Yaz and Yasmin (dropsirenone and ethinyl estradiol) are part of a new generation of oral contraceptives. Although these birth control pills were initially marketed as superior to older types of contraceptives, the pills have been linked to potentially deadly side effects. Reportedly, the problem is that the pills contain drospirenone, which is associated with clotting events such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. These conditions can then lead to heart attack, stroke and death.
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the label on Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral and other oral contraceptives that contain drospirenone. After reviewing studies of women who have blood clots while taking these birth control pills, the agency warned that they may “associated with a higher risk of blood clots than other progestin-containing pills.
Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin, is faced with numerous lawsuits over the birth control pills. In February, the company reported 11,300 product liability claims. That same month, Bayer settled 70 lawsuits alleging that Yaz, Yasmin or its generics caused injury and death. The amount was not disclosed. Bayer settled again in April, agreeing to pay $110 million to settle 500 lawsuits.
Yasmin and Yaz were approved in 2001 and 2006, respectively. When Yaz was launched, it was the first birth control pill containing drospirenone to use a 24 day regimen, which was thought to reduce hormonal fluctuation.