A stunning stage actress is suing the drug giant Bayer, claiming its popular birth-control pill Yasmin caused her to have a stroke at age 27.
Brenda Hamilton, who is an understudy in the Broadway show "Wicked," said she had been taking Yasmin for a little more than two years when she suffered the terrifying stroke in May 2007.
She has since recovered, but says in a civil suit filed in The Bronx that Bayer knew Yasmin posed a greater risk than did other birth-control pills for blood clots and strokes, but withheld that information from patients and doctors.
"I'm pretty angry that this happened to me. I was 27 at the time. I don't think this should be happening to young women. It shouldn't happen to any woman just because they take birth-control pills," she said.
Hamilton, a former Bronx resident who lives in West New York, NJ, had no history of health problems when she was stricken.
Women have suffered strokes stemming from the use of other types of birth-control pills, which experts said were caused by increased levels of estrogen, and Bayer touts Yasmin particularly for its low estrogen levels. In 2008, the FDA cited Bayer for overstating the safety of the product in its advertising.
Hamilton's lawsuit is one of about 1,100 throughout the country claiming the pills caused serious or life-threatening health problems. Two class-action suits were also filed in Canada.
A spokeswoman for Bayer said the company would not comment on pending litigation. But the pharmaceutical giant has staunchly defended the drug, which accounted for $1.5 billion in sales in 2009.