A growing number of lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin have been filed throughout the country against pharmaceutical giant Bayer, alleging that women suffered serious and potentially life-threatening injuries after using the birth control pills.
Yaz and Yasmin, which are both manufactured by Bayer, are combined oral contraceptives that contain ethinyl estradiol, long used in oral contraceptives, and drospirenone, a new type of progestin that is not used in any other birth control pills approved in the United States.
The Yaz and Yasmin birth control lawsuits all contain similar allegations that the warnings are inadequate because they do not properly indicate that the use of drospirenone increases the risk that women may suffer a variety of side effects, such as:
- Heart attacks
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Cardiac Arrhythmias
- Gallbladder Disease
- Kidney Failure
- Sudden Death
Drosprenone can increase blood potassium levels, potentially resulting in a condition known as hyperkalemia, which is known to disrupt heart rhythms and potentially lead to death. Individuals who have pre-existing kidney, liver and adrenal disease could be particularly susceptible.
Over 50 reports of Yasmin or Yaz deaths were reported to the FDA between the first quarter of 2004 and the third quarter of 2008, according to some of the complaints. The deaths involved women as young as 17 and included cardiac arrests, pulmonary embolisms and strokes, with elevated levels of potassium in the blood frequently reported.
Earlier this month it was reported that four new lawsuits over the birth control pills were filed in federal court, with three in Ohio and one in Wisconsin. This week, another 7 suits were filed in the Northern District of Ohio. All of the complaints allege that side effects of Yaz or Yasmin were a factor in the plaintiffs’ injuries.
The number of state and federal Yaz birth control lawsuits has increased this year, following a third warning by the FDA that Bayer’s advertisements and marketing for the birth control pills are false and misleading. FDA warning letters indicated that Yaz ads made exaggerated claims about the drug’s benefits, and downplayed or did not mention important side effects. As a result of pressure from the FDA and states attorneys from several states, Bayer agreed to spend $20 million on a corrective advertising campaign.