One of the most painful Gianvi side effects is gallbladder disease, which may include gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder, and more. Several studies have found that women who take a birth control pill containing estrogen, such as Gianvi, are more likely to develop gallstones or need surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Gianvi (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) is one of the most popular oral birth control pills available in the United States. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 to prevent pregnancy, reduce mild acne, and treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Gianvi is the generic version of Yaz, a contraceptive created by Bayer. Both Gianvi and Yaz are “fourth generation” birth control pills, so-called because they contain a drospirenone. Drospirenone is a new type of synthetic progestin. Gianvi also contains synthetic estrogen, which has been linked to an increased risk of gallbladder problems.
There are two active medications in Gianvi:
- Drospirenone, 0.3 milligrams: The “fourth generation” of synthetic progestin, a female reproductive hormone. This ingredient has recently been found to increase a woman’s risk of blood clots by 75%, compared to older generations of synthetic progestin.
- Ethinyl estradiol, 0.02 milligrams: This substance was developed in the 1940s, and has a long history of relatively safe use. Gallbladder side effects were not noticed until estrogen began being in hormonal supplements and in high doses in oral contraceptives.
Gianvi and Gallbladder Disease
Research has found that four times more women than men suffer from gallbladder disease. One of the most common surgeries performed on women is gallbladder removal surgery.
The reason for this trend is due to synthetic estrogen, an ingredient commonly found in birth control pills and hormonal contraceptives. Studies have found that women who consume synthetic estrogen have a significantly higher risk of needing gallbladder surgery.
Fortunately, some new studies have suggested that the risk is going down. Fewer women take a hormonal supplement, and new birth control pills contain lower levels of synthetic hormones than older types. However, Gianvi still carries a risk of gallbladder side effects. The Warnings and Precautions safety labeling on Gianvi still carries a warning of this side effect, because even in smaller amounts, synthetic estrogen may still increase the risk of this side effect.
What is Gallbladder Disease?
Gallbladder disease affects a digestive organ called the gallbladder, which is a pear-shaped organ below the liver. The liver produces a substance called bile, which it excretes into the gallbladder. The primary function of the gallbladder is to hold bile, and remove excess water, which concentrates bile. When a person eats fatty foods, the gallbladder excretes bile into the intestines. The intestines use bile to help break down fats, because fats are not water-soluble.
Most people are familiar with the most common type of gallbladder disease: gallstones, which may be as tiny as a grain of sand or as large as a golfball. Though no one knows exactly how these stones form, they are relatively common. Some studies have estimated that around 10-20% of the U.S. population over 40 has a gallstone, but most people suffer no symptoms or problems. Gallstones cause problems when they become trapped in the duct between the gallbladder and the intestines, blocking the outflow tract. The gallbladder will constrict and become inflamed in an attempt to pass the gallstone, which can be extremely painful.
Another common gallbladder disease occurs when the gallbladder becomes inflamed, called “cholecystitis.” This can come on suddenly, or it can be a chronic condition that is difficult to treat. Many people who suffer chronic gallbladder problems decide to have gallbladder removal surgery. Though the gallbladder aids in digestion of fats, removing it is not life-threatening.
Types of Gallbladder Disease:
- Inflammation of the gallbladder (can be chronic or acute)
- Gallstones in the common bile duct, between the gallbladder and the intestines
- Infection of the bile ducts
- Obstruction of the intestines by a gallstone
Signs & Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
When a person is suffering an acute gallbladder attack, the most notable symptom will be pain and tenderness in the upper-right part of the abdomen. This is where the gallbladder is located. A person may first notice this pain after eating a fatty meal.
Common gallbladder symptoms include:
- Pain, mostly on the upper-right part of the abdomen
- Pain following meals
- Intolerance of fatty foods
- Loss of appetite
Gianvi Side Effects
Other Gianvi side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Blood Clots
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Cerebrovascular Accidents (CVA)
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart Attack
- Myocardial Infarction
- Gallbladder injury