Bayer’s controversial birth control pill Ocella (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) has recently come under fire by researchers and health advocates who say the drug puts women at an increased risk for potentially life-threatening blood clots. Ocella-induced blood clots originate most often in the arms or legs, and symptoms may include swelling, warmth, redness, and extreme pain at the site of the clot. Fortunately, women who have been injured while taking Ocella may have legal recourse.
What’s the Problem with Ocella?
All oral birth control pills carry a risk of blood clotting. However, mounting research and numerous case studies have suggested that Ocella and other contraceptives containing the newly-developed synthetic hormone drospirenone may carry a greater risk of developing blood clots than other similar birth control products on the market. If you or a loved one has suffered from an Ocella-induced blood clot, our lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Ocella Blood Clot Overview
Blood clotting, or coagulation, is an essential biological process that prevents excessive bleeding when a blood vessel becomes injured. Platelets (a type of blood cell) and proteins in your plasma (the liquid part of blood) work in conjunction to stop the bleeding by forming a clot over the injury. Normally, the body will dissolve the clot over time after the injury has healed. However, certain types of blood clots form on the inside of vessels without an injury and do not dissolve on their own. When this occurs, life-threatening complications can ensue.
Types of Blood Clots
Ocella and other birth control pills containing drospirenone have been linked to the following types of blood clots:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis – Occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more deep veins in the body, most often the legs. DVTs are a serious medical condition because a blood clot that has formed in a vein can break loose, travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs, blocking blood flow.
- Pulmonary Embolism – Blood clot in the lung that occurs when a DVT breaks away and travels through the blood in the veins and lodges into the lungs. The clot travels through the vessels of the lung until it becomes lodged in an area that is too small to allow it to continue further. The blockage results in areas of the lung where the disruption of blood flow does not allow the carbon dioxide waste to be delivered to air sacs for removal (ventilation).
- Venous Thromboembolism – Process by which blood clots occur and travel through the vein. Venous thromboembolism is the collective term for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.