Syeda is a generic form of Yasmin, similar to Zarah, approved by the FDA in June 2011 for the prevention of pregnancy. Syeda is an oral contraceptive distributed by Sandoz, Inc., and it belongs to the “fourth generation” of birth control pills that contain drospirenone. Drospirenone has recently come under intense scrutiny after several studies linked it to serious, life-threatening side effects such as blood clots, pulmonary embolisms (PE), heart attack, and death.
What is Syeda?
Syeda is the generic form of Yasmin. Generic medicines contain the same amount of active ingredients as their brand-name equivalents. Both Syeda and Yasmin contain 3 mg of drospirenone (a synthetic form of the female sex hormone progestin) and 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol (a synthetic form of the female sex hormone estrogen).
When taken as directed, Syeda is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. There are several ways Syeda decreases the chance that pregnancy will occur. It inhibits ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) but also changes the cervical mucous and the endometrium (making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, or for a fertilized egg to implant).
Syeda Side Effects
The most serious side effect of using Syeda is a blood clot, which can cause stroke, heart attack, or death. Syeda has the same side effects as its brand-name equivalent, Yasmin, and other fourth generation contraceptives. Other serious side effects include hepatic neoplasia, gallbladder disease, and hypertension. Cigarette smoking significantly increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially in women over 35 years of age.
How does Syeda cause serious side effects?
Syeda contains drospirenone, a type of hormone which may increase a woman’s potassium levels too much. A high level of potassium in the bloodstream may cause the blood to thicken, causing blood clots. One side effect of using Syeda is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), when blood clots form in the large arteries in the extremities, usually in the arms or legs. Users of Syeda should be aware of the symptoms of DVT, because they may be the first signs of a life-threatening complication, such as a stroke or heart attack. Symptoms of DVT include swelling, pain, numbness, a “tingling” feeling, slurred speech, or blurred vision. These are the first signs that a blood clot is blocking an artery. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact an emergency physician immediately.
Blood clots caused by DVT occasionally break loose and travel through the blood stream. This is called an embolism. It is one of the most dangerous side effects of using Syeda. A Pulmonary Embolism (PE), when an embolism becomes stuck in the lungs. If untreated, 30% of people who have a PE will die, usually within the first few hours of the event.
Embolisms may also cause heart attack (myocardial infarction), or stroke. Permanent, debilitating injury or death can occur very quickly if an embolism travels to the heart, lungs, brain, or other major internal organs.
Drospirenone Studies & FDA Safety Warning
All birth control pills increase a woman’s risk of blood clots, but new birth control containing drospirenone significantly increases these risks. Five new studies of drospirenone have raised alarm because they have linked drospirenone to blood clots.
Several non-FDA studies have found similar results:
- In 2009, two independent studies found that women may be twice as likely to develop a blood clot compared to women using other forms of birth control.
- In 2011, two additional independent studies were published in the British Medical Journal. These studies also linked drospirenone to an increased chance of blood clots — women who take contraceptives including drospirenone may be up to three times more likely to develop a blood clot.
- In 2011, a massive Israeli study tracked 329,995 women taking drospirenone-containing contraceptives, and then published the results. The Israeli study found the risk of blood clots may be more than 40% higher for these new types of birth control pills.
The FDA conducted its own massive study, comparing drospirenone-containing birth control pills to older forms of the pill. In October 2011, the FDA announced the preliminary results of the study, which followed nearly 800,000 women. The FDA concluded that women have at least a 1.5-fold increased chance of developing a blood clot after using drospirenone-containing birth control, such as Syeda. A woman’s risk is greatest in her first year of using the medication.