A young stage actress by the name of Brenda Hamilton has filed suit against Bayer, alleging that the birth-control pill Yasmin, cause her to have a stroke at the age of only 27. Ms. Hamilton, who plays in the Broadway Musical “Wicked” had been taking the birth control pill for a little over two years, when she suffered a stroke in May of 2007.

Hamilton is not alone in her fight against Bayer. There are more than 1,100 lawsuits against Bayer, the Germany-based manufacturer of Yasmin birth control and its cousin Yaz, alleging serious and life-threatening health problems. Bayer continues to defend the safety and efficacy of Yasmin, touting estrogen levels that are lower than other classes of oral birth control pills.

There have been reports of high estrogen levels that have contributed to blood clots and strokes that have been taking older forms of oral contraceptives. Yasmin and Yaz are newer forms of birth control that contain a different combination of hormones. Drospirenone and ethinylestradiol appear to be associated with blood clots—and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously taken Bayer to task for overstating the safety of its product in advertising.

Hamilton, who is now fully recovered, claims in her lawsuit that Bayer knew that Yasmin posed a risk for blood clots and strokes, but withheld the information from patients and healthcare providers.
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