A number of studies have linked Ocella, an oral contraceptive drug manufactured by Barr Laboratories, to an increased risk of stroke. Ocella was approved by the FDA in 2008 to prevent pregnancy and has since been used for off-label purposes including moderate acne treatment and treatment of the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Unfortunately the harmful side effects associated with Ocella significantly outweigh the possible benefits of the drug, making this medication extremely harmful to the well-being of potential consumers. Because consumers rely heavily on the expertise of drug manufacturing companies and the FDA to determine what drugs are effective and safe to take, the communication of accurate drug information to the public is essential. However, many drug manufacturing companies intentionally conceal the harmful side effects associated with some medications, in order to ensure FDA approval. This not only defeats the purpose of the extensive testing new drugs are required to pass, but also puts consumers directly at risk for developing serious health issues, including stroke, in the case of Ocella.
Strokes are most often caused a blood clot which travels through the bloodstream and blocks blood flow to the brain. Without the necessary supply of oxygen-rich blood, brain cells are damaged, and if the restriction of blood flow is prolonged, the cells will begin to die. The most common symptoms of a stroke include:
Some stroke victims also experience cerebral swelling, increased intracranial pressure, intracranial hemorrhage, and seizures. The brain is an integral component of the body’s ability to function, and damage or death of brain cells can result in severe complications, including speech problems, permanent paralysis and loss of mental and physical function.
Ocella is classified as a “fourth generation” combination birth control pill, which means that it contains both estrogen and a new type of synthetic progestin called drospirenone. According to the FDA, drospirenone is extremely dangerous and may be responsible for serious health and heart problems, including heart attack, blood clots and stroke. Although clotting is a normal and necessary quality of our blood, the abnormal development of blood clots resulting from Ocella use is cause for significant concern. Blood clots that form in the deep veins of the body, typically in the legs, can break loose and travel through the bloodstream to different parts of the body, blocking blood flow and causing irreparable damage to vital organs. A blood clot that lodges itself in a coronary artery can cause a heart attack, a clot that travels to the lungs can result in a pulmonary embolism, and a clot that restricts the brain’s bloody supply can cause a stroke. In 1999, the British Medical Journal published an article indicating that exposure to drospirenone can increase an individual’s risk of developing blood clots by 6.3 times. Since blood clots are one of the most common causes of stroke, drugs that contain drospirenone, namely Ocella, are extremely likely to cause significant harm.
A number of Ocella lawsuits are pending against the drug’s manufacturing company and hundreds of other Ocella injury cases are currently being investigated across the country. These lawsuits serve several purposes: to help victims of Ocella-related injuries collect the compensation they are entitled to, to bring attention to the need for the introduction of safer drugs on the market, and to support more stringent FDA regulations for the harmful drugs currently on the market. Victims of injuries resulting from the use of Ocella are not at fault and the only way for consumers to stand up for their rights is to contact an Ocella attorney and file a defective drug lawsuit. If you or a loved one has suffered from a stroke and you believe Ocella to be the cause, an Ocella lawyer can help you develop a successful defective drug case.