One side effect of Yaz (drospirenone / ethinyl estradiol) is gallbladder disease. There is growing research linking the use of hormones to an increased risk of gallbladder disease. People who suffer from this painful disorder often require expensive and painful surgery to remove their gallbladder. They may also suffer gallstones, rupturing of the gallbladder, or gallbladder attacks.
Yaz (3-mg drospirenone, 0.02-mg ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill sold by Bayer. When Yaz was first approved by the FDA in 2006, it was hailed as a revolutionary new oral contraceptive. In addition to reducing the risk of pregnancy, the manufacturers claimed that it could improve a woman’s quality of life by treating PMS and acne. Other advertisements that the new birth control was safer than older birth control pills.
The FDA later slammed these advertisements in three separate warning letters, which cited Bayer for failing to include risk information and promoting Yaz and Yasmin for unapproved indications.
In April of 2012, after more than a decade of mounting scientific evidence, the FDA finally announced that they would force Bayer to update the warning information on Yaz to tell women that they may be three times more likely to develop a blood clot while taking Yaz, compared to a non-drospirenone birth control pill.
Yaz Gallbladder Disease
Yaz contains two hormones: ethinyl estradiol, which is a synthetic type of the hormone estrogen that has been used for decades in medicine; and drospirenone, which is a synthetic type of the hormone progestin, which was first used in Yasmin birth control in 2001.
Some studies suggest that hormones in Yaz birth control pills increase the risk of gallbladder disease due to its diuretic effect. Other studies suggest that hormones may increase the likelihood that calcified pieces of cholesterol will damage the gallbladder. Hormones in Yaz may also decrease the motility of the gallbladder, which impedes the flow of bile. These Yaz side effects increase the risk of developing gallstones.
What is Gallbladder Disease?
More and more women who used Yaz are suffering from gallbladder disease, gallstones, rupture of the gallbladder, or other Yaz gallbladder injuries. Many of these women had no other risk factors. Gallbladder disease is a known side effect of Yaz birth control pills. If you suffered this severe Yaz side effect, you are not alone.
Gallbladder disease affects the gallbladder, a digestive organ that is located beneath the liver. The purpose of the gallbladder is to store, concentrate, and release bile, which is a substance that helps digest fats.
One of the most common gallbladder disorders is gallstones, which develop when small particles in the bile become hard stones. These stones may be smaller than a grain of sand, or as large as a golf ball. If untreated, they can fill the entire gallbladder and severely damage the organ.
Women are twice as likely to have gallbladder disease than men. This is likely due to the fact that women are more likely to use hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. Yaz contain synthetic hormones, estrogen and progestin. Excess estrogen may increase the amount of cholesterol in bile, and also decreases gallbladder movement. This may increase the risk of developing gallstones.
Women who suffer from gallbladder disease may need a surgery called a cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder. Approximately half of people who have gallbladder disease require surgery to remove the organ. These surgeries may be extremely expensive, painful, and debilitating.
Signs & Symptoms of Yaz Gallbladder Disease
The first symptoms of gallbladder disease are often mistaken for other digestive problems, which may delay diagnosis. The gallbladder is located under the right side of the rib cage, and abdominal pain in this area is a common symptom of gallbladder disease.
Symptoms of Yaz gallbladder disease may include:
- Severe upper abdominal pain, located under the right side of the rib cage. This pain may spread to the back, right shoulder, or arm.
- Burping, belching
- Painful gallbladder attacks at night, or after eating
- Pain that follows ingestion of a fatty or greasy meal