Were you diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) after using Beyaz? This serious neurological condition has been associated with hormones in certain types of birth control. PTC can cause severe headaches, blindness, hearing problems, and other debilitating symptoms.
What is Beyaz?
Beyaz is a birth control pill that contains a combination of drospirenone (progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen). It also contains a folic acid supplement, which decreases the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect (such as spina bifida) if pregnancy accidentally occurs.
Beyaz and Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC)
Beyaz was not associated with pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) in clinical trials and there are no recent studies linking Beyaz to this disease. However, certain birth control pills are a risk-factor for PTC, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
There are also case reports linking PTC with contraceptives containing estrogen and/or progestin. One study published in 1995 linked over 50 cases of PTC with contraceptives containing the hormone levonorgestrel.
Beyaz and Blood Clots
Beyaz contains drospirenone, a synthetic progestin that has been linked to a 75% increased risk of blood clots compared to other progestins, such as levonorgestrel. The FDA warned about this risk in 2012.
In rare cases, blood clots can form in arteries that lead to the brain and cause a stroke. Blood clots in the brain could potentially cause a complication known as “secondary intracranial hypertension,” in which the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is obstructed and pressure increases in the skull.
Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC) Information
Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is characterized by high intracranial pressure due to abnormal levels of cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. Symptoms may resemble those of a growing brain tumor. PTC is an older term and the disease is now known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).
In clinical trials, 5.9% of women on Beyaz reported headaches or migraines. The symptoms of a migraine resemble symptoms of headaches caused by PTC. These symptoms include throbbing pain on one side of the head, pain that is worst in the morning or at night, light-sensitivity, visual changes, nausea, and more.
Severe cases of PTC can cause vision problems that lead to permanent blindness. High pressure inside the skull can cause edema (swelling) of the optic disc, which is the head of the optic nerve at the back of the eye (“blind spot”). This complication is also known as papilledema. The most common symptoms include double-vision, light-sensitivity, and nausea. Unless pressure in the skull is reduced, vision problems can grow progressively worse until permanent blindness occurs.