Health Canada recently announced it will conduct a formal safety review of Bayer Pharmaceutical’s birth control pills, Yaz and Yasmin, over concerns they may increase a women’s risk for developing blood clots more than other birth control pills. The review specifically targets Yaz and Yasmin because they both contain a synthetic progesterone called, progestin.

Much like the recent safety warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada’s review was prompted by the results of two new studies recently published in the British Medical Journal. These studies revealed that women who use drospirenone-containing birth control pills are two to three times more likely to develop life-threatening venous thromboembolism (blood clots that develop in the deep veins of the leg), relative to women taking other forms of birth control pills.

Health Canada released a statement explaining it will evaluate the recently published studies and look at all available information in order to fully assess the risk for blood clots. The agency also noted that it will take appropriate action as necessary once the review is complete.

Bayer’s birth control pills have been the subject of continued study and debate, worldwide. They are also the focus of thousands of lawsuits in the U.S., as well as a large class action lawsuit in Canada.

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