The British Journal of Family Medicine recently reported that British authorities have issued a warning to women in the country about the dangers of blood clots attached to the use of Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone-based contraceptives.
The action comes several years after U.S. officials took similar steps to protect women from blood-clotting dangers.
The report said that physicians have been ordered to inform patients that they are almost twice as likely to develop blood clots if they take these popular birth-control tablets.
“The alert was sounded after scientists found that the so-called third generation contraceptives caused 14 deaths a year in France,” according to the report which said:
“Britain’s drug watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in a letter sent Jan. 22, 2014 has ordered UK doctors to pay ‘careful consideration’ to individuals’ risk factors before prescribing them the combined hormonal contraceptives. A history of deep vein thrombosis or very high blood pressure are among the conditions that would prevent a doctor recommending the drugs.”
The report said the letter was sent to physicians after a review by the European Medicines Agency which found that the packaging of the pills should be updated to ensure that women are made aware of the risks of blood clots.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first raised concerns about the dangers of drospirenone-based contraceptives such as Yaz and Yasmin back in 2011 when it reported studies showing that women who used those birth control pills were at a 1.5 times higher risk of suffering a blood clot than women using other pills.
Then, a year later, the FDA said that it was requiring the warning labels on drospirenone-based pills to reflect this danger. Here is the FDA announcement:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its review of recent observational (epidemiologic) studies regarding the risk of blood clots in women taking drospirenone-containing birth control pills. Drospirenone is a synthetic version of the female hormone, progesterone, also referred to as a progestin.
“Based on this review, FDA has concluded that drospirenone-containing birth control pills may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots than other progestin-containing pills. FDA is adding information about the studies to the labels of drospirenone-containing birth control pills.”