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Concerned About Beyaz Side Effects? You Should Be

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Washington, DCIt’s amazing the things you find on product labeling and product websites. It’s all there. And anyone who has any query or question over potential Beyaz side effects need only read the information that’s readily available from the manufacturer. In so doing, the manufacturer is telling you that there is the potential risk for serious health consequences, while taking your money and continuing to sell the product.

Welcome to the great American prescription drug industry, where’s it’s okay to sell medication that may not necessarily be safe, but so long as the benefits outweigh the risks (thus, risks are a given) and a drug is not conclusively been proven to be unsafe, then all is right with the world…

Beyaz birth control is part of the Yaz/Yasmin family of third-generation oral contraceptives that were designed to help minimize some of the more unsavory side effects of traditional birth control pills - namely bloating and water retention, among others. Beyaz can also help with moderate acne in women of at least 14 years of age - a claim that had teens flocking to Beyaz and its cousins Yaz and Yasmin in droves. And as the name implies, Beyaz is essentially the drospirenone-formulated Yaz with a different wrapper, together with the added benefit of folate.

Yaz, with folate. That’s Beyaz.

And the reason why that’s important is due to the recommendation of folate supplementation for women in their reproductive years as a means to lower the risk for rare neural tube defects in offspring if a pregnancy should occur shortly after Beyaz is stopped or even during Beyaz use. The latter is possible in rare cases, in that Beyaz is described by its manufacturer, Bayer, as being 99 percent effective in preventing a pregnancy.

If you’re amongst the one percent of Beyaz users who happen to become pregnant while on the pill, you can be assured that you’re giving your baby a good start with folate already in your system. That’s assuming you have not been felled by Beyaz blood clots over the interim.

That’s possible, and the manufacturer even spells it out for you in the product labeling, and on the official Beyaz website:

“Beyaz increases the risk of serious conditions including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack,” states the entry on the official Beyaz site under the subhead, What are the most serious risks of taking Beyaz? “These can be life-threatening or lead to permanent disability. The risk of blood clots is highest during the first year of use. This increased risk is highest when you first start taking birth control pills and when you restart the same or different birth control pills after not using them for a month or more. Users of drospirenone-containing pills (like Beyaz) may have a higher risk of blood clots than users of birth control pills that do not contain drospirenone.”

For users of Beyaz drospirenone, Bayer cautions that users should be cognizant of: “Persistent leg pain; sudden shortness of breath; sudden blindness, partial or complete; severe pain in your chest; sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches; weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking; yellowing of the skin or eyes.”

That’s the serious stuff. The more run-of-the-mill, everyday side effects of Beyaz, according to data collected from clinical trials, include headache/migraine, menstrual irregularities, nausea/vomiting, breast pain/tenderness, fatigue, irritability, decreased libido, weight gain and mood changes.

Beyaz has taken a back seat to Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, as Bayer appears intent on settling those with thousands more still in the pipeline. However, given the similarity of formulation, any settlement for Yasmin and Yaz can apply, in theory, to Beyaz. Yet another interesting side note, according to blogger Tom Lamb writing in Drug Injury Watch (12/9/13) is the observation that Bayer, thus far, appears to have refused to negotiate cases for arterial clots related to Beyaz, as well as other contraceptives in the Bayer drospirenone family. Arterial clots can cause strokes, among other Beyaz side effects.

In the end, according to the mantra of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s okay for these products to be on the market as long as the benefits outweigh the risks.

Beyaz blood clots could end your life. But at least you won’t get pregnant, 99 percent of the time…

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