US reviews birth control pill safety over clot risk

May 31, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is reviewing recently published studies which have pointed to an increased blood clot risk associated with a certain type of birth control pill.

The studies involve pills that contain drospirenone, as opposed to another type of progestin known as . Some brand names include Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Ocella, Loryna, Gianvi, Safyral, Syeda and Zarah.

"The FDA is currently evaluating the conflicting results from these studies and will look at all currently available information to fully assess the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills," it said in a statement.

"FDA will continue to communicate any new safety information to the public as it becomes available."

The European Medicines Agency concluded on May 27 that such birth control pills carry a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and that should be updated accordingly.

However it noted the overall risk of blood clot from any birth control method remains small and stopped short of advising women to stop taking pills containing drospirenone.

The pills have been the focus of numerous lawsuits, including one lodged earlier this month on behalf of a teenager who died from a blood clot allegedly linked to the German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer's Yaz contraceptive.

Michelle Pfleger, an 18-year-old college student in North Carolina, died of cardiac arrest last September after taking YAZ, also known as Yasmin or Ocella, to treat acne, according to the complaint.

Last month, two studies in the found that drugs like Yaz and Yasmin increase the risk of serious blood clots three-fold or two-fold compared to earlier-generation .

Bayer criticized the results of the studies at the time, insisting that side effects were rare.

The official Yaz website says the drug is associated with "increased risks of several serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack."

Explore further: FDA OKs Merck tablet to reduce ragweed allergies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New warning OK'd for birth control patch

Jan 21, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a warning for the Ortho Evra Contraceptive Transdermal Patch label concerning the risk of blood clots.

Non-prescription pills draws controversy

Feb 05, 2007

A new plan in Britain that would allow birth control pills to be available for sale without prescription has some area doctors concerned, a report said.

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

19 hours ago

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

23 hours ago

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

Pyridoxine-doxylamine drug safety data lacking

Apr 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The most commonly prescribed drug for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness in their first trimester does not prevent birth defects even though drug safety data says it does, according to research ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

The importance of plumes

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...