Women have always known that one of the major but rare side effects of oral contraceptives is blood clots. Women are used to hearing the warning that women over the age of 35 and smokers are at a higher risk for blood clots. What they are not used to hearing is that the type of birth control they are taking may increase their risk. However, according to a safety alert issued recently by the FDA, some contraceptive users may be at a higher risk than others.
The warning was issued for newer birth control pills that contain the hormone drospirenone. This includes Yasmin, Yaz, Loryna, Zarah, and many others. Older birth control pills contain a completely different hormone, levonorgestrel. And, while the risk of blood clots is still present with levonorgestrel contraceptives, the drospirenone brands may create a risk of two to three times more.
While the FDA is issuing a safety warning, they aren’t discouraging women from stopping their drospirenone birth control pills.
The agency is reviewing results of a large study involving more than 800,000 women that it commissioned to study risks associated with general oral contraceptive use and will continue to keep the public informed as the results of the that study become available.
Currently they state that there is not sufficient evidence to cause serious alarm. However, they do suggest that women on drospirenone birth control pills take the time to talk to their doctor about their risks.
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