Every woman who takes the pill knows it carries some level of risk, especially – as birth control pill ads constantly remind us – if you’re a smoker and/or over age 35. Add to that this caveat from the New York Times: “Two recent reports in the British Medical Journal found a twofold to threefold greater risk of blood clots in women taking pills like Bayer’s Yaz.”
If you currently take Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz or Safyral, you may want to consider switching to another oral contraceptive, stat. Bayer is currently facing 7,000 lawsuits from users of Yaz, including a wrongful death suit recently filed by the mother of a New Jersey teen who was prescribed the medication for her acne.
As a result of the British findings, the FDA is reviewing the hormone drospirenone, the Times reports. They say, “The agency expects to have results later this summer of an 800,000-person study it commissioned to examine the risks.” Who volunteers for these studies, anyway? Or are they paying poor women to risk blood clots in order to test this stuff? Why didn’t the initial drug trials reveal these results? So many questions!
Until the results of the study are released, “regulators said doctors and patients should watch for symptoms of blood clots, including leg or chest pain.” The Times notes that “The Yaz family of products generated $1.47 billion in sales last year for Bayer.”
This isn’t the first time Bayer has faced scrutiny over the Yaz family of products. In 2009, Bayer had several lawsuits filed against them due to side effects of taking Yaz, “including stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder problems, and kidney problems,” US Recall News reports. That same year, US Recall News says, the FDA sent a warning letter to Bayer regarding “quality control problems at a plant in Germany that manufactures one of the ingredients in the drug…. According to the FDA warning letter, Bayer used a testing method that averaged the test results rather than reporting the test results for individual batches.”
According to AboutLawsuits.com, “Bayer currently faces about 7,000 lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills,” but “a federal judge has denied certification for a Yaz class action lawsuit, saying that claims over the birth control pill are too varied and rely on too many individual circumstances to allow them to go forward as one class action suit.”
Do you use Yaz, or another oral contraceptive? Are you worried about product safety?
I’m exclusively breastfeeding– Do I really need the mini-pill?