Yaz & Blood Clots


Studies Connect Yaz With Blood Clots

Yaz and Yasmin, two recently developed birth control drugs from Bayer Healthcare, are under scrutiny due to reports from users that they have suffered blood clots. Yaz has already been named in lawsuits in which plaintiffs have alleged injury from clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), deep veins (deep vein thrombosis), or other parts of the body. Meanwhile, independent studies suggest there may indeed be a connection between these contraceptives and dangerous blood clots.

Drospirenone Risks
Both Yaz and Yasmin contain drospirenone, a synthetic progestin once thought to be safer than other forms of this synthetic hormone. Yaz has been actively marketed not only as a contraceptive, but as a remedy for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and for acne in women 14 or older. But drospirenone taken in the 3 mg. dosage present in Yaz can cause dangerously high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia) in some patients. This condition contributes to the formation of blood clots. Yaz and Yasmin are contraindicated for women with kidney or liver problems, for patients with a history of stroke or blood clots, and for those who smoke. If a patient is already taking medications that tend to increase blood potassium levels--such as ACE inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heparin and others--the manufacturer also recommends extra care in prescribing Yaz or Yasmin.
Yaz blood clots are markedly different from normal blood clotting, which is the body’s mechanism to reduce blood loss at the site of an injury. When blood clots form unexpectedly in a normal blood vessel, the results can be life-threatening.

What Studies Have Found
Two studies that Bayer cites as indicating Yaz and Yasmin are safe were in fact paid for by the drug manufacturer, according to the Los Angeles Times. The same newspaper also reports that the British Medical Journal has published results from two 2009 European studies that suggest drugs made with drospirenone increase patients’ risk of blood clots.

• A Danish study of blood clot risks in healthy women aged 15 to 49 over a 10-year period (from 1995 to 2005) found that almost half of the blood clots reported were suffered by woman using oral contraceptives. Further, the study found that women taking contraceptives containing newer synthetic progestins—including drospirenone—had a higher blood clot risk than those whose contraceptives were made with an older form of progestin.

• A study of 3,200 women in The Netherlands found that those taking birth control pills containing drospirenone had a risk of getting blood clots that was 6.3 times higher than the risk to women taking no oral contraceptives. Only one other synthetic progestin (desogestrel) increased blood clot risk more that drospirenone.

Blood Clot Symptoms
Because sudden blood clots are so dangerous, you can benefit from knowing the symptoms.
Blood clot in the lungs: You may experience sharp pain in your chest, an elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, low-grade fever and/or coughing tinged with blood.

Blood clot in an extremity (an arm or a leg) : If a clot occurs in an artery, it may cause you to feel sudden inexplicable pain, and to observe swelling and even a slight blue tinge. If the clot occurs in a vein there may be swelling and sensitivity or soreness in the area.

Blood clot in the brain: A clot here can cause changes in your vision; you may feel weak, experience a seizure, or have difficulty speaking. A clot in the brain may lead to an event such as a stroke or a "warning stroke" (also called a transient ischemic attack or TIA).

Blood clot located in the heart: Symptoms may include chest pain and possibly even a heart attack. There is also the potential for clots that form in the heart to go elsewhere in the body.

Abdominal blood clot: You may experience pain in the area, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Any of these symptoms is good reason for you to to seek immediate medical attention and care.

As of November 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received reports of 993 cases of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), 487 of deep vein thrombosis (clots in the deep veins) and 229 of other types of clots from users of Yaz or Yasmin, according to the Los Angeles Times. Drug defect lawsuits nationwide involving Yaz, Yasmin and any other birth control medications based on drospirenone were consolidated in October 2009 in United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Bayer Healthcare disclosed in October 2009 that plaintiffs had filed 129 lawsuits against the company alleging, among other things, that Bayer had minimized risks associated with Yaz and Yasmin and overstated their approved uses.

Yaz Stroke

Yaz Blood Clots