Generic Yasmin birth control pills include Ocella, Syeda, and Zarah. Generic drugs are essentially the same as their brand-name equivalent, and all of these medications contain one controversial ingredient: drospirenone.
Yasmin (drospirenone / ethinyl estradiol) is a popular hormonal birth control pill that was invented by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Yasmin in 2001 to prevent unwanted pregnancy. When Yasmin was approved, it was the first birth control pill to contain drospirenone, an ingredient that has since been linked to an increased risk of side effects. Generic Yasmin medications also contain drospirenone, and have the same side effects.
There are three versions of generic Yasmin:
- Zarah: Sold by the generic drug company Watson Pharmaceuticals, approved by the FDA in September 2010
- Syeda: Sold by the generic drug company Sandoz, approved by the FDA in June 2011
- Ocella: Sold by the generic drug company Barr Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals, approved by the FDA in 2008
Generic Yasmin Lawsuits
If you were injured by generic Yasmin birth control pills (Ocella, Syeda, or Zarah), you may be eligible to file a generic Yasmin lawsuit. If you have been researching your legal rights, you may have read about a June 2011 Supreme Court decision, Pilva, Inc. et al v. Mensing. The Supreme Court decided to protect generic drug companies from “failure to warn” lawsuits brought by people who were injured by generic medications.
Generic Yasmin and Drospirenone
For several decades, birth control pills have contained a combination of two female reproductive hormones: estrogen and progestin. The pills almost always contain a type of synthetic estrogen called ethinyl estradiol. There are many types of synthetic progestin, and Yasmin contains drospirenone, a newly-developed “fourth generation” synthetic progestin.
Yasmin was the first birth control pill to contain drospirenone. After millions of women used this medication, the evidence began to grow that drospirenone had a higher risk of blood clots compared to other birth control pills.
After several massive studies found increased risks of blood clots associated with drospirenone, the FDA recently decided to put stronger, explicit warnings on the labeling of all drospirenone-containing birth control pills. In a statement announcing the change, they stated: “The FDA has concluded that drospirenone-containing birth control pills may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots than other progestin-containing pills.”
Generic Yasmin and Blood Clots
A blood clot might not sound like a serious side effect. After all, blood clots are necessary to stop serious bleeding. Unlike surface blood clots, which are usually harmless, the drospirenone in generic Yasmin increases the risk of developing life-threatening, deep-vein blood clots, in a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These blood clots are extremely dangerous, because after they form, they can break free from their original location, migrate through the body, and become stuck in a smaller blood vessel. When the smaller blood vessel is located in a major internal organ, the blood clot prevents blood from reaching this organ. If untreated, organ tissue will begin to die. A blood clot can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), heart attack (blood clot in the heart), or ischemic stroke (blood clot in the heart). Other side effects include permanent organ damage, lifelong disability, or death.