The hype around Yaz and Yazmin

In April 2016 Marie Claire wrote this article on Yasmin/Yaz causing blood clots which leads to strokes (a similiar article was doing the rounds on social media in 2013). In the article it is described as “a potential time bomb“. Being on Yaz since 2012 I immediately had concerns. I mean who wants to take any medication which could lead to depression or blood clots (which could result in blindness, a stroke, heart attack or difficulty breathing)?

So I took it up with my doctor, who reassured me that I was at no risk. According to her the woman showing these side affects has a specific gene which causes the side effect when they take Yaz. She has the gene, which she realized when she started to show side effects. As a result she had her daughters also tested and one of them also has the specific gene and thus can not take Yaz. So I continued with Yaz.

Four and a half years down the line, I have not shown any of the side effects. This just once again proved to me that getting advice from a good doctor who is an expert in the field is vital. Unfortunately there are ladies who have had severe side affects from taking Yaz. The amount of money paid out by Bayers to them is confirmation of this. If you don’t need medication don’t take it for the sake of taking something, whether antibiotics or for a headache. My philosophy regarding any medication is to man up and push through unless I really feel that I need some help. Listen to your body.

Quotes from the article:

  • A 2011 Danish study of 1.3 million women, conducted over nine years and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a woman’s risk of blood clots is a staggering six times higher when taking either Yaz or Yasmin.
  • At press time, more than 13,500 lawsuits had been served or were pending against Bayer in the US
  • In the US, Bayer has already settled about 3500 cases, paying out $720 million to those affected by blood clots, and on the basis of inadequate warnings. They have put aside a further $250 million for future claims.
  • A spokesperson for Bayer Australia told marie claire that Yaz or Yasmin did not pose any greater risk of blood clots than other oral contraceptives, and the risk was less than that of pregnancy.
  • On December 8, 2011, the FDA ordered a safety review of Yaz and Yasmin. Concerned observers anticipated that the FDA would pull the two drugs off the shelves, but, to the surprise of many, the panel of medical experts voted 15–11 that the benefits outweighed the risks.
  • The panel did, however, recommend Bayer change its warning labels to reflect the concerns over blood clots
  • In an ongoing study, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre at Victoria’s Monash University, has found that it is the specific combination of drospirenone and low-dose oestrogen that places women at risk of depression.
  • A post-marketing study last November by eHealthMe (which analysed data from the FDA and women who take the pills) found that, of the users who reported adverse events regarding Yasmin, 42 per cent reported experiencing severe anxiety and emotional distress, and of those users who reported adverse events regarding YAZ, 60 per cent reported suffering anxiety and/or emotional distress.

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