Yaz®, Yasmin®, and Ocella® are Two to Three Times More Likely to cause Dangerous Blood Clots than other Common Birth Control Pills

British Medical Journal

Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella also pose an increased risk of gallbladder disease as compared to other common birth control pills.
 
While all birth control pills carry some risk of causing a blood clot, the risk caused by Bayer's Yaz and Yasmin, and Ocella (the generic version), is significantly higher than other birth control pills on the market. In fact, two recent studies prove that Yaz and Yasmin, and Ocella put women at two to three times higher risk of suffering a deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot. Blood clots are dangerous because they can block blood flow to important organs such as the brain (causing a stroke), the lungs (known as a pulmonary embolism), and the heart (causing a heart attack). Blood clots in these organs are often fatal. Even if not fatal, blood clots can require life-long treatment, and a woman who has suffered a blood clot is considered "high risk" in any future pregnancies. Additionally, a woman who has suffered a blood clot cannot safely use birth control pills again.
 
Both studies were published in the April 21, 2011 issue of the British Medical Journal. The studies found that it is the type of progestin hormone used in Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella that causes an increased risk as compared to other types of birth control pills. All birth control pills contain some form of progestin, but different pills use different types of progestin. The progestin used in Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella is called drospirenone. It is the drospirenone that puts Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella users at a greater risk of suffering blood clots than women who use birth control pills that contain different types of progestin, like levonorgestrel.
 
The study authors concluded that Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are "not as safe" as other birth control pills, and "should not be the first choice in oral contraception." Furthermore, the authors found that "no clear evidence exists to show that the drospirenone pill confers benefits above those of other oral contraceptives in preventing pregnancy, treating acne, alleviating premenstrual syndrome, or avoiding weight gain." In other words, the researchers found that Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella do not provide any benefits that other, safer, birth control pills do not have, and there is no medical reason to use Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella instead of a safer birth control pill.
 
The studies are available for free on the British Medical Journal's website.
 
Risk of venous thromboembolism in users of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone or levonorgestrel: nested case-control study based on UK General Practice Research Database, by Lianne Parkin, Katrina Sharples, Rohini Hernandez, and Susan Jick: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2139.full
 
Risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism in women using oral contraceptives containing drospirenone compared with women using oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel: case-control study using United States claims data, by Susan Jick and Rohini Hernandez: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2151.full
 
Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella also pose an increased risk of gallbladder disease as compared to other common birth control pills.
 
A third study also published in April, 2011 found that drospirenone (the progestin hormone used in Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella), also causes a significant increase in the risk of gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease can involve both infections as well as painful stones that form in the organ. The gallbladder is an important organ that is needed to help the body break down fat in the foods we eat. Many of the women studied had to have their gallbladder removed as a result of using Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella. When someone has had gallbladder disease or has had their gallbladder removed, they must change their diet and reduce their fat intake, because their bodies cannot process foods that contain fat.
 
This study is also available for free on the Canadian Medical Association Journal's website.
 
Oral contraceptives and the risk of gallbladder disease: a comparative safety study, by Mahyar Etminan, Joseph Delaney, Brian Bressler, and James Brophy: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/rapidpdf/cmaj.110161v1
 
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women who have been injured by Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella.
 
Approximately 4,000 women from all over the nation have filed lawsuits in the federal court for the Southern District of Illinois. That court recognized the expert pharmaceutical law experience of the lawyers at Schlichter Bogard & Denton and appointed by Schlichter Bogard & Denton represent these thousands of women as Liaison Counsel for the In Re Yaz/Yasmin (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practice and Products Liability Litigation Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). An additional 2,000 lawsuits are pending in Pennsylvania.
 
If you have been injured by Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella, contact the attorneys at Schlichter Bogard & Denton for a free consultation.