Yaz also known as drospirenone is a combined oral contraceptive first approved in the U.S. in 2006. It was designated to prevent pregnancy and to treat moderate acne and premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women who were using it as their birth control method. However the manufacturing company released a TV commercial in 2007 suggesting that the drug would be efficient against all premenstrual syndromes like irritability, moodiness, headaches, fatigue, bloating and muscle aches and all types of acne. The result was a rapidly increasing number of sells although the commercial was false.
The act of recommending a product for purposes it has not been approved for falls under the incidence of product liability laws. For example if a women starts using Yaz against muscle aches in the premenstrual period, but she continues to experience the problem, as the drug is not actually efficient for that purpose, she has the right to file a product liability lawsuit. That is exactly what happened in 2007 when the FDA and the Attorneys General of 27 states filled a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of Yaz. The company agreed to withdraw the false commercial and to invest a considerable amount of money in creating new commercials in which they clarified the critical aspects.
Despite the lawsuit the product’s popularity continued to rise and it became the best sold oral contraceptive for the years 2008 and 2009. Unfortunately as tens of millions of women were using it worldwide, another worrying aspect came to light: the side effects of Yaz turned out to be more severe and more frequent than initially believed.
Yaz like all other prescription drugs has a series of side effects, both mild and severe. Among mild side effects we can find headaches, nausea, vomiting, menstrual irregularities, weight gain, increased appetite, irritability and other emotional problems. Most of these conditions are common side effects for all birth control pills. However the reported severe injuries were of different kind. The causes of permanent disabilities or even wrongful deaths were stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and kidney failure.
The first three conditions occurred due to excessive blood clotting. Yaz being a combined oral contraceptive, meaning it is realized as a combination of two hormones estrogen and progesterone, has the capacity of causing excessive clotting especially in women older than 35 or those who are heavy smokers. When the condition appears, blood clots are formed inside arteries or veins. The patient can suffer deep vein thrombosis, but the situation will only become really dangerous when the clots start detaching from their original position. If such clots enter the blood stream they can block arteries all over the body. For example if a coronary artery is blocked, the heart muscles will no longer receive enough oxygen and will begin dying. The result will be a heart attack. In case arteries are blocked in the brain or in the lungs, patients will suffer stroke or pulmonary embolism. All combined oral contraceptives have the capacity of developing blood clots but it seems like this risk is higher among women taking Yaz.
The physical and emotional side effects women suffered all over the world can easily become the basis of Yaz lawsuits. What all affected patients should do is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss their particular case. After an initial case evaluation an attorney will be able to tell whether there is a valid legal claim and whether women should file an independent lawsuit or join an existing class action lawsuit. If the injuries are severe an independent lawsuit is often the better choice as it can bring more substantial financial compensation. However if the injuries are moderate a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of many patients with the same problems will bring more credibility in front of a judge, even if the amount of compensation will be smaller for every individual.