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Health Canada reviewing safety of country's top-selling birth control pill

By Erica Johnson
Thursday, June 2, 2011, 11:58 AM
Yasmin
Health Canada is reviewing two new studies that show Yasmin, the country's top-selling birth control pill, may put women at a higher risk of blood clots.

The studies were published in the British Medical Journal last month and report that women taking birth control pills containing drospirenone have 2.5 to three times the risk of suffering a blood clot than women on the safest pills on the market.

Most birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen, but only a handful use the synthetic hormone drospirenone for the progestin, including Yasmin and its sister pill, Yaz, which are manufactured by German-based Bayer.

In an email to Marketplace, a Health Canada official said the department "is evaluating the recently published studies and is looking at available information to fully assess the risk of blood clots."

UPDATE (Sept. 26/11): The FDA says they are concerned about drospirenone but no conclusions made yet: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm273021.htm

Read Erica Johnson's full article on CBC.ca/News