BC Trials & Tribulations
Yaz & Yasmin Face Lawsuits for Alleged Side Effects; Answers Remain Elusive
Yaz, the top-selling oral contraceptive in America, was introduced to the market in 2006 because it, along with its earlier 2001 counterpart Yasmin, was thought to cause fewer side effects than other birth control pills (such as anxiety, depression and headaches). The main difference between the two pills is that Yaz contains 24 active pills, while Yasmin contains 21. Replacing more of the inactive pills with active ones is thought to decrease some of the annoying symptoms women experience before and during their period.
Despite the pills' popularity, the Los Angeles Times reports that approximately 1,100 lawsuits had been filed against the pills' maker, Bayer Healthcare, by mid-February 2010. The lawsuits present the results of two studies on the synthetic hormone drospirenone, found in both Yaz and Yasmin, which allege that the hormone causes health problems including blood clots, strokes, heart attacks and gallbladder disease.
Bayer Healthcare, meanwhile, upholds the safety of the pill. Two Bayer-sponsored studies found drospirenone to be just as safe as other comparable synthetic hormones.
While the debate has yet to be resolved, the whole situation makes those five pounds you gained when you went on the pill seem not quite so significant.