Women taking Yaz, Yasmin and other fourth-generation birth control pills have an increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism, which refers to both pulmonary embolisms (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to a number of studies. One Danish study published in the British Medical Journal found that newer birth control pills containing drospirenone, such as Yaz and Yasmin, were linked to a six-fold increase in the risk of venous thromboembolism, which develops when blood clots form in the lower leg or thigh and potentially break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This risk compares with a three-fold increase in patients taking older contraceptives which do not contain the synthetic hormone drospirenone, suggesting that newer, fourth-generation oral contraceptives may put users at a greater risk for blood clots than older, alternative birth control pills.
Did you suffer from deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism while taking Yaz or Yasmin? If so, you should be aware that Bayer has settled lawsuits alleging that these birth control pills led to the development of these sometimes-fatal blood clots for an average of about $218,000 per case.
Israeli Study Highlights Pulmonary Embolism Risk in Yaz Users
An Israeli study released several days after the data of 1.3 million Danish women further adds to mounting evidence that Yaz, Yasmin and other newer forms of birth control pills may carry a higher risk of blood clots. In a study of 330,000 Israeli women, there were just over six cases of venous thromboembolism per 10,000 pill users. However, the risk was 43% to 65% higher among patients taking drospirenone-containing pills compared to those taking older oral contraceptives.
While all birth control pills have been known to carry an increased risk of blood clots, studies such as these indicate that those on fourth-generation pills may be more at risk for suffering a pulmonary embolism than women using older versions. Pulmonary embolisms most commonly develop when a blood clot in the legs travels to the lungs and are a common complication of deep vein thrombosis. Common symptoms of pulmonary embolisms include the following:
Shortness of breath
Cough producing blood or blood-streak sputum
FDA Orders Updates for Yaz, Yasmin Labels to Reflect Blood Clot Risk
Studies indicating that women taking drospirenone-containing birth control pills may be at a greater risk for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism led the FDA to further evaluate the risk of blood clots in women who use these oral contraceptives. After completing its review of observational studies regarding this risk, the FDA announced that drospirenone-containing birth control pills may in fact be associated with a higher risk of blood clots than other types of oral contraceptives. As such, the FDA ordered that labels for Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone-containing birth control pills will include information that some studies reported “as high as a three-fold increase in the risk of blood clots for drospirenone-containing products” and that a FDA-funded study found a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of blood clots with these pills when compared to those made with other progestins.
Yaz Lawsuits for Pulmonary Embolisms, Deep Vein Thrombosis
When a pharmaceutical company releases a drug into the marketplace, it has an obligation to ensure that proper warnings are included. A number of lawsuits have been filed by Yaz and Yasmin users alleging that Bayer failed to adequately warn them about the blood clot risk and sought compensation for damages. On April 26, 2012, it was reported that Bayer agreed to pay $142 million in settlements to resolve 651 cases alleging that Yasmin and Yaz caused pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis. Women who suffered from either of these blood clots while taking the birth control pills still have time to file a claim for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.