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Yaz Birth Control Safety Warnings

When it was approved by the FDA in 2006, Yaz was touted as the first birth control pill that would also treat the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) as well as moderate acne. Based on a 24-day cycle of progestin as opposed to the traditional 21-day regime of estrogen-based birth control pills, Yaz is the first comparable pill to challenge the best-selling Yasmin. Yaz is manufactured by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

All Oral Contraceptives

Any oral contraceptive, including Yaz, can cause a risk of cardiovascular side effects, including stroke, blood clots and heart attack. Women are advised not to smoke while taking oral contraceptives (including Yaz), especially if the woman is over the age of 35.

Potassium Levels

If you have an adrenal, kidney or liver disease, you should not take Yaz, because Yaz may increase the potassium level in your body. In addition, if you take certain drugs with Yaz, it could affect your potassium level. You should ask your doctor for a list of medications that may have this effect. If you are taking such a medicine, your doctor will want to check your potassium levels once you have started taking Yaz.

Frequent Side Effects

More than 1 percent of women taking Yaz have reported breast pain, headache, upper respiratory infections, nausea, abdominal pain and vaginal moniliasis. In addition, urinary tract infections, sinusitis, dysmenorrheal, suspicious Pap smears, depression and asthenia were reported.

Specific Clinical Trials

In PMDD trials, more than 1 percent of women experienced decreased libido, migraines, intermenstrual bleeding, nervousness, vaginitis, back pain, increased appetite, acne and enlarged abdomen. In acne studies, more than 1 percent of women experienced menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, gastroenteritis, infection, tooth disorders, pharyngitis, vomiting, sore throat, bronchitis, amenorrhea, arthralgia and urine abnormalities. The PMDD trials were conducted by the manufacturer, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

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