Problems with Yaz, Yasmin & Ocella
UPDATED: August 9, 2019
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Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella problems are mounting and 10,000 thousands birth control injury lawsuits are pending against German-based pharmaceutical giant Bayer Pharmaceuticals. These birth control pill injuries include blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and more - and have been reported globally. Find out more about how these drugs work, the claims which have been made and what you can do if you've suffered a injury.
In contrast to more traditional birth control pills, Yaz use the progesterone called drospirenone, which is closely associated with other medicines typically used as diuretics. Yaz and Yasmin use drospirenone in conjunction with ethinyl estradiol, a combination which has led to serious problems due to increased potassium levels in the blood which can lead to hyperkalemia.
Persons with hyperkalemia, if left untreated, face a much higher risk of blood clots, strokes and other serious heart problems. Adding to this potentially dangerous picture is the fact that hyperkalemia is often difficult to detect and may only be found during blood testing or after serious heart complications have already occurred as there may be few, if any, discernible symptoms.
Oral contraceptives (or birth control pills) like Yaz work to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus, and hardening the lining of the uterus. The basic difference between Yaz and Yasminis the level of dosage. With 24 active pills and only 4 inactive pills per month, Yaz has a lower dosage per pill. Meanwhile, Yasmin comes in the more traditional distribution of 21 active pills and 7 inactive pills, thus a higher dosage per active pill.
Fourth-generation of Birth Control Pills Causing Blood Clots
Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella are often referred to as the "fourth generation" of birth control pills, but what does that mean exactly? Here's a quick summary of all four generations and the injuries that have been associated with them:
- First generation birth control pills.When birth control bills first came onto the market, they were a combination of 1) higher doses of altered estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) - sometimes 10 times more than is included in birth control pills today and 2) progestin (generally norethindrone). Women reported experiencing side effects such as blood clots, strokes and high blood pressure; however, the science behind birth control was still new.
- Second generation birth control pills.Second generation birth control pills used a new class of progestins known as levonorgestrel. Unfortunately, the side effects were often very similar to testosterone - the male hormone found in anabolic steroids. In addition to the side effects reported in the first generation, women also reported experiencing side effects relating to testosterone use such as facial hair, increased acne and aggression.
- Third generation birth control pills.Third generation birth control pills included drugs like desogestrel (DSG), gestodine and norgestimate acetate (NORGac). Although these drugs were supposed to be better than the first two generations, they also nearly doubled the already increased risk of blood clots which can cause heart attacks, strokes and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- Fourth generation birth control pills. Fourth generation drugs include drospirenone, dienogest, nesterone, nomegestrol and trimegestone. These drugs continue to be analyzed through clinical trials. Two of those drugs, Bayer's Yaz and Yasmin which contain drospirenone, are already on the market, but women are reporting serious injuries. In fact, Yaz and Yasmin have been linked to serious side effects including an increase in blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, liver damage, depression or emotional changes, migraines, breast lumps, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hyperkalemia - a condition which occurs when there is too much potassium in the blood.
Yaz / Yasmin Injuries & Deaths Reported Globally
Bayer Healthcare's fourth generation birth control pills are known around the world as Yaz, Yasmin, Yasminelle, Beyaz, Aida and Petibelle - and women are filing lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant in the U.S., Germany, Australia, and other countries after reporting injuries such as blood clots (thrombosis), strokes and even death.
Yaz lawyers point to studies published in the British Medical Journaland by Danish researchers showing that using Yaz and Yasmin significantly increased the risks of blood clotting. Bayer points to a European study which shows that the drugs are safe; however, that study was allegedly funded by Bayer itself.
Regardless of what Bayer claims, the truth of the matter is that women around the world are filing product liability lawsuits against Bayer Healthcare alleging that the company knew about Yaz and Yasmin's dangerous side effects, but failed to warn them.
In the United States, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports of injuries due to Yaz and Yasmin, such as these in:
- Ohio.A 34 year old Ohio teacher filed a lawsuit against Bayer alleging that taking Yaz caused her to permanently lose partial use of her right lung after she developed blood clots in both of her lungs.
- South Carolina.A 33 year old South Carolina nurse filed a lawsuit against Bayer alleging that she was hospitalized with several blood clots in both of her lungs, had to undergo gallbladder surgery and suffered months of anxiety and nausea after taking Yaz.
- New Jersey.A 39 year old New Jersey woman filed a lawsuit against Bayer alleging that she had a stroke after taking Yaz. She was hospitalized for six months and had to have part of her skull removed due to excess swelling in her brain. That surgery left her mentally disabled. In other parts of the world, authorities have reported injuries and deaths in:
- Australia:A 24 year old Melbourne college student's family filed a lawsuit against Bayer after the woman collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism. Her death has been attributed to Yaz usage.
- Switzerland:Several deaths have been attributed to Bayer's Yasmin line of products, according to Swissmedic, Switzerland's medical regulatory agency - the most recent being the death of a 21 year old woman who allegedly died from a blood clot.
- Germany: Over 130 adverse drug reactions from Bayer's oral contraceptives have been reported to Germany's Federal Institute for Medical Devices (the German version of the FDA) - the latest being a 25 year old woman who died after doctors found three blood clots in her lungs.
Yaz / Yasmin Claims
The FDA has not taken Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella off the market in the United States, but has warned the manufacturers about questionable marketing practices and faulty manufacturing procedures time and time again.
In 2012, an FDA committee narrowly voted to keep these drugs on the market as it found that the potential benefits outweighed the risks. However, that decision is being contested as it was later discovered that several members of the committee have financial ties to Bayer. Consumer advocate groups are calling for the FDA to re-convene and investigate the conflicts of interest immediately.
Yaz / Yasmin Lawsuits
At the present time, approximately 10,000 Yaz lawsuits have already been filed against Bayer and some estimate that the number could reach 25,000 by the end of the year. The lawsuits generally allege that the drug maker:
- failed to adequately research the products
- failed to warn about the risk of injury
- fraudulently concealed the risk of injury
- misrepresented the safety of the drugs in comparison to other forms of birth control
If you've been injured by a fourth generation birth control pill, contact an experienced Yaz / Yasmin lawyer to discuss your situation. You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries including lost wages, medical bills or any other damages which resulted from taking these dangerous drugs.