We have all heard the risk for developing blood clots if we take birth control pills, or other forms of contraceptives. But how much of a risk is now under investigation. There are studies being done that many say are shocking.
An article written by Kristen Hallam on April 21, 2011 states “Birth-control pills with Drospirenone raise clot risk in study.” This study found that women who use a birth control with the hormone Drospirenone are three times more likely to develop a blood clot than those who use another contraceptive.
The British Medical Journal who published the article stated that the overall risk of developing a clot in the lungs or legs was still low for women using drospirenone, according to the study. The study was conducted on about 300 women.
European, U.S., and New Zealand researchers all support studies that drospirenone appears to have a higher risk of clots compared with the older levonorgestrel. Susan Jick, Professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Medicine found the hormones had a similar clot risk.
Another study conducted by Jick, and published in the journal today, found a doubling of the risk of clots in women who took drospirenone compared with levonorgestrel. That research was based on U.S. insurance claims information on almost 900 women. Women taking any kind of contraceptive pill have a fivefold higher risk of blood clots compared with those who don’t, previous research has found.
Bayer, the maker of Beyaz, Yaz and Angeliq pills also contain drospirenone and levonorgestrel, which is similar to the natural female hormone progesterone. Both of these are used in contraceptives made by companies including Bayer, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, Inc.
Bayer replied to the study by stating, “Given the already large and robust scientific body of evidence, in Bayer’s opinion these studies do not change the overall assessment about the safety of Bayer’s oral contraceptives, The research showed “significant flaws” and clots are a rare side effect of using any birth-control pill, Bayer said.”
There was a group of women chosen ranging in age 15 to 44 who didn’t have any major risk factors for blood clots. Researchers wanted to conduct another study to find patients who had started taking either drospirenone or levonorgestrel as a first-time contraceptive or after a period of not taking birth-control pills.
They found sixty-one women who started treatment after May 2002 had been diagnosed with clots. The results couldn’t be explained by differences in how long the patients were on the treatment or whether they were first-time contraceptive users. The problem with this study was the low number of clot cases found, the scientists said. They told the medical journal that no funding was received to support the research.
Bayer stated that about 6,850 lawsuits were pending in the U.S. as of Feb. 1 over alleged injuries and deaths as a result of the use of Yasmin, Yaz, or Teva’s generic versions of the drugs, according to the annual report. Bayer also states that they are facing 13 class action suits in Canada. Additional lawsuits are anticipated.