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Gianvi Side Effects


Gianvi (drospirenone / ethinyl estradiol) is a once-daily hormonal birth control pill. It contains drospirenone, a new type of synthetic hormone that has been linked to a 75% increased risk of blood clots.

Gianvi Overview

Gianvi is a once-a-day hormonal birth control pill. It is distributed and sold by two generic drug companies: Teva Pharmaceuticals and Barr Laboratories. Gianvi is the generic form of Yaz, a birth control pill manufactured by the drug company Bayer. Gianvi was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 to prevent unwanted pregnancy, reduce symptoms of mild acne, and treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Each “active” Gianvi pill contains the following combination of synthetic hormones:

  • 3-mg drospirenone (synthetic progestin)
  • 0.02-mg ethinyl estradiol (synthetic estrogen)

Gianvi and Yaz

Several decades ago, scientists discovered that a combination of estrogen and progestin was the best way to prevent pregnancy in an oral birth control pill. Since then, nearly all birth control pills have used ethinyl estradiol as the synthetic estrogen. For synthetic progestin, however, there is a wide variety of different drugs. The older generations of synthetic progestin include levonorgestrel, norgestrel, and norethindrone. The “fourth generation” of synthetic progestin is drospirenone, which is an ingredient in Gianvi.

When you used Gianvi, you may not have been aware that drospirenone carried a slightly higher risk of blood clots compared to older generations of synthetic progestin. The increased risk of blood clots is approximately 10 women per 10,000 taking the medication, compared with 4-6 women per 10,000 taking older birth control pills. Drospirenone is equally effective at preventing pregnancy.

It is highly likely that most women were unaware of this increased risk when they decided to switch to a birth control pill that contained drospirenone. You may have decided to switch after viewing an advertisement for Yaz or Yasmin in the mid-2000s. These advertisements suggested that the new contraceptives could prevent pregnancy and improve a woman’s quality of life by reducing acne and PMS. The FDA later called these ads “misleading” because they “failed to communicate any risk information.”

Serious Side Effects of Gianvi

In the worst case scenario, Gianvi can cause death. The problem is that, for some women, Gianvi substantially increases the amount of potassium in her bloodstream. This can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including gallbladder damage, kidney problems, hyperkalemia, irregular heartbeat, and more. Another Gianvi side effect is blood clots. These clots typically form in veins located deep inside the legs, pelvis, or arms. If a blood clot becomes detached from its original location, it travels until it becomes trapped in a smaller blood vessel. This blocks the supply of blood to the tissues ahead. This can cause a life-threatening or disabling heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, or more. In the most severe cases, a blood clot injury can cause severe organ damage, organ failure, disability, or death.

Gianvi Side Effects

Gianvi side effects may include, but are not limited to:

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