The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued new recommendations about the use of birth control pills and publicly acknowledges that there is a higher risk of women suffering blood clots from newer generation oral contraceptives.
The physicians’ group’s report was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and once again confirmed that the actual health risks attached to the use of oral contraceptives are not high for the majority of women.
However, there is a higher risk level of health problems attached to the newest class of pills containing the hormone drospirenone than other types of pills, the physicians reported. This class includes such popular brands as Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz and Safyral.
The physicians said that women who are using those brands of birth control pills should familiarize themselves with the “possible minimally increased risk” that they may suffer blood clots which, in some cases, can lead to life-threatening side effects.
These problems have spawned hundreds of Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits filed by women who are seeking compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and other expenses as a result of the health problems they have suffered because they chose these drospirenone-containing pills.
The situation has become an economic nightmare for the drugs’ manufacturer, German pharmaceutical Bayer, which has incurred huge amounts of legal expenses in paying settlements to these women.
So far, according to published reports about figures confirmed by Bayer, the company has paid out nearly $150 million to settle some of the lawsuits and is negotiating on others. Some financial media experts have estimated that Bayer’s legal costs over Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits eventually will climb into the billions of dollars, noting that Yaz and Yasmin lawyers are still accepting cases from Yaz and Yasmin victims.
Women have long been wary of the dangerous side effects of birth control pills and those fears have been fueled by allegations contained in the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. In addition to the claims made by victims, independent medical researchers also have raised concerns about the safety of the drugs as have respected consumer advocate organizations.
According to a Reuters News Service report on the ACOG recommendations, women who use Yaz, Yasmin or other drospirenone-containing pills can be as much as two to three times higher risk of suffering blood clotting problems. According to Reuters:
“Venous thromboemboli usually form in the leg veins, but can travel to the lungs, where they cause a sometimes life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
Drospirenone is a synthetic form of progesterone that’s different from the versions used in older ‘generations’ of the Pill. Yasmin, which arrived on the market about a decade ago, and its sister ‘Yaz’ products have been promoted as causing less weight gain and swelling than older-generation pills.” Read more on women looking for a Yasmin Attorney
Reuters also reported that “Earlier, industry-funded studies of Yasmin, Yaz and related pills had found no elevated blood clot risk versus other Pill formulations. But several studies since 2009 have linked the newer contraceptives to relatively higher risks.
In a review of records from more than 800,000 U.S. women, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that for every 10,000 women on drospirenone pills, there would be about 10 cases of blood clots over a year. That compared with six per 10,000 among women on older versions of the Pill. Earlier this year, the FDA said it would add information on the possible risk to the products’ labels.”