Yaz Side Effects

Yaz and gallbladder disease

Recent findings indicate yaz may cause gallbladder disease, lead to gallbladder removal. Yaz, marketed by Bayer Healthcare Inc., is the only oral contraceptive currently sold in the United States that contains drospirenone, which is a diuretic, in addition to ethinyl estradiol. Studies show that long term use of diuretics such as drospirenone may cause serious gallbladder problemseven lead to gall bladder removal. However, Yaz product packaging does not contain a warning specific to adverse effects involving the gall bladder. Normally, there are three types of gallbladder problems that may lead to gallbladder removal. These include:

  • obstruction to a cystic duct, which causes severe pain referred to as biliary colic
  • infection/inflammation of the gallbladder, called cholecystitis
  • blockage of biliary duct, biliary obstruction

Women are twice as likely as man to have gallbladder problems, with traditional risk factors including multiple pregnancies, obesity or rapid weight loss. However, women who are suffering serious gallbladder problems possibly linked to Yaz do not appear to fall into any of the traditional risk categories, leading to speculation that drospirenone may be a factor in their injuries. More than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year in the U.S. as a result of gallbladder disease, and more than a half-million Americans undergo gallbladder removal each year.


Yaz and hyperkalemia

Yaz is the only oral contraceptive sold in the United States that contains drospirenone, a diuretic.

This makes Yaz, an oral contraceptive marketed by Bayer Healthcare, Inc., unique. However, studies have shown that drospirenone may cause an increase in potassium, which could lead to too much serum potassium, a condition known as hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia often has no symptoms, but may occasionally present with irregular heartbeat, nausea, and slow, weak or absent pulse.

Cardiac arrest may occur at any time during the treatment of hyperkalemia, so it is recommended that emergency treatment should be administered if the potassium is very high or if severe symptoms are present, such as a change in the ECG.

Contraindications: Product information provided by Bayer advises that Yaz should not be taken if one had kidney, liver or adrenal disease, and that women taking certain cardiovascular or chronic inflammatory drugs that may also increase potassium should have their potassium level checked in the first month of taking Yaz. These may include such medications as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naprosyn, Aleve), Potassium sparing diuretics, Potassium supplementation, ACE inhibitors (Capoten, Vasotec, Zestril and others), Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists (Cozaar, Diovan, Avapro and others), Heparin, and Aldosterone antagonists.

More than 50 reports of Yasmin or Yaz deaths were reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) between the first quarter of 2004 and the third quarter of 2008. The deaths included cardiac arrests, pulmonary emboli and strokes. Hyperkalemia was also reported.