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Yaz Warnings and Precautions

Specific Yaz Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Yaz include the following:
  • The medication does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Yaz.
  • Yaz contains drospirenone, a hormone that can increase the level of potassium in the blood. This is not usually a problem for most healthy women. However, it can be a problem if you take other medications that also increase potassium levels (see Yaz Drug Interactions) or if you have kidney, liver, or adrenal problems.
  • Smoking cigarettes greatly increases the risk of serious Yaz side effects (such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots). This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Yaz) increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. These risks are minimal for healthy, young nonsmokers. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain.
  • Some (but not all) studies suggest that drospirenone (the progestin in this medication) may be more likely to cause blood clots, compared to levonorgestrel (a progestin found in many other birth control pills). 
  • Combined oral contraceptives may also slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Yaz and other hormonal contraceptives).
  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Yaz) can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, this medication may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
  • Yaz may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case.
  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Yaz) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
  • If you experience a migraine for the first time (or any changes in your migraines if you have had them before) while taking Yaz, please contact your healthcare provider.
  • Yaz can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Yaz. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
  • Yaz can affect your cholesterol. Therefore, your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start the medication, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening symptoms of depression while taking Yaz.
  • Occasionally, Yaz (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
  • Yaz can interact with a number of different medications (see Yaz Drug Interactions).
  • Yaz is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Yaz and Pregnancy).
  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Yaz) pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the contraceptive (see Yaz and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives such as Yaz are not usually recommended for breastfeeding women.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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