A study conducted by the US FDA on the relation of drospirenone-containing birth control pills to blood clots and blockage of arteries has come out with affirmative results.

The findings of this study were published in the latest online edition of the journal Contraception.

Drospirenone – The Formulation

Birth-Control-PillsDrospirenone (DRSP) is a synthetic progesterone, a female hormone. It is one of the ingredients used in some of the female oral contraceptive pills classified as combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC). In the past decade, USFDA has approved three such CHCs which are regularly used by women as a method of contraception.

Since then medical practitioners have seen a phenomenal rise in the number of women suffering from venous thromboembolic events (VTE). The condition VTE is generally very uncommon. But recently, many women are found to be suffering from this condition, especially those using CHCs containing the synthetic hormone DRSP. This has led to the physicians suspecting the role of DSRP in the development of this condition.

The Study

Dr. Stephen Sidney, director of the Research clinics, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, conducted a thorough research on the topic along with his team of scientists. For the study, Dr. Stephen and his associates conducted a group study among 573,680 women aged between 10-55 years.

They were tagged as new users who were exposed to one of the three Drospirenone-containing CHCs available in the market, for the first time, during the study period. The participants were obtained from two healthcare programs – Kaiser Permanente project and the Medicaid programs of Tennessee and Washington.

From the statistics obtained through these participants, it was found that these new users were:

  1. 77% more at risk of being hospitalized due to venous thrombotic events (VTE) than those who used low dose CHCs.
  2. 100% more at risk of being hospitalized due to arterial thrombotic events (ATE) than those who used low dose CHCs.


Based on this study and the results, the FDA recommends that before starting on a contraceptive it is important for a woman to speak to her physician about the risks of blood clots due to its use. This could prevent unnecessary complications among women who are especially prone to such health risks.