Many studies have linked drospirenone, an ingredient in Safyral, to an increased risk of blood clots. These clots usually form during DVT. When a woman suffers from a Safyral DVT blood clot, there is a risk that the blood clot could break loose, travel to the heart, and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lungs.
Do you use Safyral birth control pills? Safyral is used by many women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Unlike many other birth control pills, Safyral combines hormones with folic acid, a B-vitamin that can reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube birth defect. Safyral is sold by the drug company Bayer, and it was approved by the FDA in December 2010.
Each “active” Safyral pill contains the following ingredients:
- 3-mg drospirenone
- 0.03-mg ethinyl estradiol
- 0.451-mg levomefolate calcium (a folic acid dietary supplement)
Safyral is very similar to Yasmin birth control pills. In fact, Safyral and Yasmin both contain the same amount of active hormonal ingredients. The only major difference is that Safyral also contains folic acid. Since researchers discovered that many severe, life-threatening birth defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, and more) were caused by deficiencies of folic acid, the FDA has recommended that women take at least 0.4-mg of folic acid every day, just in case pregnancy occurs.
Safyral and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
If you took Safyral birth control pills, you may have heard about a recent announcement from the FDA. In 2011, an FDA-funded study of around 800,000 women taking birth control pills. The FDA found that women taking birth control that contained drospirenone (including Safyral) were three times more likely to have a life-threatening blood clot. In April 2012, the FDA announced that they would update the warning labels on all drospirenone-containing birth control pills to include this new risk information. The new labels will also warn that blood clots can be potentially life-threatening.
Safyral blood clots typically form in deep veins located in the lower leg, in a vascular condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT blood clots are potentially life-threatening, unlike surface blood clots. Normally, the body naturally forms blood clots to prevent bleeding to death after an injury. These blood clots form on the surface of the skin and are filtered out before they can enter the bloodstream. A Safyral DVT blood clot, on the other hand, develops in veins deep inside the body.
Safyral DVT blood clots usually occur in the lower legs. They begin as small clumps of blood platelets sticking together, and they can continue to grow. When a blood clot grows very large, it has a higher risk of breaking loose and traveling away from its original location. This is called an embolism. All veins in the lower body transport blood toward the heart, which pumps the blood into the lungs. DVT blood clots that make it all the way into the lungs will get trapped in the small blood vessels inside the lungs.
When a blood clot is trapped in the lungs, this is called a pulmonary embolism. The blood clot cuts off the blood supply to the lungs. Within minutes, this lung tissue begins to die. Pulmonary embolisms can cause severe organ damage, organ failure, and death.
Symptoms of Safyral DVT
Only around half of cases of DVT show symptoms. Any time DVT is suspected, this is an emergency situation. If you take Safyral or any other birth control pill that contains progestin, you should know the symptoms of a Safyral DVT blood clot just in case this occurs.
Symptoms of DVT may include:
- Discoloration of the affected part of the body (such as one leg)
- Pain in the affected extremity
- Swelling in the limb
- Warmth in the area of the blood clot
- Superficial veins may look engorged
- Weakness, tingling, or abnormal sensation in the affected limb
Treatment for Safyral DVT Blood Clots
The goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of a pulmonary embolism. Doctors will try to prevent the blood clot from growing any larger, which also reduces the risk that it will become an embolism. There are several anti-coagulant drugs that can help, including warfarin or heparin. In very serious cases, doctors may administer an intravenous medication that can dissolve the clot.
Any time a person suffers from DVT, there is a possibility of post-thrombotic syndrome. This occurs when a blood clot causes permanent damage to the veins. This may result in lifelong pain, swelling, varicose veins, and skin ulcers in the affected area.