Woman sues birth control product Yaz

Heather Gillespie of Louisiana has filed the latest lawsuit against the birth control product Yaz. Ms. Gillespie states she experienced numerous pulmonary emboli as a result of taking Yaz.

Pulmonary emboli happen when a blood clot becomes wedged close to the lung. This in turn blocks the artery which supplies blood to the lung and can cause severe or fatal complications. Indications of pulmonary embolism include heart palpitations, chest pain, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and unusually low blood pressure.

Yaz is a birth control pill that is manufactured and marketed by Bayer Corp., and the lawsuit is filed against them, as well as against Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp, Bayer Healthcare, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Berlex Laboratories, Berlex, and Bayer Healthcare AG. Berlex initially produced the birth control pill and was later bought out by Bayer.

The lawsuit alleges Ms. Gillespie took Yaz for less than a year and during this time suffered from numerous pulmonary blood clots which broke free and caused injury and damage to her body. This suit adds to the more than 1,100 other suits that have been filed in the U.S. against the makers of both Yaz and Yasmin. Both of these birth control pills contain drospirenone, which is the substance that is allegedly causing problems in women. Drospirenone, a fourth generation progestin, is only found in Yaz and Yasmin, as well as their generic counterparts.

In addition to pulmonary emboli, drospirenone is being blamed for deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, gallbladder disease, and stroke.

According to the Gillespie lawsuit filed in the New Orleans U.S. District Court, she is seeking undisclosed compensation for pain, mental anguish, suffering, physical disfigurement and impairment, medical expenses, court costs, and financial and earnings losses.

Federal lawsuits against Yaz and Yasmin are being combined into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The MDL is set for pretrial litigation in the Southern District of Illinois. State lawsuits against Yaz and Yasmin are being centralized in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The lawsuits are based on the premise that the makers of Yaz and Yasmin inadequately warned that otherwise healthy young women could face an increased risk of serious health problems caused by Yasmin side effects.