Beyaz is a new oral contraceptive that may increase the risk of hyperkalemia. Women who suffer from Beyaz hyperkalemia have high levels of potassium in their bloodstream. Without treatment, the amount of potassium may get so high that it disrupts the electrical signals in the heart. This can cause severe irregular heart rhythm, heart failure, organ damage, disability, or sudden death.
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Beyaz is a birth control pill similar to Yaz, but with an additional folate vitamin supplement. Beyaz contains two hormones (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol). Beyaz also contains a folate dietary supplement. The folate reduces the risk of severe neural tube birth defects, which include spina bifida, anencephaly, iniencephaly, and more. It may seem odd that a birth control pill protects against birth defects, but experts know that about 9 per 100 women who do not use Beyaz correctly will get pregnant.
The link between Beyaz and hyperkalemia likely is due to the effect of hormones in Beyaz on the body’s natural system for keeping potassium levels in check. However, when you used Beyaz, you may not have known about the risk of Beyaz hyperkalemia. In fact, when Bayer advertised its “fourth generation” line of birth control pills, the ads failed to include any risk information at all.
What is Hyperkalemia?
Hyperkalemia occurs when there is too much potassium in the bloodstream. A healthy metabolism normally keeps potassium in a strict balance — 2% in the blood, and 98% inside cells. The hormones in Beyaz may change this balance, leading to life-threatening complications.
Potassium is an essential nutrient that the body needs to maintain a balance of electrolytes and fluids. It is incorporated in nerve and muscle cells. The body absorbs potassium from many types of food, including bananas, avocados, pistachio nuts, and more.
The most serious side effect of Beyaz hyperkalemia is the risk that too much potassium will interfere with a person’s heart muscle, heart electrical activity, or heart rhythm. Hyperkalemia can disrupt the normal electrical activity in the heart, causing a severe irregular heartbeat. A malfunctioning heart may be unable to pump blood into the body. Without blood, organ systems, tissues, and muscles become seriously damaged or permanently destroyed.
Signs & Symptoms of Beyaz Hyperkalemia
Beyaz hyperkalemia is life-threatening, but the initial symptoms may be benign or non-existent. Many women who suffer this Beyaz side effect don’t immediately realize they are in danger. Even a doctor may fail to diagnose Beyaz hyperkalemia immediately, because hyperkalemia symptoms resemble symptoms of other diseases.
Symptoms of Beyaz hyperkalemia include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Feeling ill, looking ill
- Abnormal heart rhythm — may be slow, weak, or irregular
- Sudden collapse
- Changes in consciousness — faintness, weakness, dizziness, etc.
- Slow or slowing heart rhythm
- Having trouble breathing
- Tingling, numbness, abnormal sensations
Treatment and Prognosis
Early treatment of Beyaz hyperkalemia is essential. The risk that hyperkalemia will cause irregular heart rhythm increases as the amount of potassium increases. Treatment typically involves several methods to eliminate potassium from the person’s bloodstream. One strategy is to use insulin, a hormone that causes cells to start absorbing nutrients from the bloodstream. Another strategy involves using calcium or bicarbonate, which can help the body eliminate excess potassium by having the gastrointestinal system absorb more nutrients.
During treatment, the patient will probably be monitored using an electrocardiogram (ECG), which keeps track of the electrical activity in a patient’s heart. If the heart shows signs of distress (irregularity, slowing down, etc.), the machine alerts a physician. This reduces the risk that Beyaz hyperkalemia will cause severe complications.
Do I have a Beyaz Lawsuit?
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