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Young Stage Actress Sues Bayer, Alleges Yasmin Stroke

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New York, NJA stage actress who understudies for the Broadway musical "Wicked" is suing the manufacturers of Yasmin after suffering a stroke three years ago. Brenda Hamilton, who was 27 at the time, alleges that the birth control pill caused grievous side effects that threatened her life and career.

According to a story Monday in the New York Post, Hamilton had no underlying health issues or any history of health problems at the time. She had been using Yasmin for two years when she suffered the effects of what she described as a "terrifying" stroke in May 2007.

Hamilton is not alone in her litigation. There are more than 1,100 lawsuits against Bayer, the Germany-based manufacturer of Yasmin birth control and its cousin Yaz, alleging serious and life-threatening health problems. Bayer continues to defend the safety and efficacy of Yasmin, touting estrogen levels that are lower than other classes of oral birth control pills.

High levels of estrogen have reportedly caused blood clots and strokes in women taking older forms of oral contraceptives, the New York Post notes.

Yasmin and Yaz are newer forms of birth control that contain a different combination of hormones. Drospirenone and ethinylestradiol appear to be associated with blood clots—and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously taken Bayer to task for overstating the safety of its product in advertising.

That was in 2008—a year after Hamilton became ill.

Hamilton, who is now fully recovered, claims in her lawsuit that Bayer knew that Yasmin posed a risk for blood clots and strokes, but withheld the information from patients and healthcare providers.

"I'm pretty angry that this happened to me," said Hamilton. "I was 27 at the time. I don't think this should be happening to young women. It shouldn't happen to any woman just because they take birth-control pills."

Bayer brought in $1.5 billion from sales of Yasmin birth control in 2009.


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