Yaz is a prescription drug containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone that is used to prevent pregnancy, to treat moderate acne in women who are at least age 14, and to treat the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. However, recent studies have shown that women who take Yaz have a higher risk of blood clots.
For instance, a 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal linked newer birth control containing drospirenone to a six-fold increase in the risk of the formation of clots in the thigh or lower leg that can travel to the lungs. That risk is only three-fold for women using older birth control pills containing levonorgestrel, which is also a synthetic hormone.
In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration released a communication about the risk of blood clots in women taking birth control containing drospirenone. After its review of the epidemiologic studies, the FDA concluded that birth control pills containing dispirenone “may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots than other progestin-containing pills.”
As a result, the FDA added information about the studies to the drug labels on the birth control pills. The FDA advised that:
Women should talk to their doctor about the risk of blood clots before deciding what type of birth control to use
Doctors should consider the risks and benefits of the birth control pills containing drospirenone and the patient’s risk for developing blood clots before prescribing these pills
Most recently, in 2013, documents from Health Canada revealed that the deaths of at least 23 Canadian women were linked to Yaz and Yasmin.