Yaz Birth Control Pill Dangers & Side Effects

by fstrack | August 31st, 2009

logo2The Yaz® birth control pill has been on the market since 2006. Yaz is taken orally once daily to prevent pregnancy.  Yaz differs from other birth control methods because it  contains a progestin hormone called drospirenone,  which can increase potassium levels in the bloodstream. Yasmin, a birth control drug very similar to Yaz, has been on the market since 2001. It  contains the same hormone as Yaz and is associated with the same health  issues.

Dangerous Side Effects

Yaz has been linked with serious adverse heart problems in women taking the drug. In a reprimanding letter sent to the manufacturer of Yaz, the Food and Drug Administration warns of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and gall bladder disease in Yaz users (1).  The FDA goes on to say, “Yaz has additional risks because it contains the progestin, drospirenone […] can lead to hyperkalemia in high risk patients, which may result in potentially serious heart and health problems.  “Women taking Yaz must be concerned about the drug interactions that could increase potassium, in addition to the drug interactions common to all combination oral contraceptives (1).”

Update:  The British Medical Journal (BMJ) released a report revealing thrombotic/clotting events in Yaz and Yasmin are as frequent as with third generation birth control pills. Third generation pills have a previously-established warning for thrombotic events, but Yaz and Yasmin are considered fourth generation pills and do not have the third generation warning.

Elevated Potassium Levels Yaz has also been linked to a condition known as hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is a condition that describes abnormal levels of potassium in the bloodstream, which can lead to fatal arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are disorders of the speed at which the heart beats.

Heart Attack, Stroke, and Blood Clots Yaz and other oral contraceptives present an increased risk of heart attack in users (2), especially in smokers. In addition to heart attack, there is an established  link between oral contraceptives and blood clots and stroke.

Yaz Marketed for Unapproved Uses In January 2009, the FDA required the maker of Yaz, which had run commercials claiming Yaz could be used to treat headaches and acne (uses that are not approved by the FDA), to launch a campaign  correcting those false claims.  The FDA said, “These violations  are concerning from a public health perspective because they encourage use of Yaz in circumstances other than those in which the drug has been  approved, over-promise the benefits and minimize the risks associated  with Yaz (1).”

Yaz is still on the market today.

The Attorney’s at Nurenberg Paris Want to Help
If  you or someone you care about took Yaz and suffered a  blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or gall bladder disease, our law firm would like to speak with you. We may be able to help.

Sources:

  1. Yaz (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) Tablets Warning Letter to Bayer HealthCare,” from the Food and Drug Administration Web site at www.fda.gov.
  2. Yaz  Prescribing Information,” from the Yaz  warning label. Accessed 4/3/09 via www.yaz-us.com.
  3. Hormonal contraception and risk of venous thromboembolism: national follow-up study” from the British Medicine Journal. Accessed 8/20/09 via www.bmj.com.

Yaz® is a registered trademark of Bayer Pharmaceuticals and  is used here only to identify the product in question.

This  law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the British Medicine Journal, or the Food and Drug Administration.