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Thrombosis, or blood clots as they are colloquially known, tend to manifest naturally in men more than women. Women, however, are at risk for blood clots primarily because of pregnancy, birth control, and other hormonal therapies men do not generally take, according to StopTheClot.org.

Birth control pills are the most common form of contraceptive used in the U.S., and carry a high risk of blood clotting. Women who take birth control pills are generally three to four times more likely of developing a blood clot than women who do not take the pill.

It should be noted that the chance of a woman developing a blood clot as a result of taking birth control pills is still relatively small. Only about one in 3,000 women develop a blood clot because of birth control, but if a woman has a history of thrombosis in her family, the risk increases significantly.

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A breakthrough in the medical community came for migraine sufferers this November, according to MedicalXPress.com. A study from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that nerves in the brains of patients who suffered migraines show abnormalities of the “myelin sheath that serves as insulation around nerve fibers,” MedicalXPress.com reports. The study involved observing 15 patients who underwent a surgical treatment that attempted to reduce the negative effects of serious migraines, and included electron microscopy that assessed the structure of cell nerves in patient's brains. The study also examined the presence and function of cranial proteins in migraine patients.

Ultimately, the study found that patients whose myelin sheath was damaged were more likely to suffer migraines. As a result, one doctor in the study “developed migraine surgery techniques after noticing that some migraine patients had reduced headache activity after cosmetic forehead-lifting.” This type of cosmetic surgery removes some of the muscle and vessel tissue surrounding cranial nerves.

This is great news for people who suffer migraines because migraine drugs have long been very prone to negative side effects in patients. According to Healthline, painkillers, often prescribed and taken for migraines, can have severe side effects affecting the stomach and kidneys and can result in heart attack or stroke. Because these painkillers are so common, doctors sometimes neglect to make their patients aware of how serious of a drug they can be if misused.

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Cymbalta is a multi-use prescription drug most commonly used as an anti-depressant. Despite several clinical trials during the approval process of Cymbalta that alleged Cymbalta caused depression in otherwise healthy patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not recall the drug for use as an anti-depressant, according to the New York Times. Most tellingly, the suicide of 19-year-old drug tester Traci Johnson, who had no other symptoms of depression, brought the issues with Cymbalta to wider attention. Four years after this negative publicity, in 2008, Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Cymbalta, sought to have the drug approved for treatment for chronic pain, especially in patients suffering from Fibromyalgia. The drug was not approved for such use in 2008. It would eventually be approved for such treatment in 2010, according to another article in the New York Times.

Cymbalta has been back in the news recently, as several lawsuits have been brought against Eli Lilly by patients using Cymbalta as an antidepressant. These patients claim to have experienced “brain zaps and other side effects” when attempting to stop taking the drug, according to Law360.com. Yet Eli Lilly representatives have responded to the claims by saying that medical professionals were made well aware of the risks when prescribing Cymbalta to their patients, and thus the fault does not lie with the drug manufacturer for failing to make patients aware of the risks of use.

According to Law360.com, Lilly earned $18 billion from 2004 to 2011 for the sales of Cymbalta. Like other antidepressants, patients are discouraged from suddenly stopping to take Cymbalta, as this can lead to serious conditions, either physical (ie: nausea, headache) or emotional (ie: irritability, anxiety, nightmares). The complaint alleges that if patients had known how difficult it would be to stop taking Cymbalta, they would never have started to take it in the first place.

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Sometimes prominent drugs are recalled and no one knows about it. This was the case with a 2010 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall of the birth control Yaz, a contraceptive approved by the FDA for use among women as young as 14 years old. Yaz and Beyaz—a similar FDA-approved medication made by the same manufacturer, Berlex, Inc.—hit the market when it was approved in 2006, according to Drugs.com. Beyaz is primarily used to treat acne, while Yaz is marketed as the contraceptive. The only warnings on the Yaz website for either drug alert women who smoke and women over the age of 35 to increased risks of blood clot or stroke when taking the drug.

The trouble for the popular contraceptive came in 2010, when lawsuits started to pop up across the country alleging that women who were on the medication experienced a much higher rate of blood clots than the manufacturer had described. Bayer, the parent company for Yaz, was sued in 1,100 lawsuits that year, according to CBSNews.com. When Bayer began to face these lawsuits, Yaz was its best-selling product, according to CBS. As a result, one may think that a recall of the product would have been widely publicized. Not so.

The FDA issued a recall of the drug in November 2009, but it never made consumer headlines. This regardless of the fact that it “involved 32,856 boxes of Yaz, at three packs per box, and 122,208 boxes of Ocella, an identical product,” reports CBS. Despite its magnitude, the recall was hidden in the “Enforcement Report” section of the FDA website, meaning that anyone who wanted to know about the recall would already have had to know to look there.

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Abilify is the name brand of the medication aripirazole. Aripirazole is the medicine used to treat mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, severe mental depression and schizophrenia. No evidence has been released that proves that the drug does not do what it is intended to do, but there are some unexpected side effects of taking this medication about which many patients have filed lawsuits. These unexpected side effects primarily include the development or exacerbation of compulsive behavior, according to the British Journal of Psychology, sometimes in patients in whom compulsive behavior had not bee observed prior to taking Abilify.

When the drug first hit the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made no warnings that the medicine could induce compulsive behavior. According to the FDA, possible side effects of Abilify included high blood sugar and neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS can result in “high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure.” Because Abilify functions as an anti-depressant, the FDA also made note that the medicine could lead to increased thoughts of suicide during initial stages of being on the medication.

Yet in 2014, studies began to surface that revealed Abilify, or aripirazole, was linked to an increased risk of compulsive behavior, seen most prominently through proof of pathological gambling in patients who were regularly taking Abilify. Medical professionals thought this was because Abilify acts at the D3 receptor in the limbic system, it may over-stimulate the reward system of the brain. Stimulation of the reward system in your brain is what leads people to compulsive behavior such as pathological gambling.

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