Teen says blood clot after taking Yaz destroyed her life
Courtesy of Lynsey Lee
Lynsey Lee, 19, was diagnosed two years ago with a blood clot in her left lung, months after she began taking the birth control pill Yaz.
Lynsey Lee hoped Yaz would relieve her severe menstrual cramping and pelvic pain, so she began taking the birth control pills when she was only 16. But, instead of getting better, she started experiencing extreme mood swings, nausea and even more pain.
“I got really, really sick,” says Lee, now 19, of White Bluff, Tenn. “I was just constantly throwing up, and it was getting hard to breathe sometimes.”
Then, she started having unbearable chest pains that sent her to the hospital what seemed like every few days. Doctors initially couldn’t figure out what was wrong. “They kept telling me that it was just my body getting used to the medicine,” she says. “Finally, [when I was 17] I just stopped taking it.”
Later that year, after numerous medical exams, doctors diagnosed a blood clot lodged in her left lung. During one emergency room visit, doctors asked Lee what would become a life-changing question for thousands of young women like her: “Have you ever taken Yaz?”
Now, she is among the more than 10,000 American women who have filed class action lawsuits or claims against the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, which makes Yaz, a popular birth control pill. Thousands more claims are expected. In documents released Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration raised questions and other similar pills, including life-threatening blood clots, and said warning information should appear on labels for doctors and patients.
Thursday, the FDA's panel of experts agree that current labeling on the medications isn't enough and should be updated with more information on the risks. But that news comes too late for Lee.
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