There has been much talk in both medical and legal circles recently about the oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz. The Los Angeles Times ran a good story about the contradictory test results on these products, and the confusion as to whether they might cause a greater risk of blood clots in young women. If you take one of these drugs please read the article. Here are the opening paragraphs:
When the oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz came on the market in 2001 and 2006, respectively, they were thought to be safer than other birth control pills because they contained a different kind of synthetic progestin.
But in a flurry of lawsuits against the pills’ maker, Bayer HealthCare, attorneys claim that the progestin contained in the pills, drospirenone, is the cause of health problems, including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the deep veins), strokes, heart attacks and gallbladder disease.
As of mid-February, about 1,100 lawsuits had been filed in the United States against Bayer, which stands behind the safety of the pills.
Research on the issue is divided. Some studies have found drospirenone to pose no greater health risk than other birth control pills; some studies show a sixfold greater risk of getting blood clots, even in young, healthy women. More research is being performed on the safety of the contraceptives, but for now, women considering taking the pills will need to weigh the contradictory information themselves.