Yaz Benign Intracranial Hypertension Lawsuit

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What is Yaz?

Yaz (generic: drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive that prevents ovulation and causes changes to a woman’s cervical and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus. The drug may also be prescribed to treat moderate acne in women who are at least 14 years old and have started their menstrual cycle, and who wish to use birth control pills to protect against pregnancy. Yaz is manufactured by Bayer, and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006.

What is Benign Intracranial Hypertension?

Benign intracranial hypertension occurs when pressure inside the skull increases suddenly, in many cases for no apparent reason. While the cause of BIH is unclear in many cases, the elevated pressure on the brain may be due to the accumulation or poor absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

BIH is most commonly diagnosed in obese women during their childbearing years. While the condition only occurs in approximately 1 person per 100,000 in the general public, obese women under 44 years of age are nearly 20x more likely to develop it. Other risk factors may include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Anemia
  • Prescription medications such as tetracycline
  • Steroids
  • Hormone-based contraceptives

BIH Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Eye injury (papilledema)
  • Buzzing sound in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vision loss
  • Headache

How is Benign Intracranial Hypertension Treated?

The main treatment goal for patients with BIH is to preserve optic nerve function while managing pressure on the brain. Doctors should carefully monitor optic nerve function and assess visual acuity, color vision, optic nerve head appearance and perimetry. Weight control is recommended for obese patients with the disorder. Exogenous agents related to increased intracranial pressure should be discontinued.

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