Attention Yaz birth control users: Yaz has been linked to serious side effects, including blood clots, pulmonary embolism and stroke. If you or someone you love has suffered an adverse effect of Yaz, we may be able to help you collect financial compensation for your suffering. To speak with a personal injury attorney who represents people who have suffered serious drug side effects in the greater San Diego area, contact The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C.

Yaz® (drospirenone) is a birth control pill which prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg. It also changes the lining of the cervix and uterus. This interferes with sperm reaching the uterus, and if sperm should succeed in getting to the uterus and fertilizing an egg, the drug makes it harder for the fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall.

The medication also is used to treat moderate acne in females who are at least 14 and have begun to menstruate and to treat the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. These include anxiety, depression, irritability, difficulty with concentration, changes in sleep patterns or eating, breast tenderness, pain in the joints or muscles and increase in weight.

Yaz Side Effects

A nine-year study conducted in Denmark of 1.3 million Danish women showed that Yaz, containing the newer synthetic hormone drospirenone, coincided with a six-fold increase in the risk of a woman getting venous thrombosis. This is the formation of a blood clot deep in the leg or the thigh that could break loose from its current position and travel through the bloodstream and get stuck in the lungs.

This six-fold risk dropped to a three-fold risk in women who used an older form of contraceptive that instead of containing drospirenone contained levonorgestrel. The study arriving at these data was published in an October 2011 online issue of BMJ (previously called the British Medical Journal). The New York Times, in reporting on the study, quoted BNJ saying, “It is crucial, however, not to exaggerate the risk — oral contraceptives are remarkably safe and may confer important long-term benefits in relation to cancer and mortality.”[1]

Side Effects of Yaz

In addition to increasing the chances of getting blood clots, side effects seen in patients taking Yaz include:

  • Allergic reactions, which constitute a medical emergency and for which you should seek immediate medical help. These include hives, problems breathing, or swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat.
  • Other serious reactions for which you need to see your doctor. These are sudden weakness or numbness, in particular on just one side of the body, abrupt occurrence of a severe headache, confusion, or trouble with seeing, speaking, or keeping your balance.
  • Chest pain or pain that spreads to the arm or shoulder, in addition to nausea, sweating and the feeling that you are not well.
  • Sudden cough, wheezing, fast breathing or coughing up blood.
  • The occurrence in one or both legs of pain, swelling, warmth or redness.
  • Nausea, pain in the upper abdomen, itching, lack of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet.
  • A lump in your breast.
  • Signs you may be depressed, which include difficulty falling or staying asleep, feeling weak or tired, and having mood changes.

Other side effects, which in general are not as serious, include:

  • Mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, or stomach cramps
  • Breast tenderness or discharge from the nipple
  • Freckles, darkening of the skin on the face, increased hair growth or loss of hair on the scalp
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Problems wearing contact lenses
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Menstrual changes or decreased sex drive

Who Is At Risk?

Smoking increases the risk of Yaz causing blood clots. This is especially true for women over 35 years of age. A pregnant woman should not take Yaz because it might cause miscarriage or birth defects. Certain medications interact with Yaz. This might decrease the efficacy of the medications or cause you to become sick. You need to let your doctor know all the medications you are taking, including food supplements and herbs.

In addition to the possible side effects that might occur with Yaz, you should not take the medication if you have the following conditions[2]:

  • Problems of the heart or circulatory system such as high blood pressure that is not being treated or controlled, coronary artery disease, a heart valve disorder that is not being treated, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; or a blood clotting disorder
  • You are diabetic and you have problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation
  • You have had cancer of the breast or uterus
  • Unusual bleeding from the vagina that has not been checked by your doctor
  • Disease or cancer of the liver
  • Severe migraine headaches, particularly if you are over 35
  • Jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills
  • You are breastfeeding

To be sure it is safe for you to take Yaz, you should also tell your doctor if you currently have, or have a history of:

  • High blood pressure or varicose veins
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Depression
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Diabetes
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Tuberculosis
  • Fibrocystic disease, lumps, nodules, an abnormal mammogram

Talk To an Attorney

If you are one of the hundreds of women who have taken Yaz and you developed blood clots or other serious side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. To speak with a San Diego personal injury lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases, contact The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C. by calling (858) 794-1456.

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*Additional Notes: Yaz® (drospirenone) is manufactured by Bayer. Click here for Patient Information.