Loryna contains drospirenone, which has prompted several safety warnings from the FDA because it has been linked to an increased risk of serious, life-threatening side effects such as blood clots, stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolisms, gallbladder disease, and death.
What is Loryna?
Loryna is a “once-a-day” birth control pill, approved by the FDA in 2011 and distributed by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. It is approved for the prevention of pregnancy, the treatment of moderate acne, and treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It is not approved for PMS or severe acne. When taken as directed, Loryna is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Loryna affects a woman’s reproductive system in several ways: preventing ovulation, changing the cervical mucous, and decreasing the thickness of the uterine wall.
Loryna belongs to the “fourth generation” of oral birth control medications that contains a newly-developed type of synthetic progestin — called drospirenone. Most oral birth controls contain a mixture of synthetic progestin/estrogen. Older types of birth control contained synthetic progestin called levonorgestrel. Although levonorgestrel increased a woman’s chance of developing a blood clot, the risk was low.
Drospirenone, however, has been linked to a significantly increased risk of developing blood clots and other serious side effects.
Is Loryna different from Yaz?
Loryna and Yaz are essentially the same medicine. Loryna is a “generic medicine,” which means that it is the same as its brand-name equivalent in most regards, including: dosage, intended use, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength. The only differences between a generic and a brand-name drug may be color or inactive ingredients.
FDA Safety Warnings
The FDA has issued numerous safety warning regarding drospirenone:
- FDA Safety warning May 31, 2011
- FDA Safety Warning September 26, 2011
- FDA Safety Warning October 27, 2011
Studies of Drospirenone
The FDA has issued several safety warnings because at least six recent studies have linked drospirenone to an increased risk of developing blood clots. In 2009, two studies found that women may be twice as likely to develop a blood clot while using drospirenone-containing birth control. In 2011, two studies published in the British Medical Journal found even more alarming results: A woman taking drospirenone-containing birth control may be up to three times more likely to develop a blood clot. Most recently, in November 2011, an Israeli study that followed nearly 330,000 women found the risk of blood clots may be 40% higher for drospirenone-containing birth control pills, compared to other oral contraceptives.
FDA Study of Drospirenone
The FDA conducted the largest of all the studies of drospirenone-containing birth control pills. The FDA study tracked nearly 800,000 women, and announced the results in October 2011. They found that a woman has at least a 1.5-fold increased risk of developing a blood clot while taking a drospirenone-containing contraceptive. Her risk is greatest in her first year of taking the medication. Women who smoke and are over 35 years of age are at a significant risk of serious cardiovascular events.
Other Side effects of Loryna
- Irregular uterine bleeding
- Cerebral thrombosis
- Gallbladder disease
- Hepatic adenomas or benign liver tumors
How can Loryna cause serious side effects?
Drospirenone may increase the levels of potassium in a woman’s bloodstream too much, which can cause the blood to thicken. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious side effect of using Loryna — when blood clots form in the extremities, usually the legs or the arms. Usually, blood clots formed by DVT resolve on their own or are symptomless. Occasionally, however, they may break loose. An embolism is when a blood clot travels through the bloodstream. If it travels to the heart, brain, lungs, or other major internal organ, it can block the supply of oxygenated blood to these organs. Serious injury or death can occur very quickly if this happens. Stoke, heart attack, cerebral thromboembolism, or pulmonary embolism may all be caused by blood clots. During a Pulmonary embolism (PE), blood clots become suck in the lungs. If untreated, 30% of people who have at PE will die, usually within the first few hours of the event.