What is Yaz?
Yaz (drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill made by the pharmaceutical company Bayer. The pill is used to prevent pregnancy and to treat severe cases of PMS and moderate acne in women over 14 years old.
Does Yaz carry any special warnings?
Yaz carries the Food and Drug Administration's boxed warning, also known as a black box warning. A boxed warning is the FDA's strongest warning, alerting consumers of particularly severe side effects. The boxed warning for Yaz states that female smokers 35-years-old and over should not use the product because the combination of cigarettes and drospirenone increases the likelihood of serious cardiovascular complications.
What should I do if I miss a day of taking Yaz?
When taking Yaz, be sure to follow your healthcare professional's orders and the directions on the label. If you miss a dose, read the package insert and contact your healthcare professional for medical help if you still have questions. Remember: missing a pill greatly increases the chance of becoming pregnant.
Has there been any recent news about Yaz?
The FDA and many state attorney generals have required Bayer to correct misleading advertisements about Yaz. The FDA accused Bayer of overstating the drug's benefits, such as its use in treating acne and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). As a result, Bayer was required to pull the misleading ads and introduce a revised advertising campaign that warned consumers that Yaz is not an effective treatment for acne or PMS.
In addition, there have been reports linking Yaz to an increased risk of blood clots, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack, and even death. This side effect stems from the drug's main ingredient, drospirenone, a man-made version of the hormone progesterone. The FDA reported a study that found that women taking birth control pills containing drospirenone were three times more likely to develop blood clots than those taking other birth control pills.
What are the serious side effects associated with Yaz?
A number of patients have reported experiencing serious health complications related to blood clots while taking Yaz. These complications include:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - A blood clot usually in the thigh or lower leg that causes pain and inflammation.
- Pulmonary embolisms - A blood clot in the lungs that may create respiratory complications or lead to death.
- Coronary thrombosis - A blood clot in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary thrombosis can result in a heart attack.
- Thrombotic stroke - A blood clot in the brain that may result in a stroke.
What should I tell my healthcare professional before he or she prescribes Yaz?
Before taking Yaz, it's important to inform your healthcare professional about any of the following that apply:
- You have or have had any unusual allergic reaction to Yaz.
- You are or expect to become pregnant.
- You have or have had kidney, liver or adrenal disease -- the drospirenone in Yaz can increase potassium levels in your body, causing serious heart and health problems.
- You are on daily long-term treatment for any chronic illness, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease or chronic inflammatory disease.
What should I do if I think I have been injured as a result of taking Yaz?
If you or a loved one has experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while taking Yaz, you should first contact a doctor or other healthcare professional. Individuals injured by Yaz may also have a legal right to be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Many product liability lawsuits have been filed against Bayer over injuries caused by Yaz. Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure that the products they place in consumers' hands are free from unreasonable defects and dangers. Bayer has also faced lawsuits for false advertising over its claims about the drug's uses. State consumer protection laws allow individuals to sue companies that use misleading or false statements to sell their products.
In addition, people who lost a loved one to Yaz complications have filed wrongful death suits against Bayer. Wrongful death laws allow close relatives, including spouses and parents, to sue the party responsible for their loved one's death. In a successful suit, relatives may recover damages for the loss of the deceased family member's financial assistance, the loss of companionship and emotional support, and any medical and funeral expenses.