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 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. Ocella®, and Beyaz®, which are also oral contraceptives, are sometimes supplied by pharmacies instead of Yaz or Yasmin, and carry the same risks.
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 FDA warns of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), pulmonary embolisms, and strokes in Yaz users.
Oral contraceptives, such as Yaz, present increased risks of pulmonary embolism in users, especially in smokers. In addition to pulmonary embolism, there is an established link between oral contraceptives and blood clots and stroke.
Yaz also has 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.
The FDA describes such risks, saying, "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."
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) released a report revealing that blood clots in Yaz and Yasmin are as frequent as with third-generation birth control pills. Third-generation pills had an established warning for blood clots, but Yaz and Yasmin did not yet have such a warning.
The FDA released results from a study that included more than 800,000 American women who were taking various forms of birth control between 2001 and 2007. The research revealed that women taking Yaz had a 75 percent higher chance of getting blood clots than women taking older forms of birth control pills.
In January 2009, the FDA required the maker of Yaz, which ran commercials claiming Yaz could be used to cure headaches and severe 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."
Yaz is approved for use as an oral contraceptive, to treat moderate acne in women ages 14 and older, and to help reduce some emotional and physical symptoms of PMDD (a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation). Yaz is not approved to cure PMS, severe acne, or all of PMDD?s symptoms.
Despite the dangers, marketing violations, and manufacturing issues Yaz has been associated with, it is still on the market today.
In July 2012, the manufacturer told stockholders that it has already paid out more than $400 million to settle legal claims for Yaz and Yasmin. Financial experts believe Bayer may ultimately end up paying an amount five or six times higher than that to settle all the claims resulting from Yaz injuries and death.
If you or someone you care about took Yaz and suffered a blood clot, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, hyperkalemia, or pulmonary embolism, someone at our law firm would like to speak with you. We may be able to help.
Yaz® and Yasmin® are registered trademarks of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Ocella® is a registered Barr Laboratories, Inc. Trademarked names are used only to identify the productions in question.
This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with The Associated Press, Barr Laboratories, Inc., Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the British Medicine Journal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or Yahoo!
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