Yaz, Yasmin Birth Control Associated with Medical Problems

The birth control drugs Yaz and Yasmin manufactured by Bayer – as well as Ocella, a generic version of Yasim manufactured by Barr Laboratories – contain the ingredient drospirenone, which has been associated with an increased risk of several medical problems.

A medical study published in the August 2009 issue of the British Medical Journal concluded that oral contraceptives containing drospirenone are associated with a significantly high risk of venous thrombosis (blood clots).

In February 2003, the same medical journal published reports of blood clots associated with Yasmin. A sample of the reports follows:

A 17 year old woman suddenly collapsed and died after taking the contraceptive for six months. Autopsy showed that she had had a massive pulmonary embolism. No obvious risk factors for thromboembolism, such as smoking, a period of long immobilisation, air flights, or concomitant medication, were evident.

A 28 year old woman changed her oral contraceptive from ethinylestradiol with desogestrel (Marvelon) to ethinylestradiol with drospirenone. Four months later she had thrombosis in one leg and was treated with acenocoumarol. Risk factors or concomitant drugs were unknown.

Another patient, a 45 year old woman, had deep vein thrombosis in one leg after taking ethinylestradiol with drospirenone for two months, as did a 50 year old woman who took the contraceptive for three months. A 35 year old woman had pulmonary thrombosis 17 days after she started taking the contraceptive. She had given birth four months earlier.

Drospirenone has also been associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke, gall bladder disease, and other side effects that could result in serious injury or premature death. In the past, the U.S. FDA has issued warnings to Bayer regarding advertisements which minimized the potential safety risks of these drugs.

Yaz, which was approved by the FDA in 2006, can increase levels of potassium in the body and put women at risk for liver problems, kidney problems, or serious cardiovascular problems. Nevertheless, Bayer has aggressively marketed the oral contraceptive since its approval. Even after receiving a warning from the FDA about its advertisements, Bayer initiated a new massive ad campaign that included a correction of information disseminated in previous Yaz commercials.

Earlier this month the BMC Medical Research Methodology journal reported on the status of the International Active Surveillance Study of Women Taking Oral Contraceptives (INAS-OC) study. This massive study, which began in 2005, will evaluate the risk of cardiovascular side effects for women who take birth control that contains drospirenone. The study involves more than 2,000 gynecologists and more than 80,000 users of oral contraceptives. Keep an eye out for the results of this study (which, by the way, is reportedly funded by Bayer).

If you or a loved has experienced any serious medical problems while taking Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella, including blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or gall bladder disease – or if a loved one died while taking one of these oral contraceptives – contact an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to recovery. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.