Mary (not her real name) joined a Yasmin/Yaz lawsuit after hearing a few weeks ago that the FDA was reviewing Yasmin—again. "I heard that the FDA has concerns about Yasmin's safety, but they haven't put a black box warning on it, nor have they taken it off the market," she says. "I know this drug isn't safe, but I was one of the lucky ones because my blood clots didn't move." A number of women on Yasmin who developed DVT's haven't been so lucky; some women have developed pulmonary embolisms; some have died.
Here is Mary's story…
"I had been on Yasmin for 10 months when the pain started in my right knee; it was painful enough to keep me up at night but I didn't think too much about it, mainly because I was getting married in three weeks. Talk about bad timing! I just figured I had overdone it at the gym.
"It was a Saturday morning and the pain was much worse. It just dawned on me that I might have a blood clot so I called my doctor's answering service and they told me to go to ER—right away. My fiancé took me; I had an ultrasound and sure enough, they found three blood clots.
"My insurance wouldn't cover me overnight in hospital so they gave me a shot of Lovenox [standard treatment for deep vein thrombosis, or DVT] and I went home with instructions to get another shot 12 hours later and see my doctor on Monday.
"First thing Monday morning I called my doctor—I was told they couldn't fit me in. 'Too bad because I'm coming in anyway; you have to see me,' I said. I had to get started on coumadin [an anti-coagulant] right away. I was so stressed out, plus I had just moved, started a new job and had an upcoming wedding.
"As soon as I got married I couldn't stay on my parents' insurance anymore (I was no longer a dependant), and I had to wait 90 days for my own insurance to kick in. So I had to pay COBRA and that was so expensive; the Lovenox shots are over $1,000 per month. (It would certainly be helpful to get my medical bills reimbursed in the Yasmin lawsuit.)
"Luckily everything worked out and I had a beautiful wedding, but during the rehearsal dinner, I had to run to my doctor for a coumadin check. I was on coumadin for about six months after that. Waiting for the Prothrombin Times to get my coumadin levels checked is also stressful and time consuming. I had to go to a lab and wait in line to get my blood drawn—I spent hours and hours in waiting rooms to determine how much coumadin to take."
Even though Mary is OK, the damage Yasmin caused will stay with her forever. Ironically, this incident may have prevented something happening to members of her family…
"When I was in ER they asked if I was on birth control. They told me to stop taking it, immediately. My doctor told me that I can never take birth control again, nor can my sister. And my mum cannot take any hormone treatment…
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"And this Yasmin experience has changed the way I look at all medications. I thought Yasmin was safe. What is it going to take for the FDA to tell women that it is dangerous? How many women like me will it take to step forward and tell the public about our Yasmin experience? If women can band together and come forward maybe we can do something about it, maybe we can get Yasmin and Yaz and every birth control pill that contains Drospirenone off the market, permanently."