Two of the most popular birth control pills — Yaz and Yasmin — have been sold to women for several years.
It now turns out that they are also two of the most dangerous contraceptives, if you review the allegations of thousands of lawsuits filed by women who have suffered potentially fatal blood clots because of their choice of contraception.
Yasmin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the government overseer of consumer safety involving medications and medical devices, in 2001. Sister contraceptive Yasmin was approved five years later.
Both are from a class of birth control pills that use drospirenone, a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, also referred to as a progestin.
It wasn’t long after the FDA approved Yaz and Yasmin that medical researchers questioned the safety of drospirenone, citing its link to blood-clotting problems and Yaz and Yasmin blood-clotting lawsuits began showing up on court dockets across the country.
It wasn’t until 2011, however, that the FDA issued a national health safety communication warning about women being put at significantly higher risk of developing blood clots from birth control pills containing drospirenone.
Here is the FDA’s current posting about this danger:
“Women should talk to their healthcare professional about their risk for blood clots before deciding which birth control method to use.
“Healthcare professionals should consider the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills and a woman’s risk for developing a blood clot before prescribing these drugs.”
In the meantime, how many millions of women who used Yaz and Yasmin were put at risk of suffering strokes, heart attacks and blood clots?
Apparently, quite a large number. Read more here.
Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the contraceptives, in its most recent financial report to shareholders presented at least a partial picture of how many women have suffered serious Yaz and Yasmin side effects.
The company reported that it has paid out nearly $1.7 billion to settle over 8,000 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. The company also confirmed that there are still at least 4,000 other such Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits pending.