The fact that Yaz has side effects is not news. In fact, 12,000 people are very much convinced that it is the cause of serious conditions such as liver failure, kidney disease, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, heart attacks, depression, and migraine headaches in women who take the contraceptive and have filed defective pharmaceutical lawsuits. What most people do not know is the mechanisms that cause Yaz side effects.

The active ingredients in Yaz which prevent pregnancies, alleviate premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) symptoms and act on moderate acne are drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. In combination, these two hormones comprise what is referred to as a 4th generation oral contraceptive

Drospirenone is a form of progestin, a synthetic progestogen which suppresses ovulation. It is a steroid hormone which also suppresses the water and electrolyte regulating hormones of the body, which can increase potassium levels. This mechanism makes Yaz contraindicated for women with adrenal, kidney or liver disorders because the body is unable to process high potassium levels. This can lead to serious health problems.

Drugs being taken in the long-term that also results in elevated potassium levels should not be used in combination with Yaz. These include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for chronic pain conditions such as arthritis
  • Diuretics for low potassium such as spironolactone
  • Potassium replacing Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as Capoten
  • Aldosterone antagonists

Ethinyl estradiol is also a synthetic compound which serves the function of estrogen in the combination. Estrogen has a significant impact on a woman’s menstrual cycle, including the coagulating function. This could be one of the reasons why some Yaz users are at higher risk for forming dangerous blood clots.

Under ideal circumstances, this combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol is the best possible for effective contraception, as well as the aforementioned treatment of PMDD and acne. However, there are significant risks associated with this formulation, which is why women who want to take it should consult with their doctor and provide a complete medical history to get an accurate assessment of the desirability of using Yaz.