by investigators and participants in a randomized phase 3 study

Contraception. 2015 Mar;91(3):211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.11.013. Epub 2014 Nov 25.


Objective: To evaluate skin irritation and patch adhesiveness of a new weekly low-dose levonorgestrel (LNG) and ethinyl estradiol (EE) contraceptive patch (LNG/EE patch).

Study design: This analysis was part of an open-label, parallel-group, multicenter, phase 3 study that randomized healthy women to the LNG/EE patch (one patch weekly for three consecutive weeks, followed by a patch-free week for 13 cycles) or to an oral contraceptive for six cycles followed by seven LNG/EE patch cycles. Participants selected patch application sites of abdomen, buttock or upper torso. Investigators rated patch adhesiveness and skin irritation using standardized scales. Participants rated skin irritation and itching daily using standardized scales and recorded patch fall-off on daily diary cards.

Results: A total of 32,508 patches were applied (n=1273). At the five clinic visits in which investigators rated the patches, they rated adhesiveness=0 (no lift) for ≥84% of participants and skin irritation=absent/mild for 97% of patches. Participants reported that 2-3.7% of patches fell off and rated skin irritation as absent or mild for 92- 95% of patches, according to site.

Conclusion: Investigator- and participant-rated assessments of LNG/EE patch adhesiveness and irritation demonstrated a low incidence of patch detachment, skin irritation and pruritus.

Implications statement: This secondary analysis of a phase 3 clinical trial of a new weekly low-dose LNG and EE contraceptive patch, which used assessment by both investigators and participants, observed a low incidence of skin irritation, pruritus and patch detachment.

Trial registration: NCT01181479.

Keywords: Adhesiveness; Ethinyl estradiol; Itching; Levonorgestrel; Transdermal patch.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / administration & dosage*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Levonorgestrel / administration & dosage*
  • Research Personnel
  • Transdermal Patch / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Drug Combinations
  • ethinyl estradiol, levonorgestrel drug combination
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Levonorgestrel

Associated data