Carissa Ubersox, a Madison, Wisconsin pediatric nurse, started taking Yaz not just as birth control but a means to control premenstrual bloating and acne. But within weeks of starting Yaz oral contraceptive, this 24-year-old was rushed to the hospital with pulmonary embolisms – blood clots in both lungs – and slipped into a deep coma for several weeks.
Caused by a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that settles in the lungs. Typically, these blood clots in the lungs block a coronary artery, which can lead to heart attack, among other medical conditions.
For Yaz patients, pulmonary embolisms, DVT and a host of other medical calamities are very real. Studies show that women taking Yaz have a double and triple chance of getting blood clots compared to women on other oral contraceptives.
If you or a loved one took Yaz and were later diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism or DVT you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. For more information about Yaz and pulmonary embolisms or to learn about your legal rights and options contact our patient advocates at .
Pulmonary embolisms are blood clots that reach the lungs and block blood flow, resulting in a heart attack or other serious medical problem. The birth control pill Yaz is known to cause these blood clots.
Yaz Users are at Higher Risk of Developing Pulmonary Embolism
The problem stems from the ingredients in Yaz, researches said. Although it contains a synthetic estrogen similar to most birth control pills on the market, the synthetic progesterone used in the pill, drospirenone, is at question.
Drospirenone, which is exclusive to Yaz and its sister drugs, has been linked to a greater chance of blood clots, embolisms, strokes, heart attacks and deadly potassium levels.
Long known as the long-haul traveler’s condition, DVT often forms after long periods of inactivity. When the clot forms in the deep veins of the legs, it is often painful and causes the leg to swell. Once the clot breaks off, it easily travels through the veins into the lungs.
Although all birth control pills carry the risk of blood clots because of fluctuating estrogen levels, the risk of DVT is significantly higher with Yaz users, studies show.
In 2011, a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that Yaz and its sister drug Yasmin were linked to DVT. Using 1.3 million Danish and Dutch women, the study showed a six-fold increase of the risk of blood clots using drospirenone, according to the New York Times.
However, Bayer, the drug’s maker, refutes the claims. It says that the risks of taking Yaz are no different than any other oral contraceptive.
Yaz Pulmonary Embolism Controversy and the FDA
With the growing concerns, conflicting studies and thousands of Yaz lawsuits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to take a closer look at the drug. It convened an advisory committee to make a recommendation about the drug’s future on the U.S. market. The group, made up of mostly gynecological medical specialists, decided by a narrow margin to keep the drug on the market. But within days of the decision, whistleblowers found several committee members on Bayer’s payroll in some form or another. They demanded that the FDA take a closer look and reconvene a non-biased committee.
For patients taking Yaz, it’s been a wake-up call. Ubersox remains blind after coming out from her coma and has filed suit. Thousands of other women and their families also are seeking legal justice in federal and state courts.