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Teen Warns Classmates about Yasmin

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Victoria, BCMelissa says she counts herself lucky to be alive. When she was 19 years old, a pulmonary embolism was found in her lung. “The doctors asked if I was a smoker (no) and if I was taking Yasmin,” says Melissa. “Bingo! They told me it was more than likely due to Yasmin.”

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.

“I couldn’t believe how exhausted I was; it was weird how this thing had taken total control of my body,” says Melissa. “As the embolism was breaking up I felt 100 years old. After a week I was able to go home but I stayed on the couch for a week. Even holding my head up was incredibly tiring.

"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.”

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