Melissa’s mother asked the doctors what would have happened if Melissa hadn’t gone to ER that day. They were told that Melissa probably would have died: her mortality rate for the next month was through the roof.
“I had just gotten over the ‘flu and one morning I got out of bed short of breath--I just chalked it up to recovering,” Melissa explains. “But in the next few days it got worse; I thought maybe I had bronchitis. One day I was late for school and running to catch a bus when I almost passed out. I managed to stay conscious but I could hardly breathe. I went to school first then back to the local clinic where I was first prescribed Yasmin.
"The doctor ordered a battery of tests and told me to go to the hospital if I got worse. Next morning I couldn’t even walk up the stairs. My dad took me to ER and I had more tests done. I remember thinking it wasn’t such a big deal but a doctor said they had noticed something strange with the blood tests and it might be something to do with my heart. At that point I knew it was serious--I was freaked out. I was treated differently right away: a nurse brought me a wheelchair and took me to the CAT Scan room.
"When the ER doctor said it looked like I had a large pulmonary embolism in my lung I was shocked. How could this happen? When I first got to ER they asked me what meds I was on but I didn’t mention Yasmin because it didn’t occur to me that it was a drug that could have any side effects. My doctor at the clinic never told me about any Yasmin side effects when he prescribed it. Even though I had read the pharmacy pamphlet about Yasmin and DVT and Yaz blood clots I never thought it would happen to me.”
Melissa was transferred by ambulance to another hospital and got heparin shots to try and break up the blood clot. The next day a doctor confirmed that Yasmin did indeed cause the embolism and she would have to take coumadin for at least the next six months. She was scared, to say the least.
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"I finally went back to school and warned all my classmates about Yasmin, Yaz or any other birth control pill containing drospirenone. I advised them to talk to their doctor if they were on it. Now I am back to normal and don’t feel any of the effects but I’m still on blood thinners--I might be on them for a year. But every time I get the slightest cold I worry and I will never take birth control pills again. I don’t think doctors should be so quick to prescribe Yasmin. I wish someone at the clinic had clued in when I went back the second time--even though the warnings were in fine print, someone telling you has a lot more impact.”