Washington Woman’s Life Ruined By Yaz

From: Bernard Law Group
Published: Tue Jun 08 2010

A 43-year-old woman who loves to ride horses and leads a very active life, began using prescription YAZ birth control in February 2008. By March 2008, she experienced severe migraine headaches and excessively high blood pressure. She stopped using YAZ in July 2008, just six months after beginning the prescription.

On August 7, 2008, she visited her physician with complaints of severe leg pain. Her doctor ordered an ultrasound on August 8, 2008 that revealed She had a serious condition called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and three pulmonary emboli (blood clots in her lungs). She was hospitalized from August 8, 2008 through August 11, 2008 to treat these conditions and stabilize her health.

As a result of the DVT and pulmonary embolisms, The woman currently suffers from residual leg pain and swelling, permanent heart and lung scarring, compromised lung function, oxygen deprivation, shortness of breath, an inability to sit or stand for extended periods of time due to pain and numbness in her leg, weight gain, and depression.

Additionally, she must maintain a vitamin-K-free diet, as vitamin K is a natural blood-clotting agent and could lead to further blood clots in her body. These clots could cause a stroke or heart attack, and a worsening of the residual effects of her initial DVT and pulmonary embolisms. She is unable to travel long distances now, which means any vacation plans are now out the window. Worst of all, she can no longer ride horses for long periods of time, which was her favorite past time. She is no longer able to be as active as she once was before taking YAZ and has experienced a significant decrease in the quality of her life since taking YAZ oral contraceptives.

The Bernard Law Group is seeking damages on the woman’s behalf to cover the medical expenses and other economic losses she has incurred and will likely continue to incur as a result of the severe personal injuries which have been deemed to be permanent, progressive, and disabling in nature.

The History of Oral Contraceptives

Shortly after the introduction of combined oral contraceptives that used both estrogen and progestin in the 1960’s, doctors and researchers found that women using these birth control pills had a higher risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes than women not using the pill. As a result, the various brands of birth control pills were reformulated to reduce the amounts of estrogen, thus effectively lowering the risk of such issues.

As the years passed, new progestins were developed, known as second generation progestins. These second generation progestins, when combined with lower amounts of the estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, helped to further reduce the risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes and were considered safer for women.

During the 1990’s, new third generation progestins were developed. Unfortunately, these third generation progestins have been proven to create an increased risk of clotting-related disorders in women, such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli. As a result of this increased risk of blood clots, the FDA has required that products containing third generation progestins include an explicit warning of the potentially increased risk of thrombosis while taking these medications.

The History of YAZ and Yasmin

Yasmin and YAZ are birth control pills manufactured and marketed by Bayer. They are combination oral contraceptives, or COCs, meaning that they contain both estrogen and progestin in one pill. Together, these steroidal components work together to suppress ovulation, fertilization, and embryo implantation, to prevent pregnancy.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Yasmin and YAZ for marketing in 2001 and 2006 respectively and the medications were stocked by major pharmacies across the U.S.

Yasmin and YAZ are different from other combined hormonal birth control pills in that they contain drospirenone, a progestin that is unlike other progestins available in the United States prior to the release of Yasmin.

Drospirenone, the progestin component of Yasmin and YAZ, is considered a fourth generation progestin. The only birth control pill currently on the market that uses drospirenone is Ocella, a generic form of Yasmin.

While drospirenone has not had the benefit of decades of research like second and third generation progestins, studies that were done prior to FDA approval indicated that drospirenone has certain effects that are different from those of traditional second generation progestins, and is potentially more dangerous.

Studies have shown that drospirenone, when combined with low level estrogens, may increase clotting factors in the blood. In addition, it may also create an increase in serum potassium levels that can result in disturbances in the rhythm of the heart rate, which can be serious or even fatal. This irregularity in the contractions of the heart can account for the increased clotting of blood since the resulting poor circulation will affect blood flow and allow clots to form. Blood clots can travel to the heart inducing a heart attack; to the lung, causing pulmonary embolism; or travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke.

Hundreds of women in the United Stated have reported clotting–related injuries or even fatalities after taking Yasmin and YAZ. These cases have been submitted to the FDA

During a five-year period, over 50 reports of death among users of Yasmin and YAZ have been filed with the FDA. These reports include deaths associated with cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, intracardiac thrombus, pulmonary embolism, and stroke in women in their childbearing years- all conditions not normally found in women in this age group. Women as young as 17 years old died as result of taking Yasmin or YAZ.

The manufacturers of Yasmin and YAZ failed to warn consumers of the potentially damaging and fatal side effects of these medications. Not only did the drugs’ packaging information fail to contain such a warning, Bayer also failed to inform prescribing physicians, dispensing pharmacists and the general public about the potential bodily harm cause by taking Yasmin and YAZ, as evidenced by the results of clinical studies done by the manufacturer prior to FDA approval.

About The Bernard Law Group:
Kirk Bernard, managing partner of the Bernard Law Group, has 30 years of experience as a Seattle personal injury lawyer representing accident victims and their families.


Questions regarding this press release can be answered by calling The Bernard Law Group at 1-800-418-8282 and asking for Megan Castello. Interviews by the press can be arranged as well by emailing us at Megan@BernardLawGroup.com .
Company: Bernard Law Group
Contact Name: BernardLawGroup
Contact Email: katie@bernardlawgroup.com
Contact Phone: 1-800-418-8282

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