Yaz Lawsuits Claim Birth Control Pill Caused Blood Clots, Strokes

Lawsuits are being filed a around the country by women who say they suffered serious side effects from the contraceptive pill Yaz. The women involved in these lawsuits claim they experienced serious blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, as well as strokes. <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">Yaz has also allegedly been associated with heart attacks and deaths in young women.

The Yaz lawsuits allege Bayer overstated the benefits of Yaz and failed to warn that it could put women at risk of serious injury. It is expected that many other alleged Yaz victims are poised to file additional lawsuits.

Yaz was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as an oral contraceptive in March 2006, and as a treatment for the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in October 2006. Finally, in January 2007, Yaz was approved to treat moderate acne in women who desire an oral contraceptive for birth control.

Yaz contains a synthetic type of progestin called drospirenone. According to the FDA, drospirenone can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition caused by excessive amounts of potassium in the blood, in high risk patients. This condition may result in potentially serious heart and health problems.

Because of this risk, women with conditions that predispose them to hyperkalemia (such as renal insufficiency, hepatic dysfunction and adrenal insufficiency) should not take YAZ. Women taking YAZ must also be concerned about the drug interactions that could increase potassium.

As we have reported previously, in October 2008, the FDA cited two Yaz commercials for deceptive claims. In a warning letter, the FDA faulted Bayer for overstating the benefits of Yaz. The FDA also criticized the ads for containing fast-moving images and background music that might be distracting to viewers. These elements were aired while information about potential Yaz side effects – including potentially life-threatening blood clots – was described. The FDA warning letter said the television commercials minimized the risks posed by Yaz.

Bayer ended up pulling the misleading ads. It also reached an agreement with the FDA and 27 state attorneys general to run new TV spots correcting the misinformation from the pulled commercials. They began running in early 2009.

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