FDA was recently made aware of two newly published studies that evaluated the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in women who use birth control pills that contain drospirenone. A VTE is a blood clot that typically forms in the veins.
The two studies examined whether there is an increased risk of blood clots in women taking birth control pills containing the progestin drospirenone when compared to similar women taking birth control pills containing a different progestin called levonorgestrel. (Both drospirenone and levonorgestrel are synthetic progestins used in birth control.)
According to the studies, there is a greater risk of VTE in connection with birth control pills that contain drospirenone. This risk is 2 to 3 times greater than the risk of VTE associated with using levonorgestrel-containing pills. Other studies have not reported an increase in risk. The FDA is now comparing and evaluating these results to other studies who have not reported an increased risk.
What is Drospirenone? Drospirenone is a type of female sex hormone called progestin. Birth control pills usually contain two types of hormones, progestin and estrogen. These pills prevent the release of the eggs from the ovaries and change the cervical mucus and lining of the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy. Possible brand names of drospirenon include Yaz, Yasmin, Sayfyral, and Beyaz.
What should you do if you are taking pills that contain Drospirenone?
You should consult with your healthcare professional before you stop taking the birth control pills. If you develop any type of symptoms including blood clots, severe chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, or leg pain, contact your healthcare professional immediately.