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Medical Studies Reveal Increased Risk of Blood Clots for Women Using YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi

Studies From Medical Journals and the FDA Show Health Risks for Women Taking Birth Control Pills That Contain Drospirenone (DRSP)

Medical journals, such as the BMJ medical journal and Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have warned women about the potential dangers of contraceptive pills containing drospirenone (DRSP).

Below are some background points before presenting the findings of the two recent medical journal articles regarding drospirenone (DRSP):

• Oral contraceptives made with fourth-generation progestins (or progesterone) include these birth control pills containing drospirenone (DRSP): YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, Gianvi, Zarah, Loryna, Syeda, and Vestura.
• Third-generation progestins include: desogestrel, gestodene, and norgestimate.
• Second-generation progestins include: levonorgestrel and norgestrel.

The BMJ article published online in October 2011, "Risk of venous thromboembolism from use of oral contraceptives containing different progestogens and oestrogen doses: Danish cohort study, 2001-2009", discusses a Danish medical study which found that oral contraceptives made with third-generation progestins as well as YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, Gianvi and other birth control pills that contain drospirenone put women at twice the risk of developing venous thromboemoblism (VTE), possibly leading to blood clots such as pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), when compared to women on a second-generation progestin contraceptive pill.

In an October 26, 2011 news article, "Higher VTE risk with newer progesterone oral contraceptives", from, Dr. Susan Jick of Boston University School of Medicine comments on the recent BMJ medical journal findings, saying that she would not prescribe a third-generation birth control pill or a drospirenone birth control pill because of the higher risk for VTE and blot clots.

Another doctor, Dr. Philip C. Hannaford of the University of Aberdeen, says in the accompanying editorial, "The progestogen content of combined oral contraceptives and venous thromboembolic risk", that many physicians will attempt to minimize the risk of VTE by prescribing a second-generation oral contraceptive whenever possible, because of the higher risks associated with third-generation and drospirenone (DRSP) birth control pills.

In the CMAJ article from November 2011, "Higher risk of venous thrombosis associated with drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives: a population-based cohort study", the FDA study tested the theory that DRSP-containing birth control pills such as YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi increased thrombotic risk when compared to third-generation birth control pills.

The article notes that the FDA October 27, 2011 drug-safety study report, "Combined Hormonal Contraceptives (CHCs) and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Endpoints", found that DRSP-containing oral contraceptives like YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi are less safe than older birth control pills in regards to risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). This study was associated with DRSP use in the age group of 10 to 34 years old.

In addition, the FDA study found that only women taking DRSP contraceptives, such as YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi have a significantly higher risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke. This study was associated with DRSP use in women ages 35 to 55.

The findings in the October 2011 FDA study suggest that the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) with DRSP oral contraceptives such as YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi may increase during early stages and later stages of use, when compared to low-dose estrogen contraceptive pills.

Another crucial finding made by this FDA study is that DRSP birth control pills such as YAZ, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral, Ocella, and Gianvi could increase users’ risk of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death because of the antimineralocorticoid activity, which may lead to increased levels of potassium.

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Read more on our Drospirenone (DRSP) Birth Control Pills Information Page >>

All content by attorney Tom Lamb

  • US FDA advises that you should not stop taking any prescription medication before talking to your doctor.
  • Reports of serious drug side effects should be made to the US FDA MedWatch program.
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