When Bayer’s birth control pill Yaz hit the market in 2006, it was touted as being “Beyond birth control.” In addition to preventing women from getting pregnant, it was also advertised as a means to fight off symptoms of PMS, including moodiness and irritability, increases in appetite, anxiety, bloating, aches, pains, and headaches. It even claimed to fight mild to moderate acne.
As a result, many women chose to switch to Yaz as their form of birth control because they were under the impression that it would treat PMS and acne symptoms. When the FDA approved Yaz, however, it was not tested for or approved for treatment of these conditions. It was approved for reducing the symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), but this is a different and much rarer condition than PMS.
The FDA required Bayer to run additional advertisements to correct the misconceptions of the original television ads. However, at that point, no further investigation was performed concerning the potential risks and side effects associated with using Yaz.
Serious Health Risks Associated With Yaz
Many women attracted to Yaz by its smart (if misleading) ad campaign soon discovered that the drug had alarming side effects: blood clots. While blood clotting is a known risk of using birth control, for most types of birth control it is a minuscule risk.
The risk of blood clots associated with Yaz is much higher, as can be demonstrated by the letter sent to Bayer by the FDA in 2009. After a routine inspection of a Bayer manufacturing plant, the FDA had found unsanitary equipment and improper or incomplete testing of products. At the time, an estimate of at least eight batches of contaminated, uninspected Yaz had made it to the United States.
In addition to blood clotting and false advertising, Yaz is also associated with a number of other potentially harmful side effects, and the manufacturers warn women not to take the drug if they have:
- A family or personal history of breast and uterine cancer
- Liver disease or cancer
- Severe migraines
- High blood pressure
- A history of kidney problems
- Any blood clotting disorder
- Any circulatory disorders
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Gallbladder disease
Women over the age of 35 and smokers are also advised not to use Yaz due to issues with clotting and other problems. Other side effects associated with Yaz include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Pain or heavy feeling in the chest, especially spreading to the shoulder and arm
- General feeling of illness
- Wheezing and rapid breathing
- Pain and swelling in one or both legs
- Coughing up blood
- Breast lumps
- Symptoms of depression
Though these side effects are included in the warnings about Yaz and are arguably rare, patients should be wary. Though the FDA has allowed the drug to remain on the market instead of recalling it, there is still lots of pressure for a recall. There are also multiple lawsuits being pursued against Bayer by women affected by blood clotting issues and other side effects.
If you or someone you love has been injured or harmed by using Yaz, a qualified attorney may be able to help you pursue the compensation you are owed. Call our office today to speak with one of our legal experts and schedule a free consultation and case analysis. Or you can use our online contact form, and someone will respond to your message presently.