Close to 12,000 lawsuits have been filed against the maker of oral contraceptives, Yasmin and Yaz. These drugs have been found to increase the risk of blood clots that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and death. As of July 31, 2012, Bayer, the maker of these oral contraceptives, has paid more than US$402 million in Yasmin lawsuit settlements to women who suffered the drug’s serious side effects, including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
Yasmin is one of North America’s top-selling birth control pills. Many of my patients in Hong Kong have also been prescribed this drug, or its sister/ generic pill Yaz, Beyaz, or Ocella.
The FDA has since warned that oral contraceptives such as Yasmin or Yaz containing the hormone drospirenone increase the risk of blood clots by 74% compared with older pills on the market. Women who smoke and are over the age of 35 should avoid these drugs, as smoking further increases the risk of side effects.
These drospirenone-containing pills have been linked to the following:
– Pulmonary embolism
– Deep vein thrombosis
– Heart attack
– Gall bladder disease
If you are currently taking one of these birth control pills and have questions or concerns, talk to your medical health care provider.
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-26/bayer-yasmin-lawsuit-settlements-climb-to-142-million.html); Business Week News (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-31/bayer-s-yasmin-lawsuit-settlements-rise-to-402-dot-6-million)