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Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella Injury Information

Yaz® and Yasmin® are combination birth control pills made by Bayer Healthcare used to prevent pregnancy. Both products are widely prescribed by doctors, with Yaz® alone generating sales of more than $600 million in 2008. If you have taken Yaz® or Yasmin®, you should know that there can be serious side effects associated with their use, including heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease, and sudden death.

The FDA hasn recently warned that Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella users are at an increased risk for suffering blood clots. For more information, please click here.

A Unique Birth Control Method

Yaz® and Yasmin® are different from other combination birth control pills because they both contain a new type of progestin hormone known as drsp or drospirenone. However, drospirenone can cause an increase in the user’s potassium levels, which can lead to dangerous health problems and is especially dangerous to users who have pre-existing kidney, liver and adrenal disease.

  • Each Yaz® tablet contains 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) and 3 mg of drospirenone (a progestin known as drsp®). Yaz® is taken on a 24/4 day cycle instead of the usual 21/7 day cycle. This refers to the dosing schedule and means that you take active pills for three extra days and inactive pills for three fewer days.
  • Yasmin® tablets contain a higher dose of estrogen than Yaz®, with each pill containing 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 3 mg of drospirenone. Yasmin® is taken on the more traditional 21/7 cycle.

Marketing and Prescriptions

One reason that Yaz® could be more widely prescribed than many other birth control products is because Bayer Healthcare has marketed Yaz® as being effective for certain unapproved uses, such as the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and acne.

However, the FDA has never approved Yaz® for the treatment of these conditions. Instead, the FDA approved Yaz® for the treatment of a condition that is less common than PMS, which is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

As a result of the misleading ads for Yaz®, in October 2008, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer Healthcare citing them for violations of certain Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act provisions in connection with certain ads. See the FDA Warning Letter to Bayer. Among other things, the FDA concluded that certain TV Ads misbranded the drug in violation of the Act and “overstated the efficacy of Yaz®, and minimized serious risks associated with the use of the drug.”

Dangers of Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control

If you or a loved one has taken Yaz® or Yasmin® or the generic form of these oral contraceptives, called Ocella (manufactured by Barr Laboratories, Inc.), and have suffered the following conditions:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sudden death

A recent study, published by the British Medical Journal, assessed the risk of venous thrombosis (blood clots) in women who take hormonal contraceptives.Hormonal Contraception and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: National Follow-up Study included women aged 15-49, who were prescribed oral contraceptives and who had no history of heart disease or any other malignant disease.

The study also found the overall risk of venous thrombosis in current oral contraceptives users, was twice that of non- users. The study further concluded that the risk of blood clots in current users of combined oral contraceptives decreases with duration of use and decreasing dose of estrogen. Lidegaard, et. al., Hormonal contraception and risk of venous thromboembolism: national follow-up study, BMJ 2009;339:b2890:.

You may be entitled to seek damages for your injuries. Please contact our experienced pharmaceutical drug attorneys for a free consultation.

Please note that if you take any medication that increases your blood potassium level, you should not take Yaz®. Some examples of such drugs are:

  • NSAIDS such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve
  • Heparin (a blood thinner)
  • ACE inhibitors such as Capoten, Vasotec, and Zestril (used for hypertension and heart problems)

Consult your doctor to learn more about this. At the very least you should have your blood potassium checked after the first Yaz® treatment cycle. Additionally, if you are obese, diabetic, or have high blood pressure, Yaz® could also present an unacceptable risk.

We can help if Yaz® has caused you health problems. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation and consultation.

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