Earlier this week, we began a discussion about two new studies which have caught the attention of the FDA. The studies revealed that women who take birth control pills containing the hormone drospirenone are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer blood clots in the deep veins of the legs; a condition known as venous thromboembolism.
Drospirenone is the progestin used in Bayer's Yaz and similar generics. It is the key ingredient which has made Yaz both so effective and so dangerous.
Past studies have shown that all hormonal birth control pills increase the risk of clots, but these are the first studies to suggest that drospirenone medications are riskier than others. In light of these new studies, the FDA has announced that it will review the information before taking further action.
An FDA spokesman said: "Other studies have not reported an increase in risk. The FDA is currently evaluating the conflicting results from these studies and will look at all currently available information to fully assess the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills."
In the mean time, women who use Yaz are encouraged to keep using it unless instructed otherwise by their doctor. However, the FDA recommends that Yaz users monitor themselves for early symptoms of blood clots. These can include persistent leg pain, sudden shortness of breath or severe chest pain.
While the FDA has reacted cautiously to these new studies, there is little doubt in many minds that Yaz is dangerous. Just a few weeks ago, we posted about the New Jersey mother who filed a wrongful death suit against Bayer. The lawsuit alleges that her 18-year-old daughter died from cardiac arrest due to blood clots in her lungs caused by taking Yaz.
Additionally, there are thousands of lawsuits pending against the company. All make similar allegations that Bayer failed to adequately warn users about the risks of Yaz.
At best, the newest research under review by the FDA may only confirm what many already know: Yaz can be a very dangerous drug.
Source: Time Healthland online, "FDA Reviews Popular Birth Control Pills for Blood Clot Risk," Meredith Melnick, 02 June 2011
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