Oral contraceptives have been on the market for over 50 years as a safe form of birth control, as well as to treat certain medical conditions in adolescent girls and young women. All birth control pills use either estrogen or progestin or a combination of both.
In 2010, Bayer Pharmaceuticals came out with several brands that use a different type of progestin hormone. The products of these brands have raised concerns in recent years about side effects and health risks.
Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz and Ocella form a family of birth control pills that is unique on the market, and Bayer has also advertised these drugs as effective medications for hormone-related issues in adolescent girls such as PMS, acne, bloating and mood swings. Unfortunately, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that these medications cause heart issues and blood-related problems not common to other birth control medications.
For those who have lost a loved one or suffered injury after taking one of these drugs, it is essential to have skilled legal representation that has the experience and knowledge to successfully navigate a product liability claim of this nature.
What is Drospirenone?
Many birth control pills contain the synthetic progestin Levonorgestrel. When Bayer introduced Yaz/Yasmin/Beyaz/Ocella into the market, the company also introduced a different type of synthetic progestin called Drospirenone.
While all birth control pills carry certain blood-related risks, a body of research suggests that products containing Drospirenone can double a patient’s odds of having a fatal blot clot. As it turns out, products that contain Levonorgestrel have the same benefits, without the increased risk.
What side effects can these drugs have?
The Food and Drug Administration has collected a growing body of evidence of the dangers that Yaz/Yasmin/Beyaz/Ocella present in patients. Although they are effective as birth control, these products have also been associated with numerous health issues:
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart attacks
- Liver damage
These health issues can present even in healthy adolescents and women. There have also been at least 50 deaths associated with these medications.
In 2012, rather than taking birth control pills containing Drospirenone off the market, the FDA chose to add warning labels to them, to inform prescribing doctors and the public of the health risks associated with these drugs. This would allow doctors to present risk factors to their patients so that they can make informed choices. Unfortunately, these warnings are contained within densely worded documents that patients and their doctors often do not see.
The question is, should these medications remain on the market despite the risks? Without firmer action from the FDA, there may be still more tragic consequences associated with these drugs, and more people will have to seek just compensation for the harm they have caused.