Pharmaceutical

Blood clots a serious side effect of Yaz birth control pills

About nine women out of 10,000 who take birth control pills experience a blood clot, compared to about half that number among women who do not take oral contraceptives. Blood clots are a serious medical issue and can lead to stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and even death. While this risk is considered similar among all low-dose birth control pills, thousands of women have filed lawsuits against the makers of Yaz claiming they were not adequately warned that using Yaz could cause them serious injury and even death. They also allege that Yaz puts women at even greater risk of blood clots than other pills, and even puts them at jeopardy of gallbladder damage.

Yaz was marketed heavily across the globe, making it one of the best selling birth control pills and earning it more than $600 in sales in 2008. It is a combination of the hormones drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. Drospirenone also works as a diuretic. Yaz is also touted as a treatment for acne and PMDD.

Bayer also sells Yasmin, a birth control pill with the same combined hormones but in different doses.

In 2010, Bayer also launched two other oral contraceptives with the same formulation but with added folic acid, known by the brand names Beyaz and Safyral. All four pills are considered to have the same side effects.

Despite the mounting lawsuits, Bayer stands by its defense that Yaz and its sister pills are no more dangerous than other birth control pills. The women who have filed lawsuits against Bayer say that the notion that Yaz is safe is simply a hard pill to swallow.