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Ocella can cause hyperkalemia. This life-threatening side effect occurs when a person has significantly higher-than-normal levels of potassium in their blood. If the condition is not treated immediately, high potassium can interfere with the electrical activity in the heart, causing a sudden irregular heart rhythm. This side effect may occur without warning. It can lead to cardiac arrest, heart failure, and death.

Ocella and Hyperkalemia

Ocella (drospirenone / ethinyl estradiol) is the generic version of brand-name Yasmin. Both of these birth control pills are the subject of thousands of lawsuits from women who were injured by side effects. The problem is that when these new pills were advertised, the ads claimed the pills could treat conditions they were never approved to treat (including acne and PMS). Furthermore, the ads failed to include risk information and implied that the new pills were safer than older contraceptives. Since several major studies have been published, we now know that Ocella can cause deadly side-effects — including hyperkalemia.

Before the advent of hormonal contraception, hyperkalemia was a relatively rare condition that mostly affected elderly patients who had poor kidney function. In modern times, the widespread use of hormonal contraception has increased the incidence of hyperkalemia. Experts believe that this is due to the effect of hormones on a woman’s physiology, which causes an imbalance of the intracellular and extracellular levels of potassium.

What is Hyperkalemia?

Hyperkalemia occurs when blood potassium levels are too high. Potassium is a nutrient in many foods, and it is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is an important chemical for the function of nerves and muscle cells, including the muscle cells in the heart. About 98% of your potassium is found inside cells; the other 2% is in the bloodstream. Hyperkalemia occurs when this balance is thrown off, and too much potassium circulates in the bloodstream.

One life-threatening threat is that hyperkalemia will cause problems with normal electrical activity in the heart. Without warning, hyperkalemia can cause an irregular heartbeat. Mild irregular heart rhythm may resemble palpitations, whereas more severe irregular heart rhythm can cause cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, and death because the heart is unable to supply the body with blood.

Signs & Symptoms of Ocella Hyperkalemia

Ocella hyperkalemia can affect anyone who takes this medication, even young women who lack risk factors or a medical history of hyperkalemia. The condition may or may not have symptoms, which is why some women delay seeking treatment. If you suspect that you have hyperkalemia, call 911 immediately. Do not wait.

Symptoms of Ocella hyperkalemia include:

  • Nausea
  • Slow, weak, or irregular pulse
  • Sudden collapse
  • Changes in consciousness — feeling faint, dizzy, weak, etc.
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tingling, numbness, or other unusual feelings

Treatment & Prognosis

Hyperkalemia is diagnosed with a blood test. Before a blood test, it is unlikely that a doctor will diagnose hyperkalemia based on the symptoms, because this condition lacks characteristic signs. Even a person who is suffering from Ocella hyperkalemia may be unaware of the condition, until it affects the heart. The higher the potassium levels, the worse the prognosis.

Treatment usually involves several intravenous medications that help the body get rid of potassium. Insulin, for example, is a hormone that causes cells to absorb potassium and other nutrients from the bloodstream. Calcium and bicarbonate cause the kidneys and/or gastrointestinal tract to absorb potassium and expel it from the body. In combination, these medications can effectively reduce the amount of potassium in the body.

Treatment will also involve a heart-monitoring system that will alert doctors of an irregular heartbeat. If Ocella hyperkalemia is treated before it interferes with the heart, prognosis is usually very good and patients will make a full recovery with no long-term consequences.