Evidence Mounts About Risk of Yaz Birth Control Side Effects

Yet another study has found that side effects of Yaz and Yasmin birth control increase the risk of a pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or another blood clot injury, when compared to older birth control pills. 

Israeli researchers say they found that drospirenone-based birth control pills increased the risk of venous thromboembolism by as much as 65 percent, in a new study published on-line this week by the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This is at least the third study in recent weeks to confirm the risk of blood clots from Yaz birth control.

Researchers looked at data on more than 300,000 Israeli women and found that women taking Yaz and Yasmin, which contain the fourth-generation progestin drospirenone, were 65% more likely to suffer blood clots than women taking levonorgestrel and other so-called second generation oral contraceptives.

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The newer birth control pills fared only slightly better against third-generation birth control with a 43% increased blood clot risk. The study failed to find any evidence of increased risk of heart attacks or strokes.

The study is only the latest to point a finger at Yaz and Yasmin and declare that the Bayer birth control flagships are likely more dangerous than older birth control pills. Other studies, including one by the FDA, have reached similar conclusions.

Less than two weeks ago the FDA released a new drug safety report that found Yaz, Yasmin birth control side effects increased the blood clot risk by as much as 75% when compared to older oral contraceptives.

A third study, published last month in the British Medical Journal, found that women taking newer birth control pills, including Yaz and Yasmin, may face twice the risk of developing blood clots when compared to women taking levonorgestrel birth control pills.

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to examine the data surrounding the risk of health problems from Yaz and Yasmin at a meeting next month.

Drospirenone is a newer type of progestin that is used in combination oral contraceptives that also include estrogen. It was originally introduced by Berlex Laboratories in Yasmin. Once Berlex was acquired by Bayer Healthcare an updated version of Yasmin was introduced called Yaz. More recently, Bayer introduced a third version, marketed as Beyaz, which includes a folate supplement. Generic versions of Yaz and Yasmin are also now available from other manufacturers. Generic versions of Yaz and Yasmin include Ocella, Gianvi, Loryna, Safyral, Syeda and Zarah.

The findings of these recent studies appear to back up claims raised in hundreds of Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits filed on behalf of women who experienced serious and sometimes fatal blood clots after using the birth control pills. The complaints allege that Bayer failed to adequately warn about the risk of blood clots from side effects of Yaz and Yasmin, placing their desire for profits before patient safety by minimizing the risk in aggressive direct-to-consumer advertisements for the birth control pills.


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