While all birth control pills have side effects, Yaz and its sister pill, Yasmin (which contains less estrogen) seems to be taking the cake for increasing lawsuits for its effect on women.
Courthouse News reports that Bayer faces 125 lawsuits against the Yasmin birth control pill. According to a recent complaint by Alishia Dianne Seagraves, "Yasmin and Yaz create 'unique and dangerous risks' for women because they contain a diuretic that has never been marketed in the U.S. and is unlike other progestins."
The complaint also states that the FDA warned Bayer multiple times about falsely portraying Yasmin/Yaz in commercials, downplaying how serious the risks were of the product.
Still, Bayer sponsored a study that reported exactly the opposite of what these lawsuits are claiming: that cardiovascular risks for women taking Yaz or Yasmin are the same as those who are taking other birth control pills. They also reported that pills with drospirenone (a progestin used in Bayer's oral contraceptives) are not more or less at risk for cardiovascular problems than women who took pills with another progestin, levonorgestrel. Other studies dispute this, finding that women are at a higher risk for blood clots when taking drospirenone.
Is Yaz and Yasmin safe for women to use? This is the ultimate question. And it makes one weary to read about the increasing number of lawsuits piling up against Bayer from women who have faced extreme side effects as a result of taking either pill. One point it does raise is that it's imperative for companies to accurately discuss the side effects and risks of taking a particular product - misleading advertising that has portray Yaz as some kind of miracle drug with few side effects has surely been a reason for the pile up in lawsuits.
It's difficult to know exactly how Yaz or Yasmin will affect each individual woman.