Yaz Deep Vein Thrombosis Case Added to MDL
The number of plaintiffs in the Yaz MDL nears 12,000 with the addition of yet another case filed against Bayer. On June 14, 2012, Connie Highfill, a resident of Jackson County, Missouri, filed a 30-page complaint setting forth her claims against the pharmaceutical giant. Her complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the venue for the MDL.
Missouri woman’s Yaz lawsuit seeks damages
According to her complaint, Highfill first began using Yaz (or its equivalents Yasmin, and Ocella) in October of 2003. In June of 2007, she reportedly suffered a Yaz deep vein thrombosis (Yaz DVT), a known side effect of the drug. She alleges that the DVT caused her to suffer significant permanent injury. She is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and has requested a jury trial.
Drug may cause dangerous spike in potassium levels
Yaz is a combination oral contraceptive (COC) that contains both an estrogen component and a progestin component. Unlike other COCs, Yaz contains a synthetic progestin known as drospirenone. The first drospirenone-containing contraceptive approved by the FDA was Yasmin, in 2001. Yaz was approved in 2006. Ocella is the generic version of Yasmin.
Medical evidence suggests that the drospirenone contained in all three products can lead to significant adverse side effects. Though the exact mechanism behind drospirenone’s impact on women’s health is debated, many suspect that it is related to the hormone’s influence on potassium levels. Drospirenone can elevate potassium in the blood to unsafe levels, which may lead to a potentially fatal condition known as hyperkalemia.
Hyperkalemia can disrupt normal heart rhythms, causing the flow of blood through the heart to slow or stutter, allowing blood clots to form. If a blood clot remains in the heart, it can cause a heart attack. If blood clots escape elsewhere into the body, they can travel to the brain and cause a stroke, or enter the lungs and cause a Yaz pulmonary embolism.
Drospirenone can generate blood clots elsewhere in the body as well. Yaz deep vein thrombosis is caused by clots forming in veins in the legs and upper thighs.
Yaz side effects can be fatal
Heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism are all potentially fatal events, and numerous reports of deaths associated with Yaz and Yasmin have been reported to the FDA. In a five-year period, from 2004 to 2008, the FDA received over 50 reports of death among users of Yasmin and Yaz. Many of the deaths occurred in young women, one of whom was only 17 years old.