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Birth control pills have been linked to pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), a life-threatening brain injury that can cause migraine headaches, vision loss, and permanent blindness.

What is Yasmin?

Yasmin is an oral birth control pill that prevents pregnancy with a combination of two hormones, ethinyl estradiol (estrogen) and drospirenone (progestin). Yasmin has been on the market since 2001.

Yasmin and Pseudotumor Cerebri

No one knows what causes PTC. However, certain birth control pills are known risk factors. One study published in 1995 found that the hormone levonorgestrel was associated with PTC, according to the National Institute of Health.

Pseudotumor cerebri symptoms:

  • Headaches: Severe migraines or migraine-like headaches
  • Vision problems Blurred vision, double vision (diplopia), temporary blindness, blind spots, complete blindness, etc.
  • Papilloedema: Swelling of the optic disc due to increased intracranial pressure.
  • Tinnitus: Hearing problems, such as ringing or “whooshing” noises.

Blood Clots

Women who use Yasmin and other birth control pills are more likely to experience arterial blood clots, which can cause strokes. In rare cases, blood clots in the brain can obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and cause intracranial hypertension.

Migraine Headaches

In clinical trials, 10.7% of women on Yasmin experienced headaches or migraines. The Prescribing Information also recommends that doctors evaluate significant changes in headaches and discontinue Yasmin if necessary. Migraine headaches are also one of the most common symptoms of PTC.

FDA Warning Letter for “Misleading” Yasmin Ads

July 2003 — The FDA has issued a Warning Letter (PDF) to Berlex Laboratories for promoting Yasmin with “misleading” ads that fail to include risk information and imply that Yasmin is better than other birth control pills. The FDA warned that the ads “raise significant public health and safety concerns.”