Bayer HealthCare invites women visiting its Web site for Yaz to “Go Beyond Birth Control.” Those who accept this invitation are promised relief from premenstrual dysphoric disorder in addition to near-perfect prevention of unintended pregnancies. Increasingly, it is becoming obvious that what Yaz delivers beyond birth control is greater risk for severe and potentially fatal cardiovascular problems.
Blood clots, and resulting heart attacks and strokes, are a long-recognized–and quite rare–potential side effect from hormonal contraceptives. The combination of the female hormone ethinyl etradiol and the male hormone drospirenone in Yaz and its stronger predecessor Yasmin, however, has proven especially risky in this regard. Women who have taken Yaz have reported higher than normal rates of gallbladder disease and worsened liver or kidney function.
A growing number of women who suffered health problems after taking Yaz have filed suit against Bayer for promoting a dangerous drug. At least 21 of these plaintiffs live in and around Washington, D.C., and the drugmaker could ultimately face thousands of claims.