Promises of no more cramps, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or acne helped Yaz quickly gain popularity when the birth control pill was first introduced. Drug manufacturer Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals saw its sales leap to $2 million when it released Yaz in 2006.
But, the miracle drug may have been better labeled as a dangerous, defective drug. It was not without serious, even deadly, side effects, many of which were unknown to women switching over from other birth control medications.
Among the dangers of YAZ is an increased risk of developing blood clots. The blood clots can form in a woman's legs and cause pain and discomfort. They can also travel to the heart, lungs and brain, cause a stroke, breathing problems and even death.
All birth control pills carry some risk of developing blood clots, but independent studies revealed that the risk of serious or fatal blood clots increased two to three times for those taking Yaz than for other birth control pills.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came down hard on Bayer and the promises of Yaz as a wonder drug in 2008. It said the drug manufacturer's claim that Yaz improved acne was unsubstantiated and that it was ineffective against common PMS. Bayer agreed to spend $20 million on corrective advertising, noting that Yaz is not an effective treatment for mild acne and and limiting Yaz's PMS benefits to only those who suffer from severe PMS - called PMDD (premenstrual dysphonic disorder).
Millions of women had already switched to Yaz before evidence of it being a dangerous, defective drug was shared with the public. One woman, Carissa Ubersox, had her life completely changed by Yaz.
She switched to Yaz just months before her wedding, based on the advertised benefits of the new wonder birth control pill. Blood clots former in her legs that travelled to her lungs and left her in a coma for weeks; when she awoke, she was blind. Before Yaz, she was just out of college and working her dream job as a pediatric nurse. Now, Ubersox's life is no longer what she worked so hard for; Yaz disrupted, destroyed or at least changed, her life.
Source: ABC News, "New Studies Find Yaz More Risky Than Other Leading Birth Control Pills: ABC News Investigates," October 11, 2011