Four women in California have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Yaz birth control pills after they developed blood clots in their legs while taking the drug. The lawsuit alleges that Bayer Pharmaceuticals failed to properly warn patients about the side effects of Yaz, which the Food and Drug Administration has warned include an increased risk of potentially fatal blood clots.
All four of the women who filed the lawsuit against Yaz developed deep vein thrombosis, blood clots in the legs. Two of the four women also suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that becomes lodged in the main artery of the lung.
The lawsuit accuses Bayer Pharmaceuticals of marketing Yaz to women in way that misrepresented the health risks of the birth-control drug. In 2012, the FDA issued a warning to Bayer about the company’s marketing of Yaz, stating that ad campaigns for the birth control medication overstated the health benefits of Yaz while downplaying the risk of side effects associated with the drug.
The FDA has warned that women who take Yaz or Yasmin (an older birth control drug which contains the same active ingredient) face an increased risk of blood clots and other side effects compared to women who use other birth control medications. Women who use Yaz are twice as likely to suffer blood clots as those who are prescribed other birth control pills. This increased clotting risk can place Yaz patients at risk of other serious conditions, including DVTs, pulmonary embolisms, heart attack, or stroke.
Hundreds of Yaz lawsuits have already been filed against Bayer by women who suffered blood clots or other injuries after taking the birth control pills. Despite the numerous warnings about the health risks of Yaz and similar birth control drugs, the FDA has not announced any plans to recall these medications.