Other Brand Names Containing the Same Estrogen and Progestin
Recent News Regarding Yaz
- FDA Votes to Update Yaz Label to Reflect Blood Clot Risk
- FDA Debating Recall of Yaz
- Side Effects of Yaz
- More Yaz News
What Makes it Different
- Yaz is one of four birth control pills that is FDA approved to treat acne.
- Yaz is also approved to treat the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
- Some studies show that drospirenone, the newest generation of progestin that is found in Yaz, could put women at a higher risk for blood clots than older generation progestin. Bayer, the maker of Yaz, initially denied these claims.
- Two recent studies concluded that the risk of life-threatening blood clots (venous thromboembolism) is 2 to 3 times higher for women taking drospirenone-containing pills such as Yaz, than pills containing levonorgestrel.
- In May 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about Yaz, announcing its plans to evaluate birth control pills containing drospirenone, stating the recent studies had stimulated the FDA’s concern over pills, including Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella.
- In December 2011, the FDA demanded that warning labels of all drospirenone-based pills be changed to reflect the heightened risk of blood clots. The FDA also concluded its evaluation of two studies that measured the risk of blood clots associate with Yaz and concluded that the of drospirenone-containing birth control pills outweigh the dangers, based on current information.
How it Works
Yaz (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) is a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin, which work to prevent pregnancy in three ways. First, the hormones prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from one of the ovaries). The hormones also cause the cervical mucus to thicken, blocking sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. Lastly, Yaz prevents the uterine lining from thickening, making it less hospitable to implantation.
Oral contraceptives are only to be utilized as a form of birth control and do not protect against the transmission of HIV (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How to Use
You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or the first Sunday after your period has begun. Use Yaz as your healthcare provider has instructed. Yaz differs from other birth control pills, because instead of the typical 21 active pills there are 24. Thus, you take the three additional active pills and shorten your period by those three days. Do not take more often or for longer than your healthcare provider mandates.
If you miss a dose of Yaz, your risk of pregnancy will be increased. There are ways to make up for missing a pill that will maintain the effectiveness of the birth control. For further instruction, contact with your healthcare provider immediately upon realizing you’ve missed one or more pills.
Birth control pills range from $15-50 per pack. A pack lasts one month.
Yaz has been shown to prevent pregnancy in over 99% of situations when it is the only birth control method utilized and when Yaz is used exactly as directed.
Yaz is an effective method of birth control when used as specified. Yaz may also be prescribed to treat moderate acne in women over 14 years of age.
Yaz is used to combat the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) that are severe enough to impact your life, such as depression, anxiety, anger/irritability, trouble concentrating, anxiety, joint or muscle pain, weight gain, sleep or appetite changes, headaches or lack of energy.
All birth control pills, Yaz included, have also been shown to possibly have the following benefits:
- Menstrual cycle may become more regular, and blood flow may become lighter (reducing the chances of anemia)
- Cramps or other pain during menstruation may become less intense and/or frequent
- Noncancerous cysts or lumps in the breast may occur less frequently.
- Ectopic pregnancies may occur with less frequency.
- Acute pelvic inflammatory disease may occur less frequently.
All birth control pills, including Yaz, can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack, especially for women who smoke and/or are older than 35. Women who are taking oral contraceptives should not smoke.
Taking Yaz or other pills containing drospirenone may increase the risk of blood clots by 2 to 3 times when compared to pills containing levonorgestrel.
Yaz also contains a hormone that may excessively increase potassium, so if you have kidney, liver or adrenal disease consult your doctor before taking Yaz, as it could cause serious problems.
Possible side effects include
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Swelling of hands or feet
- Changes in menstrual period
- Breast tenderness, swelling or secretion
- Increased hair growth or loss of scalp hair
- Freckles or darkening of facial skin
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Problems with contact lenses
Articles of Interest
Last Updated March 19, 2012: Added link to blog about FDA’s December, 2011 decision regarding Yaz