Yaz, Yasmin and other newer birth control pills will soon be bearing warning labels that detail the potential risk of blood clot risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday.
The FDA is updating the labels based on recent studies that suggest that birth control pills containing drospirenone, a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, have a slightly increased risk of blood clots, compared with older birth control pills.
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The new labels will note that some studies have found as high as a threefold increase in the risk of blood clots with drospirenone-containing pills, and will include a summary of a previous FDA-funded study on the risk, officials said in a statement.
However, the overall risk of blood clots on either newer or older birth control pills is still very low. In its statement, the FDA put the risk into perspective:
The risk of blood clots is higher when using any birth control pills than not using them, but still remains lower than the risk of developing blood clots in pregnancy and in the postpartum period…For example: If 10,000 women who are not pregnant and do not use birth control pills are followed for one year, between 1 and 5 of these women will develop a blood clot.
Popular birth control brands Beyaz, Safyral, Yasmin and Yaz will all receive the updated labels, but the FDA says women already using them shouldn’t worry and should “continue taking their pills as directed unless told otherwise by their healthcare professional.”
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The FDA does suggest that women educate themselves on symptoms of blood clots, including persistent leg pain, severe chest pain and sudden shortness of breath. If women experience these symptoms, they should call their doctor right away.