Overview: Bayer’s birth control pill Yaz allegedly caused severe injuries in a 22-year old from Western Washington University, according to the school’s newspaper The Western Front. Zurka Wolford, a senior at the school, says she suffered from a blood clot that caused a heart attack and pulmonary embolism after taking Yaz for four months. Her lawsuit is one of thousands that have been filed against Bayer over the pill.
- Yaz and Yasmin are two related drospirenone-containing birth control pills; they are the subject of over 10,000 lawsuits in the United States
- Bayer has settled some 4,800 blood clots claims for $1 billion
- The FDA has warned that birth control pills with drospirenone are more likely to cause blood clots and related disorders
Product: Yaz®, Yasmin® (Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol)
Manufacturer: Bayer AG
Side Effects & Complications
- Blood Clots
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Gallbladder Damage
- Heart Attacks
Yaz Allegedly to Blame for Near Fatal Injuries
Wolford told The Western Front that she suffered from a blood clot four months after starting to take Yaz in April 2011. “I woke up in the middle of the night, around 2 a.m., and had really bad chest pains…I jokingly thought ‘I wonder if I am having a heart attack’.” The pain eventually subsided that night, but several days later she felt an isolated pain in her rib cage. When the sharp pain didn’t go away, she went to the hospital. There, an MRI was performed and doctors told her she had a blood clot in her right lung, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism. They also told her that the chest pains she was feeling was in fact a heart attack. Wolford had to take high-maintence blood thinners for six months and can no longer take any type of hormone product for the rest of her life. After she was done with the blood thinners, she took a genetic test showing that she had no genetic predispositions for blood clots. “It was the birth control,” she stated. “We know for a fact now.” She is currently suing Bayer for her injuries. “I don’t want monetary compensation,” Wolford said. “I want to take Yaz off the market.”
Yaz, Yasmin Background
Last April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the label on Yaz and Yasmin to warn that the risk of blood clots is higher with oral contraceptives that contain drospirenone, a synthetic hormone. The agency said that some studies showed that the risk is three times as high as with other pills. Bayer has already began to settle lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin. The company has set aside $1.5 billion for litigation costs, including settlements.