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The Ill Effects of Yasmin

Two of the top selling birth control pills in the United States are Yaz and Yasmin, both manufactured and distributed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. Bayer, a German company that manufactures pharmacological and chemical products, began operations in Barmen, Germany in 1863. Today, it has branches in as many as 50 countries and is among the 10 top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Bayer released Yasmin to the market in 2001. Besides its use of drospirenone, a synthetic or artificial progesterone, which is said to effectively treat temperate acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD, the drug also contains 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol, the hormone that helps suppress ovulation and increase density of bone minerals.

Every pack of Yasmin contains 21 active pills and 7 palliative pills (also called inactive pills), the function of which is simply to reduce annoying symptoms before or during one’s period. It is necessary that the pills be taken at the specified time daily; thus, in the event that one forgets or fails to take a pill, she can either take it as soon as she remembers or have two pills the following day.

This pill, which can effectively prevent women as young as 14 years old from getting pregnant, is not suggested for everyone, though. Women who are not sure if they are pregnant or not, those with medical disorders and those who are nursing, should not take the product as it could cause birth defects or, in the case of nursing women, harm the child.

The popularity of Yasmin, however, has been tainted with reports of serious side effects, lawsuits and settlements by the manufacturer. In fact, early this 2013, Bayer paid about $24 million in settlement claims (due to gall bladder injuries the drug is believed to have caused). The company may be losing a bigger amount too to compensate about 4,800 women who are found to have developed blood clots after taking the pills.

According to the website of attorney Williams Kherkher, known severe side effects of Yasmin, include:

  • Gallbladder injuries
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which frequently happens in the leg due to difficulty in ensuring good flow of blood in the body’s lower parts.
  • Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), which is failure in brain function resulting from a disturbance in brain’s blood supply. CVA may cause a woman to lose the function of limbs, vision and the capability to formulate speech
  • Myocardial infarction or damage of heart tissues due to obstruction in the supply of blood to the heart muscle
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

There are many other side effects of Yasmine, which may be considered minor. Nevertheless, these are unwanted due to the great inconvenience that these cause those who take the pill. As of 2012, there have already been about 12,000 lawsuits recorded against Bayer products Yaz and Yasmin. Despite this huge number, Bayer maintains its claim that its pills, if taken according to instructions, are safe and effective.