Yaz Stroke

 

Yaz Stroke

Prescription oral contraceptive drugs such as Yaz and Yasmin can cause hormone levels in a woman to rise and fall rapidly. This fluctuation can greatly increase the risks of suffering a stroke or a heart attack. So-called "Yaz Stroke" has been alleged by hundreds of women around the country and the drug's manufacturer, the Bayer Corporation, is facing a bevy of lawsuits.

High levels of estrogen have been shown to cause strokes in women, and all oral contraceptive drugs come with the side effect of increasing estrogen. Yaz is a brand name for the drug drospirenone, which has been shown to increase levels of potassium electrolytes, causing hyperkalemia in some women. Hyperkalemia is a potentially fatal condition in which blood pressure elevates rapidly, causing cardiac arrhythmia - abnormal heart rhymths - and possibly death.

Because of the risk for hyperkalemia, women who take Yaz need to exercise care when taking other drugs that may increase potassium levels. These drugs include ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs, agonists like Estradiol, heparin, and some diuretics.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, usually by a blocked or burst blood vessel, resulting in the rapid loss of brain function. Strokes can caused decreased mobility, restricted movement of the arms and legs or paralysis, speech impediments, loss of vision and hearing, confusion, and mental incapacity. While strokes most often occur in people over 45, Yaz stroke has been documented in dozens of otherwise healthy women in their 20s and 30s.

Women who smoke, are over 35, or have a family history of stroke or heart disease are at a greater risk for developing a Yaz stroke and are advised not to take oral contraceptive drugs like Yaz.

Advocates for stroke education often use a simple acronym - FAST - to teach people to watch out for signs that a person is having a stroke. FAST stands for:
Face - Ask the person to smile. If she can't, or if one side of her face is paralyzed, she may be having a stroke.
Arms - Ask the person to raise both arms. If she can't, it could be a sign of a stroke.
Speech - Can the person speak? One of the primary signs of a stroke is slurred speech or inability to speak.
Time - If you determine someone is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. The victim must receive emergency FAST.

Other stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden migraine headaches
- Chest pains and respiratory problems
- Exhaustion
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Lack of balance or trouble walking
- Sharp pains in arms and legs

Bayer, which introduced Yasmin in 2001 and Yaz in 2006, is facing more than 125 lawsuits that allege Yaz stroke and other side effects. In 2008 the FDA chastised Bayer for overstating Yaz's benefits while underplaying its side effects, including Yaz stroke. Further, Bayer failed to warn doctors and patients that Yasmin and Yaz are actually more dangerous than other oral contraceptive drugs. The FDA said that this led to the drugs being prescribed for more than just contraception.

For example, one woman who is suing Bayer said that her dermatologist prescribed Yaz to treat her acne because TV commercials suggested it could prevent or reduce the condition. The woman said she began experiencing pains in her shoulder and respiratory problems. Tests revealed blood clots in her lungs and, later, gallstones.

A Yaz stroke can result in lifelong health issues. Just at the time when most women are entering a new career or starting a family, Yaz stroke victims are left to wonder if they will be able to walk or talk ever again. Bills for hospital stays, therapy, and medical equipment can eviscerate savings for retirement or college.

Victims of Yaz stroke don't have to suffer silently. If you or a relative had a stroke as a result of taking Yaz, you could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, permanent disabilities, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other financial damages. It's not only your right, but your obligation to seek legal aid in helping you recoup expenses for hospital bills, doctor visits, and your family's pain and suffering.