Yaz (drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol
) is a well-known and widely used combined oral contraceptive, or birth control pill. It is similar to, but contains less estrogen than, its precursor Yasmin.
The combination of hormones found in Yaz is also effective at treating:
- Moderate to severe acne in females of at least 14 years of age.
- Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS.
- Folate deficiency in women at high risk of certain birth defect while pregnant.
Like other combined oral contraceptives Yaz contains an estrogen and a progestin, the combination of which is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Though similar to other birth control pills in effectiveness and side effects, Yaz is one of only a handful which contain the ingredient drospirenone, particularly useful in treating PMDD.Using Yaz for Birth Control:
Yaz is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Each Yaz blister pack contains 24 active pills and 4 inert reminder pills. As with other birth control pills, 1 pill is taken daily starting either on the first day of a period or on the Sunday following the first day of a period. Treatment continues uninterrupted for as long a pregnancy prevention is desired.
If one dose is missed, 2 pills can be taken when it's time for the next dose. If more than 2 consecutive pills are missed, treatment should be started over. Effectiveness is considerably reduced during the initial week of use and if more than 2 consecutive doses are missed.
During the first month of treatment, or if treatment is interrupted, there may be some spotting and menstruation may be delayed or missed entirely for a month. By the second month the body will have adjusted and periods will be regular.
In cases of severe illness involving vomiting or diarrhea dosage may also be interrupted, as pills may be expelled from the body before fully absorbed. Extra birth control methods should be used for 7 days when there is doubt.Treating Acne with Yaz:
Young women at least 14 years old, and who have had their first period, may be given Yaz to treat moderate to severe acne. Dosage is typically 1 pill daily. Duration may last months or years, with periodic breaks to see if continuation is necessary.
Yaz is not effective on all types of acne. If results are not noticable within one month of treatment, speak with a doctor about other options to try.
Using this medication to treat acne, especially if taken once a day, will also prevent pregnancy.Treating PMDD:
A great many women suffer from PMS or PMT, but premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is its severest form. Though symptoms are similar, they are greatly exaggerated in PMDD and can be very disruptive to work and daily life:
- Heart palpitations
- Headaches, including migraines
- Joint or body aches
- Severe mood swings
- Extreme fatigue
- Extreme depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Panic attacks
- Overwhelmed by emotions
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
Though the effects of Yaz on PMS have not been closely studied, the treatment has proven very effective for the majority of PMDD sufferers, reducing symptoms by over 50%.
Physician instructions may vary slightly, but typically one pill is taken daily, as when used for birth control. Pregnancy will be inhibited for the duration of treatment.Folate Supplementation:
Yaz is prescribed as a Folate supplement only in relatively unique circumstances. Physician instructions and duration of treatment will vary by individual.Warnings:
Contraindications and side effects associate with Yaz are very similar to those associated with other birth control pills. Women with certain pre-existing health conditions, and women who smoke, are more prone to experiencing serious side effects. Speak with a doctor about potential risks.
Yaz may damage unborn or nursing babies; women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid use.