U.K. Issues New Yaz, Yasmin Blood Clot Warning

U.K. medical officials are providing new warnings for all doctors in that country that side effects of Yaz, Yasmin and other combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) carry a significantly increased risk of blood clots when compared to other oral contraceptives.  

In a letter (PDF) sent to doctors last month, United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stresses the risk of blood clots associated with birth control pills that combine estrogen and a progestin, which are often referred to as “third generation” birth control pills.

The MHRA notes that different products carry different levels of risk, but stressed that the benefit of birth control pills still outweighs the overall risk of blood clots and blood clot-related injuries, known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) injuries, is small. The agency released a chart comparing the progestins and their relative risks and is calling for manufacturers to place more stringent blood clot warnings on their products.

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The drugs with the highest risks were those that contain the progestins drospirenone, desogestrel, and gestodene. Drosperinone is used in the popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, as well as generic versions like Ocella, Yasminelle and Gianvi.

According to the MHRA charts, nine to 12 women out of every 10,000 who take the drugs will experience a blood clot injury. Levonorgestrel was considered the baseline progestin, or progestogen as they are known in the U.K., and is considered the safest.

U.K. doctors have been ordered to go through a patient checklist when prescribing birth control pills to determine the patient’s risk factors and to assist in prescribing the safest, most effective pill for that woman. Some women prefer the newer pills because they are supposedly less associated with weight gain, hair growth, headaches and other side effects, which may also be a factor in which pills the woman selects to use.

Yaz, Yasmin Birth Control Lawsuit Settlements

The warnings come as Bayer continues to work to settle Yaz lawsuits and Yasmin lawsuits filed throughout the United States on behalf of women who allege the drug maker failed to adequately warn about the risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, stroke and other blood clot injuries.

The announcement comes just a couple months after Bayer announced that it has paid out more than $1.6 billion to resolve Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits in the United States.

More than 12,000 claims have been filed by women nationwide, with about 5,000 lawsuits remaining even after the drug maker has reportedly agreed to pay $1.6 billion to resolve Yaz and Yasmin blood clot injury claims. The drug maker has indicated that it intends to continue considering settlements in blood clot claims on a case-by-case basis, following a review of medical records.


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