Product News and Recalls

Canadian health agency issues Yasmin warning

Canadian regulatory agency Health Canada has issued a warning that the Yasmin line of birth control pills carries up to three times the risk of blood clots compared to other oral contraceptives, according to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report.

Health Canada came to that conclusion after a safety review of contraceptives containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone, which include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The agency put out a news release that stated: “Overall, the body of current evidence suggests that the risk of blood clots is 1.5 to 3 times higher with oral contraceptives that contain drospirenone relative to those that contain levonorgestrel, a different hormone.”

Drug labels in Canada have been updated to include information on the studies. The labels also recommend that when health professionals prescribe an oral contraceptive, they consider the risks and benefits of drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives for a specific patient in light of her risk for developing blood clots, and relative to the risks and benefits of other birth control pills on the market.

In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it was changing the labels of birth control pills containing drospirenone, adding information to warn users of the numerous studies that found an increased risk of blood clots.

Some public health watchdogs have questioned whether the FDA’s warnings go far enough.

Those new warnings mention the results of “conflicting” studies, most of which concluded that the pills with drospirenone cause an increase in the number of potentially fatal blood clots. But critics say it may not be strictly accurate to present the research results as conflicting, since only two studies found no connection between the pills and increased blood clots, and both of those studies were funded by the pills’ manufacturer.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

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