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Two Lucky Women Dodged the Yasmin Bullet

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Merrick, NYCorrine only took Yasmin for six months before she developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - a blood clot that developed deep in a vein in her leg. “At first my leg ached when I stood for any length of time or when I walked,” says Corrine. “The first thing the ER doctor asked me was if I was on a birth control pill and if I smoked. He told me to quit both immediately.”

Corrine still smokes but she stopped taking Yasmin four years ago. “I’m probably too late to file a Yasmin lawsuit and I likely don’t have a solid case anyway because I smoke, but I just want to get the word out about how dangerous these birth control pills containing drospirenone are,” she says. “I’m one of the lucky ones because my DVT didn’t migrate to my lung or heart. And it amazes me that some women don’t even know about Yasmin blood clots and other Yasmin side effects, despite so many commercials on TV about lawsuits…”

Corrine is right: some women are just discovering that they may qualify for a Yasmin lawsuit.

Mary took Yaz back in 2008 and a year later was diagnosed with “superficial thrombophlebitis,” a common inflammatory-thrombotic disorder in which a thrombus develops in a vein located near the surface of the skin. But it could progress into the deep venous system and cause pulmonary embolism. Again, Mary is one of the lucky ones: she was treated in time.

“When I was in the hospital, the doctor told me that this blood clot problem in my right leg caused a valve in my leg to stop working properly,” says Mary. “Consequently, my foot constantly swells, and when I got pregnant last year, I had to take Heparin and inject myself with Lovenox twice a day just to be sure I didn’t develop a DVT or pulmonary embolism. I was also told that I can never take a hormone medication again, and that goes for any hormone replacement therapy when I reach menopause.”

Corrine and Mary are fortunate that they received treatment in time. Some women didn’t dodge Yasmin stroke or Yaz heart attack. In 2007, Mariola Zapalski took Yasmin for just 13 days before she suffered a stroke that left her in a wheelchair and needing round-the-clock care due to permanent brain damage. A jury awarded Mariola, age 37, and her husband $14 million last month: they sued her doctor because “Yasmin was a dangerous drug for her and it was an inappropriate choice because of Mariola Zapalski's underlying risk factors,” said their attorney, Bradley Cosgrove. In March, Resurrection Medical Center also settled with the couple for $2.5 million because the hospital referred Mariola to the doctor they sued.

According to the lawsuit, Mariola’s doctor, Zbigniew Aniol, never warned her that Yasmin has a much greater risk of stroke for women over 35, especially in women who have hypertension. It is hard to believe that a doctor would be unaware of Yasmin and Yaz dangers. Since 2011, the FDA has warned of potential increased risk of blood clots with the use of drospirenone-containing birth control pills. On its website, the FDA says that:

“Patients should talk to their healthcare professional about their risk for blood clots before deciding which birth control pill to use. Known risk factors that increase the risk of a blood clot include smoking, being overweight (obesity), and family history of blood clots, in addition to other factors that contraindicate use of birth control pills….Women currently taking a drospirenone-containing birth control pill should be informed of the potential risk for blood clots.”

And the agency addressed health care professionals:

“Consider the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing combination oral contraceptives for a specific patient in light of her risk for developing blood clots (venous thromboembolism, VTE) before prescribing a drospirenone-containing oral contraceptive.”

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