Birth control blood clots can cause a potentially severe, life-threatening pulmonary embolism, heart attack, ischemic stroke. Thousands of women are now filing lawsuits for injuries caused by birth control blood clots.
Birth Control Blood Clots
Birth control pills (also known as “the pill”) are used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. They are typically taken once a day, and there are usually “active” pills and “inactive” pills. The active pills contain hormones. Combination birth control pills contain synthetic estrogen (almost always ethinyl estradiol) and synthetic progestin.
There are many different types of synthetic progestin, and experts know that all women who take progestin have a slightly higher risk of having a blood clot. The older generations of synthetic progestin include: levonorgestrel, norgestrel, and norethindrone. Clinical studies have estimated that these generations of progestin have a risk of approximately 4-6 women per 10,000 who develop a blood clot.
The controversy regarding birth control blood clots stems from a new type of synthetic progestin: drospirenone. This ingredient was developed by Schering A.G., a research-oriented German pharmaceutical company that is now a part of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bayer is responsible for most of the most popular new birth control pills containing drospirenone, such as Yaz and Yasmin.
After millions of women began using drospirenone, studies began finding that women who were taking drospirenone were more likely to have a blood clot compared to women taking older progestins. They found that the risk of birth control blood clots was approximately 10 women for every 10,000 women taking the pills.
Birth Control Blood Clot Lawsuits
Bayer now faces approximately 11,000 birth control blood clot lawsuits, brought by injured women or their families. If a pharmaceutical company is guilty of failing to warn consumers of the risk of side effects, they could be help financially responsible for injuries caused by their medication. A birth control blood clot lawsuit might seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, permanent disability, lost income, and more.
Much of the controversy surrounding drospirenone-containing birth control pills is due to the massive advertising campaign that Bayer launched to promote Yaz and Yasmin. The FDA sent Bayer three warning letters, in 2003, 2008, and 2009, and they found:
- Yasmin ads falsely implied that Yasmin was a safer alternative to other birth control pills, and minimized the risks.
- TV ads for Yaz were “misleading because they broaden the drug’s indication, overstate the efficacy … and minimize serious risks associated with the use of the drug.”
- In 2009, the FDA again warned that Yaz ads “fail to communicate any risk information” and were “misleading.”
The problem is that drospirenone-containing birth control pills are associated with a higher risk of blood clots compared to other birth control pills, but are no more effective at preventing pregnancy. Many women were unaware of this risk when they decided to use drospirenone-containing birth control. Thousands of women who had a birth control blood clot have suffered severe side effects.