Benign intracranial hypertension (BIH), a severe neurological disorder, has been linked to hormonal birth control products. BIH occurs when pressure inside the skull increases suddenly, causing symptoms such as headaches, vision problems, tinnitus, and a rare eye injury called papilledema.
What is Beyaz?
Manufactured by Bayer, Beyaz is an oral contraceptive that was cleared by the FDA in 2010. Beyaz and Yaz are essentially the same product, except that Beyaz contains folic acid. The active ingredients contained in Beyaz are:
- Drospirenone (3-mg)
- Ethinyl estradiol (0.02-mg)
- Levomefolate calcium (0.451-mg)
Benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH) Linked to Hormonal Birth Control
Benign intracranial hypertension (BIH), a rare neurological side effect, was first linked to hormonal birth control products in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 1995. Researchers found that levonorgestrel, a hormone released by the Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) and other contraceptives, may have the potential to cause the disorder.
What is BIH?
Benign intracranial hypertension is characterized by the presence of increased pressure around the brain in the absence of a focal space-occupying lesion. Signs and symptoms of this condition include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Eye injury (papilledema)
- Buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus)
- Vision loss
Papilledema is a condition that occurs when the optic disk swells due to increased intracranial pressure. In most patients, there are no early symptoms of papilledema, although the patient may experience temporary visual disturbances. The condition requires a prompt diagnosis, which is accomplished through brain imaging and/or lumbar puncture.
Beyaz Side Effects
Beyaz has been linked to the following serious side effects:
- Blood Clots
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
- Cerebrovascular Accidents (CVA)
- Heart Attack
- Myocardial Infarction
- Gallbladder Disease / Injury (cholecystitis)
- Gallbladder Removal (cholecystectomy)