The American culture changed dramatically when the first birth control pill was introduced to the public in the 1960's. Although today's average oral contraceptive is far safer than its predecessors, certain formulations remain more hazardous than others available on the market. The synthetic steroidal progestin (drospirenone) is sold under the brand names of Yaz and Yasmin, both of which are combination birth control pills that contain both drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, which when combined with one another, is used as an oral contraceptive.
Drospirenone is also used to treat moderate acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and it's used in hormone replacement therapy. When combined with ethinyl estradiol, it is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Drospirenone is technically a type of female sex hormone known as progestin, and by far the majority of birth control pills contain two types of hormones – estrogen and progestin. Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation and by preventing changes in the cervical mucus and lining.
FDA Issues Public Warnings
On May 31, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement acknowledging their awareness of two recently published studies that evaluated the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and women who took birth control pills that contained drospirenone. According to those two studies, the risk of VTE is up to 2 to 3 times greater in women who were taking drospirenone containing pills versus women who were taking levonorgestrel-containing pills.
On October 27, 2011, the FDA issued another update where they stated that the FDA's own preliminary results of an FDA-funded study found that there was a 1.5 fold increase in the risk of blood clots for women who took birth control pills containing drospirenone compared to women who took other contraceptives. Although the true risk of venous thrombembolic events is still unclear, the FDA has acknowledged the link between drospirenone containing medications and the increased risk of venous thromboembolism.
Overview of Yaz and Yasmin
Yaz and Yasmin are combination birth control pills that are manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Yasmin has been approved by the FDA and has been available in the United States since 2004. Both Yaz and Yasmin are very similar and both contain drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, which is a bioactive form of estrogen. The difference between Yaz and Yasmin is the amount of ethinyl estradiol that is contained in each formula. For example, Yaz contains just 20mcg of ethinyl estradiol, whereas Yasmin contains 30mcg of ethinyl estradiol. Although both the Yaz and Yasmin combination pills are effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy, they are both associated with serious and life-threatening side effects including heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism. Common side effects linked to Yaz and Yasmin include the following:
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Gallbladder problems
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Liver damage
- Kidney disease
Columbia Dangerous Drug Attorneys
The manufacturer of Yasmin, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has undergone a great deal of scrutiny and pressure in recent years. In September of 2009, the FDA cited Bayer for producing potentially poor-quality batches of drospirenone. In October of 2011, the CBS TV program Marketplace ran a segment where they discussed the health risks associated with taking Yaz and Yasmin. As of 2012, several class action lawsuits have been brought against Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the manufacture of Yaz and Yasmin for allegedly increasing the risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolism and gallbladder problems.
If you or someone you love has experienced dangerous adverse reactions after taking Yaz or Yasmin, then you are urged to contact a Columbia dangerous drug lawyer from
The Sumner Law Group, LLC. There is no excuse for large pharmaceutical companies releasing potentially life-threatening drugs on the consumer market at the expense of the public's health and safety, and these manufacturers need to be held financially and legally accountable for their irresponsible actions. We are here to help, give us a call today.