Bayer’s ‘four sisters’ of birth control pills have same bad reputation
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals is a leader in the development and manufacturing of medications worldwide, but not all of its drugs appear to have the consumer’s best interest in mind. Consider the company’s lineup of birth control pills. All “four sisters” have one thing in common – a bad reputation. They put women at risk for serious and life threatening health problems.
Let’s take a closer look at these “four sisters” of Bayer oral contraceptives:
- Yaz is a combination birth control pill containing the hormones drospirenone (3 mg) and ethinyl estradiol (20 mcg). Drospirenone also works as a diuretic. It was the first birth control pill approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition with severe emotional and physical premenstrual symptoms. It is also used to treat moderate acne.
- Yasmin is a similar formulation as Yaz but contains 3 mg drospirenone and 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol. Yasmin is only approved for the prevention of pregnancy and not for treating the symptoms of PMDD nor the treatment of moderate acne.
- Beyaz was approved for sale in the United States in September 2010 and is essentially identical to Yaz but was the first birth control pill to include folic acid. Folic acid is the B vitamin that has been shown in pregnant women to reduce the occurrence of brain and spinal cord defects in their children if taken before and during the first three months of pregnancy. Like Yaz, Beyaz is approved for use as a form of birth control, for the treatment of PMDD symptoms, and for the treatment of moderate acne.
- Safyral is Bayer’s folate-added version of Yasmin. Formulated with the same types and doses of active ingredients as Yasmin, Safyral also adds folic acid as an added benefit.
All four Bayer birth control pills are surprisingly similar and, like Yaz, carry the same risk of serious health problems. While all oral contraceptives carry a risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes, some say Bayer’s pills put users at greater risk than other pills. An unusually large number of women who take Bayer’s pills have also reported gallbladder damage that in many cases has resulted in surgery to remove the gallbladder.
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- Woman blames birth control pills for nearly killing her
- Group advocates to make birth control pills available OTC