FDA Officially Identifies Pancreatitis as Yaz Side Effect

By July 18, 2011 Uncategorized

It is official! The FDA has formally added Pancreatitis to its list of identified Yaz side effects. The rest of the list includes blood clots, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, heart attacks and more.

After clinical studies showed that pancreatitis was a serious side effect for women taking Yaz, the FDA told the makers of Yaz to add it to the warning to the labels back in March. The warning was to be placed on all of the drugs that contained estrogen and drospirenone. Now a lot of patients are wondering just how common the new side effect really is.

The FDA says that women who are suffering from hypertriglyceridemia, or who have a family history of it, are more at risk of developing pancreatitis from taking Yaz or Yasmin. Hypertriglyceridemia causes triglyceride levels to rise. Triglycerides are the chemical form of the body’s fat and foods which are found in blood plasma. Hypertriglyceridemia is most often caused by diabetes and obesity. Women that are being treated for hyperlipidemias are considered more likely to suffer from pancreatitis, or higher cholesterol.

Pancreatitis is what happens when the pancreas goes through inflammation. The pancreas is used by the body to secrete digestive enzymes into the gastrointestinal system. It also keeps the body’s insulin and glucagon regulated. If a patient has pancreatitis, it causes the digestive enzymes to start attacking the pancreas and its nearby tissues. Some of the symptoms of pancreatitis can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and rapid pulse. However, pancreatitis can also lead to more troubling conditions like heart arrhythmia, severe abdominal pain and swelling, shock, organ failure of the heart, lungs and kidneys and even death.

As to how it took the FDA so long to notice the connection between pancreatitis and Yaz, it is anyone’s guess, but there will likely be even more lawsuits against the makers of the drug now that it has been added. There are currently more than 7,000 Yaz lawsuits working their way through the legal system.