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Yasmin Lawsuit Nets $14 Million Award; Will It Affect Beyaz Lawsuits?

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Chicago, ILWomen who claim they have suffered from Beyaz side effects might be watching Yasmin litigation closely, especially after a jury awarded a plaintiff $14 million in her lawsuit concerning Yasmin. Beyaz birth control is similar to Yasmin and carries similar warnings. So far, however, the focus of litigation has been on Yasmin and Yaz.

In Yasmin litigation, a jury in Chicago recently awarded a woman $14 million in her lawsuit against her doctor, who recommended she take Yasmin. Thirteen days after she started the medication, Mariola Zapalski suffered a stroke. She survived, but was paralyzed on her left side and has a permanent brain injury, and requires round-the-clock care from her husband, who had to quit his job, according to The Associated Press (4/20/14).

The medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor alleged that the physician did not tell Zapalski about the risks associated with Yasmin and should not have placed her on the drug because Zapalski had underlying risk factors. A lawsuit filed against Resurrection Medical Center, which referred Zapalski to her doctor, was reportedly settled for $2.5 million.

Many lawsuits concerning fourth-generation birth control such as Yasmin and Yaz allege that the drugs’ manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of blood clot and stroke but did not adequately warm women about those risks. Zapalski’s lawsuit is different because it alleged the doctor did not inform her of the risks.

Yasmin, Yaz and Beyaz all contain drospirenone, a synthetic progestin. Beyaz is slightly different from the other fourth-generation birth control pills because it also contains folate. Drospirenone has been linked in studies to an increased risk of blood clots and stroke. In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that birth control medications containing drospirenone could potentially carry a higher risk of blood clots than other forms of birth control.

Preliminary results of an FDA study into drospirenone-containing birth control suggests that women who take such birth control are at 1.5 times the risk of blood clots as women who take other hormonal birth control. Despite critics arguing that there are safer forms of birth control that are just as effective, the FDA has not removed Yasmin, Yaz or Beyaz from the market.

Bayer, maker of Yasmin, Yaz and Beyaz, has settled some lawsuits involving allegations about Yasmin and Yaz.

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