US reviews birth control pill safety

2011-06-01 08:26

Washington - The US Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it is reviewing recently published studies which have pointed to an increased blood clot risk associated with a certain type of birth control pill.

The studies involve pills that contain drospirenone, as opposed to another type of progestin known as levonorgestrel. Some brand names include Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Ocella, Loryna, Gianvi, Safyral, Syeda and Zarah.

"The FDA is currently evaluating the conflicting results from these studies and will look at all currently available information to fully assess the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills," it said in a statement.

"FDA will continue to communicate any new safety information to the public as it becomes available."

The European Medicines Agency concluded on May 27 that such birth control pills carry a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and that warning labels should be updated accordingly.

Numerous lawsuits

However, it noted the overall risk of blood clot from any birth control method remains small and stopped short of advising women to stop taking pills containing drospirenone.

The pills have been the focus of numerous lawsuits, including one lodged earlier this month on behalf of a teenager who died from a blood clot allegedly linked to the German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer's Yaz contraceptive.

Michelle Pfleger, an 18-year-old college student in North Carolina, died of cardiac arrest last September after taking YAZ, also known as Yasmin or Ocella, to treat acne, according to the complaint.

In April, two studies in the British Medical Journal found that drugs like Yaz and Yasmin increase the risk of serious blood clots three-fold or two-fold compared to earlier-generation oral contraceptives.

Bayer criticised the results of the studies at the time, insisting that side effects were rare.

The official Yaz website says the drug is associated with "increased risks of several serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack".

  • Telara - 2011-06-01 08:51

    I think I might risk a blood clot, it's better than the consequences of contraceptiveless sex.

      Paralegal - 2011-06-01 09:12

      Rather just used a condom or UID.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-06-01 09:41

      Or not sleep around at all. Safest way. If you don't want the risk, don't do the frisk.

      Irené - 2011-06-01 10:59

      You know there are many many other contraceptives on the market- ones that dont give blood clots, that dont give you higher risks of cervical and breast cancers, that dont change the sex of tadpoles and other waterborne creatures... I think the pill is being used by too many people, especially developing teens- I had menstrual problems- many girls do, but taking hormones daily to counter the problem will only cause more problems at the end of the day- maybe not today, but in a couple of years. there is nothing normal about regulating your menses with pills- there are some extreme cases- but for the general population, its just absurd. Also bare in mind, the same people that brought you weed killers, GM foods and flea and tick collars for your pets, are making those very contraceptives you drink every day- now that sounds a bit dodge to me- Long Live Bayer Crop sciences and their frankenstein chemicals... (sarcasm)

  • ShakaN - 2011-06-01 09:59

    Just Pull Out...look at how sucessful that has been for the 3rd World.

  • jackysilk - 2011-06-01 10:03

    I can confirm that it does increase risk of blood clots. I was on Yasmin when I started getting pains in my legs when menstruating and one morning my leg just gave in under me as I got out of bed. This was almost a year ago and my doctor was shocked because they weren't aware of the risks at that time. Yes, the other side-effects are minimal, but this is a pretty serious side-effect and warnings definitely should be increased.

  • Cindy Meintjes - 2013-03-05 02:40

    Hi, I've been using Yasmin for almost 3 years now and haven't had any side affects, infact it took away my bad skin, no more pimpels and reduce my period pain. Although I haven't had any problems, yet I'm concern about using it as I'm aware it makes your womb thinner and increases the chance to get blood clonths. Should I stop using Yasmin due to that reasons?

  • pages:
  • 1