The drospirenone in Zarah has been linked to a 75% increased risk of blood clots, which can cause a life-threatening heart attack, ischemic stroke, pulmonary embolism, and more. These conditions may result in severe organ damage, organ failure, permanent disability, or death.
Zarah is a once-daily hormonal birth control pill. It is a product of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is one of the largest generic drug companies in the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zarah in September of 2010 for the prevention of pregnancy, reduction of mild acne, and treatment of a rare condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
Zarah contains a combination of two hormonal ingredients:
- 3-mg drospirenone, synthetic progestin
- 0.03-mg ethinyl estradiol, synthetic estrogen
Zarah and Yasmin
Women who used Zarah may have initially used Yasmin. Zarah is the generic version of Yasmin. Both Zarah and Yasmin contain equal amounts of active hormonal ingredients. They have the same dose, intended use, risks, side effects, and safety. The biggest difference is that they are manufactured by different companies, and Zarah is almost always cheaper than Yasmin. If you used Zarah, Yasmin, or both, you may have been forced by your insurance company to switch to Zarah when it became available. Or, you may have decided to switch to Zarah on your own.
Zarah and Drospirenone
Decades ago, researchers determined that the best way to prevent pregnancy using a birth control pill was to combine two female reproductive hormones: estrogen and progestin. A synthetic version of estrogen, known as ethinyl estradiol, has been around since the 1940s. Synthetic versions of progestin come in a variety of forms. Older generations of synthetic progestin included levonorgestrel, norgestrel, norethindrone, and more. Recently, drug companies developed drospirenone, a “fourth generation” synthetic progestin.
All types of progestin increase a woman’s risk of developing a blood clot. With older generations of progestin, the risk was established to be around 4-6 women per 10,000. With drospirenone, the FDA recently warned that the risk was approximately 75% higher — around 10 women per 10,000 taking the medication. Although drospirenone is slightly more risky than older progestins, it is equally effective at preventing pregnancy.
With this information, it’s pretty safe to assume that most women would choose to use the birth control pill with fewer side effects. However, when the first drospirenone-containing birth control pills were sold, tens of millions of women decided to switch. The mass exodus was partly due to a massive $270-million advertising campaign that Bayer used to promote Yaz and Yasmin. The FDA later called these ads “misleading” because the drug company “failed to communicate any risk information.” Though they later ran a $20 million corrective advertising campaign, by that time, thousands of women had suffered side effects.
Serious Side Effects of Zarah
When you used Zarah, you may have been unaware of the risk of severe side effects. Zarah has been linked to a 75% increased risk of developing a blood clot, compared to birth control pills that do not contain drospirenone. Women who have developed a blood clot are at high risk of several life-threatening Zarah side effects. Blood clots typically form in deep veins inside the body, in a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If these blood clots break free, they may become trapped inside a major internal organ, such as the heart, brains, or lungs. A blood clot that gets stuck in a blood vessel stops the supply of blood to the tissues ahead, causing these tissues to suffocate and die. In the worst case scenario, Zarah side effects may include organ damage, multiple organ failures, lifelong disability, or death.
Zarah Side Effects
If you took Zarah and suffered a serious side effect, you likely incurred substantial pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and more. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries if you decide to file a Zarah lawsuit. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Serious Zarah side effects may include, but are not limited to:
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Gallbladder disease
- Hyperkalemia (toxic high levels of potassium)
- Irregular heartbeat (heart arrhythmia)
- Psychological trauma