Yaz

Generic Name: Drospirenone

  • What is Yaz?

    Yaz tablets are birth control pills, used to prevent pregnancy. Yaz is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) (a severe condition that consists of physical and emotional symptoms, such as depression and irritability, before menstruation) if you choose to use Yaz for birth control.

    Yaz is also used to treat moderate acne in women ≥14 years who are able to and wish to use Yaz for birth control.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Yaz?

    Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious heart-related side effects such as blood clots, stroke, and heart attack from birth control pills use such as Yaz. This risk increases with age (especially if you are >35 years old and smoke ≥15 cigarettes per day). You should not smoke while you are taking birth control pills.

    Birth control pills use is associated with increased risk of heart attack, clotting disorders, stroke, liver tumors, and gallbladder disease. These risks increase in people with a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, clotting disorders, heart attack, stroke, chest pain, cancer of the breast or sex organs, or liver tumors.

    Birth control pills may increase cholesterol levels. Women with high cholesterol should be monitored closely.

    Yaz does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    You may experience breakthrough bleeding or spotting while taking birth control pills, especially during the first 3 months of use. You may also have irregular periods. If you have missed more than two periods in a row, take a pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant. Yaz should not be used in women who are pregnant.

    Yaz is different from other birth control pills because it contains the progestin drospirenone. Drospirenone may increase potassium levels. During the first month that you take Yaz, you should have a blood test to check your potassium levels.

  • Who should not take Yaz?

    Do not use Yaz if you are >35 years old and smoke ≥15 cigarettes a day.

    Do not use Yaz if you have a history of heart attack or stroke; heart disease; blood clots in the legs, lungs, or deep veins of your legs; chest pain (angina); diabetes (including associated circulation problems); known or suspected breast cancer; cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina; unexplained vaginal bleeding; yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) during pregnancy or during previous use of oral contraceptives; liver tumors; very high blood pressure; certain types of headaches; are allergic to any of the ingredients in Yaz; or if you plan to have surgery with prolonged bed rest.

    Do not use Yaz if you think you may be pregnant.

    Yaz should not be used in women who have not had their first period.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Yaz?

    Tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the health conditions listed above, and also about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Yaz. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have or have had breast nodules, fibrocystic disease of the breast (lumpy and painful breasts), an abnormal breast x-ray or mammogram, high triglycerides, water retention, depression, migraines or other headaches, seizures, gallbladder disease, history of irregular menstrual bleeding or periods, wear contact lenses, smoke, will undergo surgery with prolonged bed rest, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Each pink "active" tablet of Yaz contains 3 milligrams (mg) of drospirenone and 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol. Each white "reminder" tablet contains inactive ingredients.

    Sunday Start: When taking Yaz, take the first pink "active" tablet on the Sunday after your period begins, even if you are still bleeding. Take one pink "active" tablet daily for 24 days followed by one white "reminder" tablet daily for 4 days. After all 28 tablets have been taken, start a new course the next day (Sunday).

    Day 1 Start: Take the first pink "active" pill of the first pack during the first 24 hours of your period. Take one pink "active" tablet daily from the 1st day through the 24th day of the menstrual cycle (counting the day your period starts as Day 1) followed by one white "reminder" tablet daily for 4 days. Take the tablets without interruption for 28 days. After all 28 tablets have been taken, start a new course the next day.

  • How should I take Yaz?

    Before you start taking Yaz, be sure to read the directions. You should take Yaz once daily at the same time every day until the pack is empty.

    When you finish a pack, start the next pack on the day after your white "reminder" pill. Do not wait any days between packs. If you are switching from another birth control pill, Yaz should be started on the same day that a new pack of the previous pills should have been started.

    For the first cycle of a Sunday start regimen, use another method of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) as a back-up method if you have sex anytime from the Sunday you start your first pack until you have been taking the pills for 7 days. You will not need to use a back-up method of birth control for the first cycle of a Day 1 regimen, since you are starting the pill at the beginning of your period.

  • What should I avoid while taking Yaz?

    Avoid smoking while taking Yaz. Also avoid becoming pregnant.

    Do not skip pills even if you are spotting or bleeding between monthly periods or feel sick to your stomach (nausea). Do not skip pills even if you do not have sex very often.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Yaz?

    If Yaz is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining this medication with the following: ACE inhibitors, acetaminophen, antibiotics, aldosterone antagonists, angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, anticonvulsants (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin), atorvastatin, clofibric acid, griseofulvin, heparin, minocycline, morphine, NSAIDs when taken long-term and daily, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplementation, rifampin, salicylic acid, St. John's wort, temazepam, theophylline, or vitamin C.

  • What are the possible side effects of Yaz?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, irregular vaginal bleeding, breakthrough bleeding or spotting, absence of a period, change in vision or inability to wear your contact lenses, depression, breast tenderness, allergic reactions, vaginal infections, spotty darkening of the skin (especially on the face), nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and bloating, change in appetite, headache, nervousness, dizziness, loss of scalp hair, rash, water retention causing swelling of the fingers or ankles, weight change

  • Can I receive Yaz if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Oral contraceptives should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Yaz?

    If you miss one pink "active" pill, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you can take two pills in the same day. You do not need a back-up birth control method if you have sex.

    If you miss two pills or more, consult the patient information that accompanied your prescription or call your pharmacist for advice.

  • How should I store Yaz?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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