Gianvi is a combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol used to prevent pregnancy. It works by stopping a woman’s egg from fully developing, so that the egg cannot accept sperm. This process prevents fertilization. This medication has also been prescribed to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and acne in women as early as 14 years old. Gianvi is the generic brand of birth control known as Yasmin or YAZ. Gianvi is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals and was introduced to the market in 2010.

Recent studies suggest that Gianvi and the brand names of the drug may cause an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, DVT, pulmonary embolism, blood clots, abnormal heart rhythm, gall bladder injury, pancreatitis and death. Researchers link these side effects with the ingredient drospirenone, which is contained in Gianvi.

There is evidence that shows that drospirenone may cause concentrated potassium level spikes in a patient’s bloodstream. Too much potassium can cause blockages in the blood stream, which could lead to stroke, heart attack or venous thromboembolism (VTE-blood clots). In two recent studies that evaluated the risks of VTE in women who used Gianvi, it was found that they had two to three times the risk of developing the condition than women who took other birth control pills.

Gianvi has also been linked to gallbladder risks, because drospirenone can be a diuretic. This could cause dehydration and subsequently more gallbladder issues.

The FDA recommends that women’s blood and potassium levels be monitored regularly while they are on Gianvi.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Headache, severe and throbbing
  • Heavy non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Nausea
  • Normal menstrual bleeding occurring earlier, possibly lasting longer than
  • Longer or heavier menstrual periods
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Chills
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves
  • Rash
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden loss of coordination
  • Sudden, severe weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
  • Sudden, unexplained shortness of breath
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Yellow eyes or skin
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