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Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella

Yaz, manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is one of the top-selling combination birth control pills in the United States. It is also the subject of numerous FDA warnings because of the life-altering side effects it can cause.

Yaz, also sold as Yasmin or Ocella, originally gained popularity because of the distinct treatments it offered. These treatments would help women suffering from symptoms caused by PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.


In January of 2007, Yaz became the only birth control pill that could treat moderate acne, PMDD, and lead as a contraceptive in its market. However, the drug’s overwhelming popularity soon ended in October of 2008 when the FDA issued its first warning to the manufacturers of Yaz. Shortly thereafter in 2009, the FDA issued another urgent warning.

The FDA warnings stated that the Yaz commercials circulating throughout the United States overstated the effectiveness of the pill, minimized its dangerous risks and broadened the pill’s treatment by falsely suggesting that Yaz has been approved for treating pre-menstrual syndromes such as PMDD.


  • On May 31, 2011, the FDA informed the public about new information being assessed as part of an ongoing safety review of birth control pills that contain drospirenone, specifically the risk of blood clots in women who use these products.
  • On September 26, 2011, the FDA released a safety review update, stating that preliminary results of the FDA-funded study suggest an approximately 1.5-fold increase in the risk of blood clots for women who use drospirenone-containing birth control pills compared to users of other hormonal contraceptives. They will continue to investigate oral contraceptives that contain drospirenone such as Yaz and Yasmin.

The dangerous risks women may encounter when taking Yaz stem from the combination of the hormones Drospirenone and Ethinyl Estradiol. While Ethinyl Estradiol is used in the majority of birth controls, the combination of both Ethinyl Estradiol and Drospirenone can cause deadly reactions.

Drospirenone is a diuretic and can cause an increase in potassium levels in the blood leading to Hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia then causes heart rhythm disturbances that can cause blood clots which may lead to sudden cardiac death or stroke. Diuretics, such as Drospirenone, can also lead to significant problems with the gallbladder, leading to gallbladder removal. Serious adverse events reported after use of Yaz include:

  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clots
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hepaic adenomas
  • Sudden death


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