It is difficult for consumers to keep up with the new drugs that are constantly being introduced on the market, each one promising consumers a number of medical benefits. Unfortunately, many of these medications have been associated with dangerous side effects, many of which consumers aren’t even aware of. One of the most widely used forms of medication are birth control pills, many of which have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, it is estimated that one hundred million women currently use oral contraceptives worldwide. Recent studies, however, have revealed a significant connection between the use of some oral contraceptives, particularly Ocella, and an increased risk of serious health conditions like gallbladder disease.
The gallbladder is a small sac located on the underside of the liver, and is responsible for storing and concentrating bile that is secreted from the liver. Once the bile is concentrated, the gallbladder pushes the substance through the bile duct and into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of fats and fatty acids. If the gallbladder ceases to function properly, as is the case in gallbladder disease, the body will be unable to digest certain foods adequately, resulting in major complications. Gallbladder disease typically presents in two forms: inflammation of the gallbladder and the formation of gallstones. Gallstones can block the duct leading from the gallbladder to the small intestine and if blockage is prolonged, the consequences can be life-threatening, possibly requiring total removal of the organ. Common symptoms of gallbladder disease include pain in the upper-right side of the abdomen, pain following meals, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and intolerance of fatty foods. Research shows that women are traditionally twice as likely to develop gallbladder disease than men, so any factor that increases the risk of gallbladder disease in all individuals is compounded for women. Recent studies have indicated that oral contraceptives like Ocella significantly increase the risk of gallbladder disease, putting women who take birth control pills in great danger.
The main cause of concern regarding Ocella is the harmful nature of one of the drug’s active ingredients. Ocella and its brand-name counterparts, Yaz and Yasmin, are known as “fourth generation” combination birth control pills, meaning they contain both estrogen and a new type of synthetic progestin, called drospirenone. According to the FDA, drospirenone, a diuretic, can lead to serious heart and health problems, including heart attack, stroke and the abnormal development of blood clots. In addition, studies have shown that long-term use of a diuretic like drospirenone may lead to serious gallbladder problems, possibly requiring the removal of the gallbladder. Oral contraceptives are believed to reduce activity within the gallbladder, as well as increase the level of cholesterol in the bile secreted from the liver. Elevated levels of cholesterol in the gallbladder can cause it to crystallize into gallstones. If the stones are large enough, they can cause blockage in the bile ducts, resulting in serious complications. Reduced activity within the gallbladder can also affect the organ’s ability to push bile through the bile duct into the small intestine. If concentrated bile remains in the gallbladder, it can lead to inflammation of the gallbladder and possibly infection.
Victims of gallbladder disease resulting from use of the oral contraceptive, Ocella, are not at fault. Some drug manufacturing companies conceal the harmful side effects of their medications, putting consumers at serious risk of developing potentially fatal diseases and disorders. Without accurate drug information, consumers are unable to make educated decisions regarding the medications they take on a daily basis. The negligent and misleading acts of pharmaceutical companies put consumers at risk every day, and they should be held accountable for their actions. The only way to fight for your right as a consumer and stand up to big drug companies is to contact an Ocella attorney to file a defective drug lawsuit. A number of lawsuits are pending against the drug’s manufacturing company and hundreds of Ocella injury cases are currently being investigated across the country. If you or a loved one has suffered from gallbladder disease and you believe Ocella to be the cause, an experienced Ocella lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve.