What is Yaz?
Yaz birth control, approved by the FDA in 2006 is a relative new-comer to the market of oral contraception and has quickly risen in popularity to become one of the most widely recognized and commonly used birth control pills in the United States. Yaz is a combination hormone birth control pill containing ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone hormones. Yaz, its generic sister Ocella, and its predecessor Yasmin all share a chemical component that sets them apart from other oral contraceptives, posing for many women significant and serious health risks. As a result, the FDA has mandated that all three forms of the pill display a black box warning on its packaging.
“A Different Kind of Hormone”
Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz, has been warned on more than one occasion by the FDA to clear up the confusion caused by their misleading advertising campaigns. The early ads exaggerated the alleged benefits associated with the hormone Drospirenone, claiming that it cures acne and relieves PMDD (pre-menstrual disphoric disorder).
These claims undermined the more urgent message regarding this “different kind of hormone”: the different health concerns and side effects associated with drospirenone such as increased potassium levels (hyperkalemia); blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke; even gall bladder disease, certain cancers, and vision loss. Over 50 women known to have used the drug have died since the dangers regarding drospirenone have been discovered.
The makers of Yaz manipulated and confused the women taking this drug, and as a result Yaz grew more popular and profitable every day. And while the makers of Yaz has since taken some measures to correct the misinformation, too many women have been left in the dark. Yaz is not a “new and improved” version of a time tested classic. It is a fourth generation combination birth control pill. The different hormone found in this latest generation as advertised by Bayer renders this pill very different from its older cousins; a potentially dangerous difference that still needs to be exposed.