Yasmin Birth Control Liked to Teen Blood Clots?

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Blood clots aren’t normally associated with active teenagers, but an alarming number of cases reported around the world are drawing attention to the increased risk of blood clots for young women taking the birth control pills known as Yaz and Yasmin. Manufactured by the drug company Bayer, the two products contain the synthetic hormone drospirenone, which effectively prevents ovulation by altering the levels of natural hormones. In the United States, children as young as 14 can be prescribed Yasmin.

Like other birth control pills, Yasmin raises the risk for developing dangerous blood clots. In 2011, Canada’s governmental health agency Health Canada reported that the risk of blood clots is up to three times higher with birth control pills like Yasmin than with pills that do not contain drospirenone. Health Canada recently examined data reported from pharmacists and doctors between 2007 and 2013 and found that the deaths of 23 women were linked to the use of Yaz and Yasmin. Most of the women died from blood clots.

More than half of the deaths reported in the Health Canada study were young women. The youngest woman was just 14 years old at the time of her death. Most died shortly after they began taking the birth control pills. Some of the teenagers who developed blood clots after taking Yasmin were prescribed the drug not as a method of birth control but as a way to address irregular menstrual cycles. Teenagers are attracted to the pill because it is said to improve acne as well.

Even teenagers who survive blood clots can suffer permanents damage. A 17-year-old girl suffered a stroke that left her with impaired vision in one eye. Young woman who suffer strokes due to blood clots may need to take blood-thinning medications for the rest of their lives.

It’s estimated that as many as 10,000 lawsuits against Bayer are pending in the United States. The company has reportedly already paid around $1 billion to settle claims connected to Yaz or Yasmin. In a statement to Canada’s CBC news, Bayer stated that they “fully stand behind Yaz and Yasmin” and that “patient safety comes first.”

 

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