Taking Yaz? Know Your Legal Rights!

Yaz Overview

Yasminelle is a medication used to prevent pregnancy. Medications of this kind are often called a birth control pill, a contraceptive pill or “the pill”. Yasminelle, manufactured by Bayer Healthcare, is a combination oral contraceptive (COC). The active ingredients are drospirenone (a synthetic progesterone) and ethinyl estradiol(a form of estrogen). Bayer makes two other COC medications, Yaz and Yasmine. Yasmine is a low-dose form of Yasmin with less ethinyl estradiol. These medications are fourth generation oral contraceptives.

Bayer has United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to sell the COC drugs for:
• Contraception
• Treatment of premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PDD) for woman who choose to use birth control pills
• Treatment of moderate acne in females aged 14 and over who choose to use an oral contraceptive

It is important to note that the actual approval is for birth control. Treatment for the diagnosis of acne and PPD are approved side-effects of Yaz.

Generic Forms of Yaz
Other manufacturers of the drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol COC are Teva Labs, and Barr Laboratories. Teva’s generic product Ocella uses the same formula as Yasmin. Barr Laboratories manufactures and sells Gianvi, it is the generic equivalent of Yaz.

Yaz Marketing
The Yaz target market is women in their 20s. In 2009 Yaz used the theme “Beyond Birth Control.” It promoted the drug not only as an oral control but also for acne treatment and treatment of symptoms of PDD. The FDA noted that the commercials were misleading in content and actually promoted Yaz as a lifestyle drug. There were two ads cited in 2009 by the FDA, In one ad, a Twisted Sister best-selling song called “We’re Not Going To Take It any More” was the background music. On screen, young women kicked or punctured signs that had words like “irritability” and “anxious mood” on them. During the commercial a voice over stated that Yaz is “a pill that goes beyond the rest” and touted its ability to keep skin clear. The second commercial cited by the FDA has background music by The Veronicas singing “Goodbye To You,” on the screen are many young woman near floating balloons labeled Acne, Headaches and Feeling Anxious. The implication clearly being that these symptoms disappear after taking Yaz.

The ads ran in 2008 and sales exploded from $262 million the year before to $616 million following the ad campaign.

Due to the exploiting and misinforming nature of the ads, the FDA ordered Bayer to run a $20 million ad campaign to tell the public the correct indications for the use of Yaz.

Yaz is the best-selling oral birth control medication in the United States and is the second best-selling Bayer product in the world.

Doctor’s reported that young women on birth control insisted on switching over to Yaz. Other times, physicians prescribed Yaz “off label.” This means that they prescribed the medication for a diagnosis that it was not approved for.

Two recent studies, published in the British Medical Journal showed that patients taking medicines containing one of the hormones used in Yasmin, (drospirenone) have a two- to three-fold greater risk of venus thromboembolism than women using other similar hormones.

All of the mentioned combination birth control pills have a black box warning about cigarette smoking and use of this combination birth control pill, since drospireone causes heart attacks.
However, though listed, the following information has not been black boxed by the United States Food and Drug Administration. (FDA).

Women who are pregnant should not take Yaz or similar drugs. It can cause birth defects.

Women should not take Yaz if they have:
• Any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer; or a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills.
• Uncontrolled high blood pressure, migraine headaches, or a heart valve disorder.
• Adrenal gland disorder
• History of stroke, blood clots, or circulation problems of diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease
• Unusual vaginal bleeding

Yaz Side Effects
Seek emergency medical help if you experience the following side effects:
• Difficulty breathing
• Heart attacks
• Embolisms
• Gallbladder pain or disease
• Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
• Hives

Stop taking Yasmin, and tell your doctor if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
• Unexpected numbness or weakness, confusion, rear eye pain, vision difficulties, speech impairment, or issues with balance
• Change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches
• Chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
• Stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
• A breast lump; or symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes)

Side effects of less severity include:
• Changes in weight or appetite, swelling of your hands or feet
• Freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, or loss of scalp hair
• Breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
• Vaginal itching or discharge
• Changes in menstrual period
• Problems with contact lenses

There are many Yaz attorneys in the United States handling Yaz lawsuits and suits for other drospirenone containing birth control medications that have contributed to injuries such as heart attacks, embolisms and gallbladder disease.

If you or someone you care about suffered an injury from taking Yaz or a similar medicine you may be entitled to money compensation for items such as: other medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and other things. Contact a Shrader & Associates, L.L.P. Our pharmaceutical product liability attorney is here to help you.


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