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Saturday, October 16, 2021

U.S. Food and Drug Administration committees plan to meet Thursday to discuss the risks of some birth control pills, including Yaz and Yasmin.

Birth control pills that include drospirenone might be associated with an increased risk of blood clots, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration preliminary study. Drospirenone is a form of the contraceptive hormone progestin.

The preliminary study found that women who take pills containing drospirenone are 1.5 times more likely to be at risk for blood clots than women on other contraceptives.

The FDA announcement also listed smoking, obesity and family history as factors that can increase the chance of a blood clot.

GatorWell Health Promotion Specialist Samantha Evans said students sometimes ask her specifically about Yaz or Yasmin because they have seen advertisements or know someone who takes one of them.

Evans said she usually talks to the students about less expensive and lower-progestin options, especially if they have never taken oral contraceptives.

Courtenay Barrett, a 20-year-old telecommunication junior, said her aunt, who was taking Yaz, developed a blood clot while she was on a plane.

Barrett said that not long after, her father's secretary had to have her pancreas removed because of problems with her Yaz pills.

When one of her friends expressed an interest in the brand, Barrett discouraged her.

"I don't see why anybody would if it could even possibly give you those risks," she said.

UF Student Health Care Center Pharmacy Manager Laura Tipton said oral contraceptives make up at least half the business at the pharmacy. She estimated that about 100 prescriptions are filled each day.

Each one includes a drug information leaflet, as required by the FDA.

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