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More Blood Clots with Yaz Hormone

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A study of oral contraceptives has found that those made with drospirenone – the type of progestin used in Yaz – are more likely to be associated with a dangerous type of blood clot called venous thrombosis, which is one of the most serious Yaz side effects.  The study is published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The BMJ study was conducted  by researchers at the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.  It compared 1,524 patients on the pill and 1,760 who were not.   There was a five fold increase in the number of women who suffered a dangerous type of blood clot called venous thrombosis in women taking the pill compared to those who weren’t.  Among women who used oral contraceptives that contained drospirenone, there was a  6.3-fold increase in venous thrombosis.

The researchers found that low-estrogen oral contraceptives made with a type of progestin called levonorgestrel carried the lowest risk of blood clots.

Drospirenone is known to carry some health risks not seen with other forms of progestin. According to the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA),drospirenone can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition caused by excessive amounts of potassium in the blood, in high risk patients.   This condition may result in potentially serious heart and health problem, and is especially dangerous for people who are obese, or who have diabetes or high blood pressure.

Since early 2004, the FDA has received over 50 reports of deaths in women who were taking Yaz and other drospirenone-containing contraceptives. Many of the reported deaths involved elevated potassium levels.

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