Birth Control and Heart Attack, Stroke
Written by Faith Anderson on June 15, 2012
Two- to Three-Times Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Researchers examined data on more than 1.6 million women between the ages of 15 and 49, and found that women who used birth control pills containing both estrogen and progestins were up to twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack, compared to women who did not use hormone-based birth control. The odds were even higher (up to three times as high, in fact) for women who used NuvaRing, in which the estrogen and progestin are delivered through a small plastic ring inserted into the vagina once a month, or women who used Ortho Evra, in which the hormones are delivered through a patch applied to the skin monthly.
Birth Control Products and Blood Clot Side Effects
Researchers involved in the study noted that the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke from birth control products was still low, but the report adds to a growing body of research that has raised serious concerns about the risk of blood clots associated with newer forms of birth control. In October 2011, the FDA issued a study concerning the blood clot risk associated with several newer forms of birth control, including Ortho Evra and NuvaRing, as well as drospirenone-containing birth control pills like Yaz and Yasmin. According to the report, the agency found that the use of NuvaRing and Ortho Evra both appeared to increase the risk of venous thrombosis by about 55% over levonorgestrel.
Birth Control Lawsuits Filed for Side Effects
Thousands of women across the United States have filed NuvaRing lawsuits, claiming that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers or their doctors of the health risks associated with the birth control product. Several Ortho Evra lawsuits were settled a few years ago, all of which involved claims that the drug maker failed to adequately warn patients about the level of hormones delivered by the patch. Over 10,000 women have filed a Yaz or Yasmin lawsuit against Bayer in recent years, claiming that they suffered injuries as a result of the drug company’s failure to adequately warn about the side effects of drospirenone, which has been linked to an increased risk of dangerous blood clots when compared to older birth control pills.