Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella are drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol-based birth control pills that contain synthetic progestin. Their intended use is for the prevention of pregnancy, treatment of PMDD, and the treatment of moderate acne. Bayer Healthcare manufactures Yaz and Yasmin, while Barr Laboratories manufactures Ocella. Both have been approved by the FDA for their label uses, but there are a variety of potential side effects and adverse reactions associated with these “fourth generation” birth control pills.
How Yaz/Yasmin/Ocella Work
The chemicals within Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella prevent ovulation and trigger changes in cervical mucus and the endometrium, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and for eggs to implant into the lining. It does not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV. The medication can also help to treat acne by modifying hormone levels in women over the age of 14.
Yaz/Yasmin/Ocella FDA Concerns
The FDA required Bayer Healthcare to modify their package inserts to include updated information regarding the risk of stroke and blood clots in April 2010. This is despite the fact that Bayer sponsored a number of studies that suggested that Yaz did not increase the risk of blood clots any more than “second generation” contraceptive pills.
The problematic chemical within Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella is drospirenone, as it is believed to elevate the levels of potassium within the blood. Some medical professionals suggest that higher potassium levels lead to greater health risks, including:
Deep vein thrombosis
Localized pain (as a result of a blood clot)
Difficulties becoming pregnant
In some instances, blood clots and other medical complications related to elevated potassium levels may even result in death, particularly if it leads to stroke or heart attack.
Patients who have or are currently taking Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella can speak with a qualified attorney to see if they may qualify for compensation, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Loved ones of those who have suffered more serious complications, like stroke or death, may also wish to consult with an experienced legal professional to determine their eligibility.