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Many women take Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella as a form of birth control, and Bayer Pharmaceuticals (their manufacturer) has also marketed these products as being able to alleviate some symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). But it is becoming more and more apparent that these drugs do more than prevent pregnancy and improve your mood.

Bayer has been under fire lately for creating birth control pills that can pose serious health risks to the women taking them. As the New York Times explains:

Birth control pills work by altering a woman’s hormone levels. Researchers have long known that taking a combination hormone birth control pill — which contains estrogen and a progestin hormone — can increase the risk of stroke and blood clots in the legs and lungs. That is because estrogen can play a role in blood coagulation. Indeed, since the introduction of oral contraceptives in the 1960s, drug companies have greatly reduced estrogen doses to decrease the risk of thrombosis, the medical term for blood clots.

Yaz, which contains drospirenone and a lower dose of estrogen, received agency approval in 2006… Because drospirenone can increase potassium levels in the body, it may put women who have liver or kidney problems at risk for serious heart problems, according to the drug label.

There were over 50 reports of deaths caused by these products between 2004 and 2008, with some of the victims being as young as 17 years old. Luckily, a few months ago, a team of lawyers brought fourfederal suits against Bayer for its unsafe product. These lawyers have been very successful in similar lawsuits that they have brought against other birth control companies, and they have a compelling case. Let’s hope that the government steps in and does something to protect the women in our lives from an untimely death.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one is currently taking Yaz, Yasmine, or Ocella, you should see a doctor immediately for a physical exam. Don’t let a blood clot grow unnoticed until it is too late. Your doctor may also be able to find you a safer birth control pill, or, if you’re using the pill for your PMDD symptoms, he or she may be able to find you an alternative form of medication. There’s no reason to gamble with your life.

If your wife, girlfriend, daughter, or sister has been harmed by this medication, please call an attorney who handles these cases. You can learn what her rights are and discover what the options are.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

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