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Generic Name: drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol (dro SPY re nown, ETH in il, ESS tra dy ol)
Brand Names: Gianvi, Loryna, Nikki, Ocella, Syeda, Vestura, Yasmin, Yaz, Zarah

What is Yaz?

Yaz tablets contain a combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and also cause changes in your cervical and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Yaz is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to treat moderate acne in women who are at least 14 years old and have started having menstrual periods, and who wish to use birth control pills to prevent pregnancy.

Yaz is also used to treat the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), such as anxiety, depression, irritability, trouble concentrating, lack of energy, sleep or appetite changes, breast tenderness, joint or muscle pain, headache, and weight gain.

Important information

Do not use Yaz if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby.

You should not take Yaz if you have any of the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by birth control pills, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.

Taking Yaz can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you have certain other conditions, or if you are overweight.

Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You should not take Yaz if you smoke and are over 35 years old.

Before taking Yaz

Taking Yaz can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Your risk of stroke or blood clot is highest during your first year of taking birth control pills. Your risk is also high when you restart Yaz after not taking them for 4 weeks or longer.

Smoking can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Your risk increases the older you are and the more you smoke. You should not take combination birth control pills if you smoke and are over 35 years old.

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop taking Yaz and tell your doctor if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking Yaz.

You should not take Yaz if you have:

  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • heart disease (coronary artery disease, uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot);

  • a blood-clotting disorder or circulation problems;

  • problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation caused by diabetes;

  • a history of hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;

  • unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;

  • liver disease, liver cancer, history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or

  • severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes), especially if you are older than 35.

To make sure Yaz are safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure, varicose veins;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides, or if you are overweight;

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as high levels of potassium in your blood);

  • a history of depression;

  • diabetes, underactive thyroid, gallbladder disease;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • tuberculosis; or

  • a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.

The hormones in Yaz can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Yaz may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast feeding.

How should I take Yaz?

Take Yaz exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins. You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using Yaz. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take one pill at the same time every day i.e. no more than 24 hours apart. When the Yaz pill pack runs out, start a new pack the following day. You may get pregnant if you do not take one pill daily. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills completely.

The Yaz-pill pack has 24 light pink pills (with hormones) to be taken for 24 days, followed by 4 white pills (without hormones) to be taken for the next four days.

You may have breakthrough bleeding, especially during the first 3 months. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.

Use a back-up birth control if you are sick with severe vomiting or diarrhea.

If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using Yaz for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using Yaz.

While taking Yaz, you will need to visit your doctor regularly.

Store Yaz at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Yaz dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Yaz for Contraception:

1 tablet orally each day. A patient should begin taking either on the first day of the menstrual period (Day 1 Start) or on the first Sunday after the onset of the menstrual period (Sunday Start). The patient should begin the next and all subsequent 28-day regimens on the same day of the week as she began the first regimen, following the same schedule.

Usual Adult Dose of Yaz for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

1 tablet orally each day. A patient should begin taking either on the first day of the menstrual period (Day 1 Start) or on the first Sunday after the onset of the menstrual period (Sunday Start). The patient should begin the next and all subsequent 28-day regimens on the same day of the week as she began the first regimen, following the same schedule. Drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol is indicated for the treatment of symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women who choose to use an oral contraceptive as their method of contraception. The effectiveness of drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol for premenstrual dysphoric disorder when used for more than three menstrual cycles has not been evaluated.

Usual Adult Dose of Yaz for Acne:

1 tablet orally each day. A patient should begin taking either on the first day of the menstrual period (Day 1 Start) or on the first Sunday after the onset of the menstrual period (Sunday Start). The patient should begin the next and all subsequent 28-day regimens on the same day of the week as she began the first regimen, following the same schedule. Drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol is indicated for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in women at least 14 years of age, who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy and have achieved menarche. Drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol should be used for the treatment of acne only if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Follow the patient instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant.

If you miss one active pill, take two pills on the day that you remember. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack.

If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 1 or 2, take two pills per day for two days in a row. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack. Use back-up birth control for at least 7 days following the missed pills.

If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.

If you miss three active pills in a row in Week 1, 2, or 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.

If you miss two or more pills, you may not have a period during the month. If you miss a period for two months in a row, call your doctor because you might be pregnant.

If you miss a reminder pill, throw it away and keep taking one reminder pill per day until the pack is empty. You do not need back-up birth control if you miss a reminder pill.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.

What should I avoid while taking Yaz?

Do not smoke while taking Yaz, especially if you are older than 35 years of age.

Yaz will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases - including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.

Yaz side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Yaz: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Yaz and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • signs of a blood clot - chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, coughing up blood, swelling or warmth in one or both legs;

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • liver problems - severe stomach pain, fever, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;

  • a breast lump; or

  • symptoms of depression - sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes.

Common Yaz side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • breast tenderness;

  • headache, mood changes, feeling tired or irritable;

  • weight gain; or

  • changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Yaz?

Many drugs can interact with birth control pills and make them less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Ethinyl estradiol can also affect blood levels of certain other drugs, making them less effective or increasing side effects. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Yaz.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Yaz only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02. Revision Date: 2016-02-11, 3:52:29 PM.

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