Bayer Healthcare is facing thousands of lawsuits from women who developed life-threatening blood clots after taking oral contraceptives sold under the brand names Yaz and Yasmin and generic equivalents containing combinations of the hormones ethinyl estradiol and drosperinone. In early March 2012, the pharmaceutcal manufacturer agreed to settle approximately 70 of those civil cases without admitting liability.
What Is Yaz?
Yaz® (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive (birth control pill) for women that is approved for the following uses:
Treating symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Treating acne in women who also desire contraception.
How Does Yaz Work?
Yaz is a combination oral contraceptive that contains an estrogen and a progestin. This effects blood clotting and has lead to serious side effects and lawsuits for Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
The drug primarily prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. Yaz alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, Yaz alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Yaz is different from traditional birth control pills in two ways. The progesterone that it uses (drospirenone) is closely related to spironolactone, a medication used as a diuretic ("water pill"). Drospirenone has anti-androgenic activity, which means that it works against testosterone and other "male" hormones. All women have a small amount of these hormones, which can cause acne and other problems. Also, drospirenone may increase the level of potassium in your blood, which can be a problem for some women. It is just this product in yaz that has lead to the serious side effects and lawsuits
Yaz contains 24 active pills and 4 inactive pills, which have no active ingredients. Having less inactive pills seems to decrease some of the bothersome symptoms that occur just before and during your period.
Many young women have taken Yaz Birth Control Pills with serious side effects