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Yasmin Side Effects Affect Otherwise Healthy Women

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Santa Fe, NMWomen determining whether or not to use Yasmin birth control or other drospirenone-containing birth control may have been moved by ads marketing the contraceptives without realizing there was a risk of Yasmin side effects. Those side effects include a risk of blood clots, a risk that exists in other birth control pills but is reportedly much higher in birth control that contains drospirenone.

For many women using Yasmin, Yaz and other birth control, there were no health problems prior to starting the contraceptives. So it is shocking to them and their families when they go from having no previous health problems - being young, active and healthy - to having a life-threatening blood clot. Although some women survive their blood clot - often with permanent injury - others do not.

Around the world, women have said they suffered serious side effects from drospirenone-containing birth control. One woman in Switzerland reportedly filed a lawsuit - supported by a Swiss health insurer - alleging she suffered a pulmonary embolism that left her disabled. The embolism allegedly occurred only weeks after the woman was prescribed Yasmin. According to the lawsuit, as reported by Reuters (1/9/13), the woman’s medical care since her pulmonary embolism has cost approximately $650,000.

In the US, Bayer, maker of Yasmin and Yaz, has already agreed to settle more than 650 lawsuits alleging women suffered blood clots after using Yasmin. The settlements cost Bayer a reported $142 million, or an average of around $218,000 per lawsuit.

In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Bayer and the makers of other contraceptives to strengthen the warnings regarding the risk of blood clots on their birth control. The move came after data from studies showed drospirenone - a synthetic hormone - was linked to approximately three times the risk of blood clots.

In settling the lawsuits, Bayer has admitted to no wrongdoing. Bloomberg (4/26/12) notes that FDA reports linked approximately 50 deaths to the use of the birth control pills. Among allegations in the lawsuits against Bayer are failure to adequately warn about the risk of blood clots.

Lawsuits have also been filed alleging Yasmin and Yaz are linked to an increased risk of gallbladder issues, including gallstones and permanent gallbladder damage. So far, Bayer has not settled any gallbladder cases.

The case is In re Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, 09-md-02100, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis).

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