Birth Control Pills Containing Drospirenone Under Review

Drospirnone under FDA safety review

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Two recently published studies in Britain indicate a possible increase in blood clots from taking birth control pills containing drospirenone. Because of these recent studies, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a drug safety review.

Birth control pills usually contain either progestin or estrogen, both of which prevent ovulation and pregnancy. Hormone Replacement therapy containing progestin was also linked to increasing breast cancer risk in a study released in April 2011.

"Contact your doctor if you are on a pill containing drospirenone."

Drospirenone is a synthetic progestin. Brand names of drospirenone-containing products include Yaz (generics Gianvi and Loryna), Yasmin (generics Ocella, Syeda, and Zarah), Beyaz, and Safyral.

All birth control pills carry a slight blood clot risk. Birth control pills containing drospirenone may increase risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). According to recent studies, those containing drospirenone increase the risk more than the ones containing progestin levonorgestrel.

The FDA released a statement saying that the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is still very small for women taking birth control pills.However, if the clot breaks loose it can be carried through the bloodstream and be placed in the lung, which can potentially lead to life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

The FDA does not recommend to stop taking your birth control pill if it contains drospirenone without first talking to your healthcare professional. Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you develop any symptoms of blood clots, including persistent leg pain, severe chest pain, or sudden shortness of breath.

If you smoke and are over 35 years of age, you should not take combination oral contraceptives because they increase the risk that you could experience serious cardiovascular events, including blood clots.

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Review Date: 
June 1, 2011
Last Updated:
June 6, 2011