Health Buzz: Newer Birth Control Pills Increase Risk of Blood Clots
By Angela Haupt
Posted: April 22, 2011
US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS / HEALTH:
Newer forms of birth control pills that are made with the hormone drospirenone may increase the risk of serious blood clots, new research suggests.
Women who take drospirenone-containing pills, such as Bayer’s best-selling Yasmin, are two to three times more likely to develop a clot than those using older oral contraceptives that contain the hormone levonorgestrel.
Those findings appear in two studies published today in the British Medical Journal.
Exactly why drospirenone is linked with a greater likelihood of blood clots is unclear, and the researchers said overall risk remains low. In one of the studies, women taking the newer pill had a 2.3 times greater risk of a blood clot—which translates to 30.8 cases per 100,000 women, compared to 12.5 cases per 100,000 among those taking levonorgestrel. “If I have a patient coming in tomorrow starting on birth control, I might not reach for the Yasmin product,” Steven Goldstein, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told HealthDay. “But I definitely would not take anybody off Yasmin who’s been on it six months or a year and is doing well. I would not throw these pills out based on this.”