Contraceptive Today Sponge Returns

Allendale Pharmaceuticals will bring back the Contraceptive Today Sponge, after getting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The sponge has already been sold in Canada.

Sponge is soft polyurethane foam, and is inserted into the vagina, after wetting the sponge with clean tap water. Further instructions are enclosed in the package. Works by providing continuos spemicide nonoxynol – nine, for up to 24 hours, by blocking the passage of sperm, which is absorb in the crevices, of the sponge. Allowing intercourse often in that time, and without adding any additional spermicidal cream or jelly. “Based on clinical studies … an estimated 230,000 acts of intercourse resulted in 179 pregnancies,” said Dr. Robert Staab, chairman and chief scientific officer of Allendale Pharmaceuticals. Sponge offers 89 to 91 Percent effectiveness. Compared to Pill, that has 99 Percent effectiveness. Recommended, not to be used during a woman’s period, since toxic syndrome has been reported.

Advantages: Easy to insert. Generally, neither partner can feel the sponge during intercourse. Can be purchased over the counter. Any size women can use the sponge. Sponge, Small to carry in a purse, and disposable after use.

Disadvantages: Some women are allergic to the spemicide. Does not protect against most common sexual transmitted diseases.

Originally the sponge was manufactured by Whitehall-Robins, in 1983. Became the largest selling over the counter female contraceptive, in the United States. In 1995, was discontinued because of manufacturing problems that the FDA recognized. The company, decided not to invest money to upgrade necessary maintenance. In 2000, Allendale Pharmaceuticals, purchased the manufacturing rights, and has been working to meet FDA new requirements, ever since. In March 2003, Norwich Pharmaceuticals, based in New Jersey, received three year renewable contract from Allendale, for the sole manufacturer of Today Sponge. In June 2005, the sponge is scheduled to be available for sale, and can be purchased through Allendale’s web site. According to USA Today (Weise, USA Today 4/25/05), The sponge will be sold in packs of three, and sell between $2.50 and $3.00 per sponge. The company expects to sell 15 million in the first year. Previously, between 1983 – 1995 approximately 250 Million Sponges where sold.

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