November 15, 2011 – Researchers have found new evidence that women who take birth control pills with drospirenone have a significantly higher risk of developing blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
The risk of blood clots may be 75% higher for women who take birth control pills containing the chemical drospirenone, a synthetic female sex hormone.
An Israeli study, published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at data on 329,995 women in Israel aged 12 to 50 years who received oral contraceptives between January 2002 and December 2008, and followed them until 2009. The study identified a total of 1017 (0.24%) venous and arterial thrombotic events among women who were taking birth control pills containing drospirenone.
The researchers found that the incidence of blood clots in women taking drospirenone may be as much as 40% higher than women who take other forms of birth control. A few months later, the FDA announced that the risk may be even higher — up to 75%.
Several other studies have recently shown that these types of birth control may significantly increase a woman’s risk of developing side-effects such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), arterial thrombotic events (ATE), heart attack, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and ischemic stroke.
Contraceptives that contain drospirenone include Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Ocella, Zarah, Gianvi, Loryna, Safyral, Syeda. Millions of women use these drugs and may be affected by the deadly side-effects. In 2002, 12 million women in the U.S. were using a birth control pill with drospirenone. In 2005 and 2006, a study in Great Britain found that a quarter of women ages 16 to 49 were using a drospirenone-containing contraceptive.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that drospirenone-containing birth control significantly increases the risk of life-threatening side effects.
Another study, published in the British Medical Journal in March 2011, found that women who are currently taking birth control pills containing drospirenone have a threefold higher risk of venous thromboembolism compared with women taking older pills made with the hormone levonorgestrel.
In October 2011, the FDA announced preliminary results of a study of more than 800,000 women taking different birth control pills between 2001 and 2007. The FDA-funded study corroborates the findings of other studies, which suggest an approximately 75% increase in the risk of blood clots for women who use drospirenone-containing birth control pills compared to users of other hormonal contraceptives.