For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Yaz Stroke Lawsuit Claims Bayer Hid Side Effects from Consumers

A Texas resident has filed a Yaz stroke lawsuit in federal court in New Jersey alleging Bayer Pharmaceutical’s birth control pills, Yaz and Yasmin, are responsible for the stroke she suffered in November 2011. Denise Jackson filed the claim in November 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging more than $350,000 worth of damages due to Yaz and Yasmin side effects.

The complaint claims Ms. Jackson suffered various injuries, serious physical pain and suffering, and medical, hospital and surgical expenses. The plaintiff claims Yaz and Yasmin side effects, including injuries and deaths, are documented in hundreds of reports submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Yaz stroke lawsuit alleges new type of progestin hazardous to users

The complaint describes Yaz and Yasmin as birth control pills manufactured and marketed by Bayer, that are combination oral contraceptives (COC’s) containing estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin components. Together, these steroidal components suppress ovulation, fertilization and implantation to prevent pregnancy.

Yasmin and Yaz are different from other COC’s in that they contain drospirenone, a unique progestin, according to the complaint. It was never before marketed in the country prior to its use in Yasmin, which was approved by the FDA in 2001 (Yaz was approved in 2006).

Shortly after the introduction of COC’s in the 1960’s, the complaint states that doctors and researchers found those using birth control pills ran a higher risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes compared to women not using the pills.  Birth control pills were reformulated to reduce the amounts of estrogen, reducing the risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

New “second generation” progestins were developed and “third generation” progestins were developed in the 1990’s. According to the complaint, these “third generation” progestins  include gestodene and desogestrel.

Yasmin and Yaz contain drospirenone, a new, “fourth generation” progestin that no other birth control pill contains, the complaint alleges. It states research data supporting its safe use is unavailable.  The complaint claims studies done prior to its approval show that as a diuretic, drospirenone can increase potassium levels in the blood, which can lead to hyperkalemia (elevated blood potassium levels).

The Yaz lawsuit claims that hyperkalemia can cause potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbances. If hyperkalemia disrupts normal heart rhythms, blood flow through the heart can be slowed, causing blood clots to form. These clots may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Drospirenone may also cause gallbladder disease and kidney stone formation, according to the allegations, often requiring surgical treatment.

Bayer accused of hiding dangers of drug from consumers

The plaintiff alleges multiple medical studies, and complaints to the FDA, establish the dangers of these drugs. The defendants are accused of ignoring this evidence, failing to warn consumers and health professionals, and through their marketing and advertising campaigns, have urged women to use Yasmin and Yaz instead of safer alternatives.

The Yaz stroke lawsuit accuses Bayer of fraudulent concealment, strict liability, breach of implied and express warranties, negligently failing to warn, negligence, fraud and engaging in deceptive trade practices.

  1. Bloomberg News, Bayer’s Yasmin Lawsuit Settlements Rise to $402.6 Million,

  2. Bloomberg News, Bayer May Have Pitched Birth-Control Pill for Unapproved Use,