Although studies have suggested an increased risk of serious health problems, including gallbladder disease, pulmonary embolisms and strokes, in birth control that contains drospirenone, some doctors argue the relative risk is still small, making the drugs highly beneficial for women trying to prevent pregnancy. But women who have filed lawsuits allege they did not know about the risk of blood clots or strokes.
According to the Chicago Tribune (9/13/13), Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals has settled 6,760 lawsuits to the tune of approximately $1.4 billion. In doing so, the company has admitted no wrongdoing. More lawsuits could be filed.
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In addition to studies linking fourth-generation birth control pills to blood clots is information from Health Canada that Yaz and Yasmin were linked to 23 deaths and 600 adverse reactions. Most of the deaths, which included a woman as young as 14, according to Maclean’s (6/11/13), occurred after the women developed a blood clot. The same article noted that Health Canada has issued a warning that drospirenone-containing birth control carries anywhere from 1.5 to 3.0 times the risk of blood clots than some other contraceptives.
Health Canada did note that although the birth control was linked to the deaths there was no evidence of cause and effect because other lifestyle factors could have caused the blood clots.