A Madison County woman claims her gallbladder was permanently damaged by birth control pills.

Charese Shadwick filed a lawsuit July 11 in Madison County Circuit Court against Bayer A.G. Bayer Corporation, Bayer Healthcare LLC, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Coporation. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Berlex Laboratories Inc., Berlex Inc. and Walgreens Company are also named as defedants.

According to the lawsuit, Shadwick was prescribed the oral contraceptive, Yasmin, by her doctor in 2010. The drug, approved by the FDA in April 2001, allegedly has an ingredient that is known to increase potassium levels in its users. Those elevated levels have reportedly been linked to pulmonary embolism and gallbladder damage.

Shadwick says she was never warned of the risks of the drug but was forced to have her gallbladder removed because of the use of Yasmin. The medication was developed by Berlex, distributed by Bayer and sold by Walgreens.

Shadwick says Bayer, Berlex and Walgreens are all responsible for damage to her gall bladder. She accuses the companies of negligence, failure to warn of the drug's risks and consumer fraud. She is asking for more than $250,000 in damages for medical bills and court fees.

Attorney Thomas G. Maag of Wood River is representing Shadwick.

Madison County Circuit Court case No. 11-L-677

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