The Only Way Women Can Tell if Their Birth Control Pills Are Safe

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birth control pillsSurprise, surprise! The former head of the FDA, David Kessler, has said that Bayer, the company that manufactures creeptastic birth control pills Yasmin and Yaz, reportedly withheld company research involving increased reports of blood clots in its pills' users ... all the way back in 2004. The drug company "presented a selective view of the data, and that presentation obscured the potential risks associated with Yasmin."

It's no wonder the company is now facing more than 10,000 lawsuits, which claim Bayer didn't warn patients of the health risks of the Yasmin and Yaz birth control pills. They're also in trouble for marketing the drug for unapproved uses, like PMS and acne.

While troubling, it's not like we didn't already know these drugs present a higher risk ... 

Thankfully, the FDA conducted their own independent research that proved there's a heightened risk of blood clots -- up to a 75 PERCENT greater chance over older forms of the pill! -- from newer birth control pills (such as Bayer's Yasmin and Yaz, Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Evra patch, and Merck's Nuvaring). Still, the fact that Bayer deceived the FDA and the public should freak us out.

When a friend of mine recently told me she wanted to go on a birth control pill, I pleaded with her to read up on any brand her doctor "recommended" to her. Because her doc's recommendation might simply be based on which pharmaceutical rep she's being pressured by this month, and now we know for certain that the FDA hasn't been exactly thorough or forthright about the risks associated with different brands. There's so much being hidden by drug companies and even the government, their warnings about risks involved with their drugs just aren't good enough. It only hurts not to consider independent research and what other women have to say.

The fact is, as much as we would like to, we can never blindly trust any prescription. We have to be our own health advocates and research the prescriptions we fill to truly weigh out the pros and cons of any drug -- especially when jumping into an even month-long commitment to a birth control pill.

Are you surprised Bayer kept info from the FDA? Do you always make a point to research your prescriptions, especially your birth control pills?


Image via brains the head/Flickr

birth control, drugs