As a Corpus Christi and Brownsville Ocella and Yaz lawyer, I have been following recent developments with this medication. Yaz and Yasmin are birth control pills which are made by Bayer Healthcare. Ocella, the generic brand, is distributed and marketed by Barr Laboratories, Inc. Both Yasmin and Yaz contain drospirenone, which will cause increases in blood potassium levels. The United States Food & Drug Administration has warned Bayer that these higher serum potassium levels can be dangerous. Too much serum potassium can cause a person to have "hyperkalemia." Hyperkalemia may heart rhythm disturbances, including pauses, extrasystolies, and bradycardia. If left untreated, hyperkalemia can be fatal and lead to strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots if it is not treated. As such, some of the side effects of drospirenone and the higher potassium levels include abnormal heartbeat, strokes, blood clots (including DVT (deep vein thrombosis), intracardiac thrombus, as well as pulmonary emboli), abnormal heartbeat, and death.
Between the years of 2004 and 2008, there were over 50 deaths in users of Yaz and Yasmin which were reported to the FDA. Many of these deaths were a result of heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrhythmia, intracardiac thrombus (blood clots in a person’s heart), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in a person’s lungs), and gallbladder disease. Women who have these events often have been found to have elevated potassium levels.
The United States FDA has warned the makers of Yaz and Yasmin on at least 4 occasions for improper manufacturing and marketing methods, beginning in 2003 and as recently as 2009. Many lawsuits against Bayer, the manufacturers of Yaz have been filed To date, Yasmin, Yaz and Ocella have not yet been recalled by the manufacturers or the FDA.