A Midwestern family is mourning the death of a beloved daughter after she suffered an aneurysm while driving near Detroit. The 25-year-old’s death was caused by her birth control, according to family members, and they plan to file a products liability suit in connection with the case.
The young woman, who was a graduate student, had been taking the birth control Yaz, which was her only prescription medication. After the young woman’s sudden and tragic death, her mother began to research side effects of the prescribed medicine, and she discovered that blood clots were included on the list.
Although physicians say they cannot conclusively identify the cause of the aneurysm, circumstantial evidence exists to support the woman’s claim. The manufacturers of Yaz, Bayer Healthcare, had conducted studies that showed that the drug carries higher-than-normal risk of blood clots, as compared to other hormonal birth control methods.
Research studies indicate that the risk of blood clots for Yaz is about three times as high as other birth control. All hormonal birth control carries with it a risk of blood clots, generally with four to six clotting events per 10,000 patients.
Reports from Bayer Healthcare indicate that the company currently is being sued by about 11,000 people because of Yaz. Some women have perished because of their use of the drug, and others have suffered extreme ill health effects.
Women who have been prescribed the medication should not necessarily stop taking it, even though the risk of clotting is greater, according to physicians. For some patients, the benefits of the medication greatly outweigh the risks. Women should consult their physicians with their concerns about their prescriptions.
The young woman’s family says that even though the clotting problem may be rare among birth control users, it did not seem rare to them. They want to speak out to prevent other women from being harmed by the drug’s side effects.
Recently, Bayer has changed its label to include a statement about the risk of severe cardiovascular side effects.
Source: News Channel 5, “Mom warns birth control killed her daughter,” Kim Russell, May 22, 2012