Product News and Recalls

Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Other Blood Clots

According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s a wide range of severity when it comes to blood clots.

They can actually be beneficial when they occur in response to an injury or a cut, and prevent bleeding. On the opposite extreme are the potentially fatal clots that show up in locations such as the lungs and the brain.

Superficial phlebitis occurs when blood clots form inside small veins near the surface of the skin. True to its name, the condition isn’t generally serious – rarely causing complications and requiring minimal treatment. Symptoms include localized redness, pain and swelling.

More serious is deep vein thrombosis, characterized by blood clots forming inside larger, deeper veins. That condition usually occurs in the leg. It can become deadly if a blood clot breaks away and travels to the lungs.

Blood clots that occur in the heart, usually because of an irregular heat rhythm, can be dangerous as well. They can block the flow of blood through the arteries of the heart, causing a heart attack. Blood clots in the heart can also travel to the brain and cause a stroke, as can clots in the carotid arteries of the neck.

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as factors and conditions that can cause blood clots, as well as serious conditions associated with blood clots once they form and travel to other parts of the body:

  • Arteriosclerosis/atherosclerosis
  • Buerger’s disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) history
  • Essential thrombocythemia
  • Factor V Leiden
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Heart arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Medications, such as oral contraceptives, hormone therapy drugs, tamoxifen
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged sitting or bed rest
  • Pulmonary embolism history
  • Stroke history
  • Surgery
  • Thrombocytosis
  • Thrombophlebitis

Many of the above risk factors are difficult to control or modify because they relate to past conditions or genetic factors. Medications, however, are often modifiable, either by using a drug that has a better risk profile, or by reducing the dose of an existing drug. For example, while most oral contraceptives increase the risk of blood clots, different brands have different risks. Several studies show that Beyaz, Yaz, Yasmin, Ocella, and other birth control pills containing the compound drospirenone are more likely to cause blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and stroke than other birth control drugs. Talk to your doctor, of course, before making changes to your medications.

If you experienced a blood clot while on Beyaz, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.