Gianvi is a combination birth control pill that contains the synthetic progestin drospirenone, a hormone that has been increasingly linked to a number of dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects. Drospirenone has been found to elevate potassium levels in the blood, which can lead to stroke-causing blood clots and other extremely serious complications. Gianvi-induced blood clots occur most often in the arms or legs, and symptoms may include swelling, warmth, redness, and extreme pain at the site of the clot.
Gianvi Blood Clot Update 4/10/12: Birth control products containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone have been linked to an increased risk for blood clots, according to a warning issued today by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). In response to these findings, the FDA has required that all drospirenone-containing contraceptives carry warnings which state that several studies have found as much as a three-fold increased risk of blood clots associated with drospirenone when compared to levonorgestrel, a different hormone found in many older forms of birth control.
What is a Blood Clot?
A blood clot (thrombus) occurs when blood cells lump together with fibrin, a stretchy, thread-like protien. Research has shown fibrin to be a strong material that can absorb blood from cuts to help them heal, but this protien is also responsible for making blood clots difficult to break down. Thrombi typically develop and remain in the heart or blood vessels. Emboli, on the other hand, are blood clots that originate in other parts of the body. A thromboembolism occurs when a blood clot causes blockage to the heart, brain, or lungs and severely restricts blood flow. When this happens, a heart attack or stroke may result.
In addition to causing strokes and heart attacks, blood clots also commonly cause extensive damage to the body’s tissues. This is due to the fact that, as blood flow is restricted by the clot, the body’s tissues in that region are deprived of oxygen. This condition is referred to as ischemia, and if left untreated, body tissues in the affected region can become permanently damaged or dead.
Additionally, Gianvi-induced blood clots have the potential to cause death in individuals with conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition occurs when a blood clot enters a vein in the lower part of the body and severely restricts or eliminates blood flow altogether. Significant swelling and redness may occur in patients with DVT, while some individuals with the condition may not experience any telltale symptoms. Others may suffer from severe pain due to the formation of blood clots.
Gianvi Blood Clot Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of blood clots in the arms or legs (deep vein thrombosis) may include:
- swelling or pain in the legs/arms
- redness or discoloration
- arms/legs feeling warm
Symptoms of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) may include:
- chest pain (most common)
- dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting (second most common)
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- parts of your body turn blue (i.e. lips, skin)
- coughing up blood
- increased heart rate
- low blood pressure
If you are a Gianvi user and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible.