Consumer Medicine Information
This leaflet answers some common questions about YAZ. The information and instructions it contains may be different to information for other oral contraceptives you may have taken in the past. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking YAZ against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns, or are unsure about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What is YAZ?
YAZ is a combined oral contraceptive, commonly known as a 'birth control pill' or 'the Pill'.
YAZ is used to prevent pregnancy.
It is also used to treat moderate acne in women seeking oral contraception and to treat symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
You may also experience the following benefits:
Improvement in symptoms like bloating, swelling or weight gain related to fluid retention.
More regular and shorter periods and a decrease in the amount of blood you lose each month.
A decrease in anaemia (iron deficiency).
A decrease in period pain.
Some medical conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy and disorders of the uterus (womb), ovaries and breast are less common in women using oral contraceptives.
How YAZ works
When taken correctly, it prevents you from becoming pregnant in several ways:
Inhibiting the egg release by stopping it maturing.
Changing the cervical mucus consistency, making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg.
Changing the lining of the uterus, making it less suitable for implantation.
How YAZ is different from other contraceptive pills
YAZ has 24 active (hormone) tablets and 4 inactive tablets, compared with the traditional 21 active tablets and 7 inactive tablets of other Pills.
This means that with YAZ, you take the active (hormone) tablets for three more days than other contraceptive Pills. This helps your hormone levels to stay even.
What YAZ looks like
YAZ comes in a box containing either 1 or 3 blister packs. Each blister pack contains 24 pink active tablets and 4 white inactive tablets.
The blister pack is marked with days of the week next to each tablet.
Each pink active tablet contains 20 micrograms of ethinyloestradiol and 3 milligrams of drospirenone (as the active ingredients). Each pink tablet also contains:
Iron oxide red
Each white inactive tablet contains:
Before you take YAZ
Consult your doctor
Tell your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor if
you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes
you are overweight
anyone in your immediate family has had blood clots in the legs (thrombosis), a heart attack, a stroke, breast cancer or high cholesterol.
Tell your doctor if you have, or have had
high blood pressure
heart valve disorders or certain heart rhythm disorders
inflammation of your veins (superficial phlebitis)
an increased potassium blood level (e.g. due to problems with your kidney/s) and also use diuretics or other drugs that may increase the potassium in your blood.
Ask your doctor to check if you have
high cholesterol or triglycerides
gall bladder disease
Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (chronic inflammatory bowel disease)
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE - a disease affecting the skin all over the body)
haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS- a disorder of blood coagulation causing failure of the kidneys)
sickle cell disease
a condition that occurred for the first time, or worsened during pregnancy or previous use of sex hormones (e.g. hearing loss, a metabolic disease called porphyria, a skin disease called herpes gestationis, a neurological disease called Sydenham's chorea)
chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly of the face) - if so, avoid too much exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation
hereditary angioedema - you should see your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of angio-oedema, such as swollen face, tongue and/or pharynx and/or difficulty swallowing, or hives together with difficulty in breathing.
If any of the above conditions appear for the first time, or recur or worsen while using YAZ, you should contact your doctor.
When you must not take it
Do not take YAZ if you have an allergy to
any medicine containing ethinyloestradiol and/or drospirenone
any of the ingredients listed at the start of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty in breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take YAZ if you have or have had a blood clot in
the blood vessels of the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
the heart (heart attack),
the brain (stroke)
other parts of the body.
Do not take YAZ if you are concerned about an increased risk of blood clots. Blood clots are rare. Very occasionally blood clots may cause serious permanent disabilities, or may even be fatal.
You are more at risk of having a blood clot when you take the Pill. But the risk when taking the Pill is less than the risk during pregnancy.
Do not take YAZ if you are concerned about an increased risk of blood clots because of age or smoking. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke increases as you get older. It also increases if you smoke. You should stop smoking when using the Pill, especially if you are older than 35 years of age.
Do not take YAZ if you have, or have had
angina pectoris or chest pain
severe kidney insufficiency or an acute failure of your kidney
migraine, accompanied by visual symptoms, speech disability, or weakness or numbness in any part of your body
diabetes mellitus with blood vessel damage
pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas) associated with high levels of fatty substances in your blood
jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
severe liver disease
cancer that may grow under the influence of sex hormones (e.g. of the breast or the genital organs)
benign or malignant liver tumour
unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
Do not give this medicine to a child.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack, or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If this medicine has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and YAZ may interfere with each other. These include:
medicines used to treat tuberculosis such as rifampicin, rifabutin
medicines used to treat epilepsy such as phenytoin, primidone, barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbitone), carbamazepine, oxcarbazeipine, topiramate, felbamate, lamotrigine
medicines used to treat HIV, such as ritonavir or nevirapine
antibiotics (penicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline)
medicines used to treat fungal infections, such as ketoconazole and griseofulvin
cyclosporin, an immunosuppressant medicine
herbal medicines containing St John's Wort
These medicines may be affected by YAZ, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines.
You might have an increase in potassium in the blood if you are taking YAZ with medicines that may increase potassium levels in the blood. These include:
medicines used to treat high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-II-receptor antagonists and diuretics
certain anti-inflammatory medicines, such as indomethacin
aldosterone antagonists, such as spironolactone and eplerenone.
In a study of women taking drospirenone together with an ACE inhibitor, no significant differences were observed in the potassium levels when compared to the placebo.
You may need to use additional barrier methods of contraception (such as condoms or a diaphragm) while you are taking any of these medicines and for some time after stopping them.
Your doctor will be able to advise you about how long you will need to use additional contraceptive methods.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines that you need to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take YAZ
When to start taking YAZ
If you are starting YAZ after a natural cycle, and you have not used a hormonal contraceptive in the past month, start on the first day of your period, i.e. on the first day of your menstrual bleeding.
You may also start on days 2-5 of your period, but in that case make sure you also use additional barrier contraceptive precautions (e.g. condom) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
Your doctor will advise you when to start if you
are taking YAZ after having a baby
are breast-feeding - YAZ is not recommended
have had a miscarriage or an abortion.
If you are switching to YAZ
If you are switching from a 28 day pack combined oral contraceptive, start taking YAZ on the day after taking the last active tablet in your previous Pill pack or immediately after finishing your last Pill (a withdrawal bleed may not occur until the end of the first pack of YAZ).
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure which the active tablets were in your previous Pill pack. Your previous Pill pack may have different colour tablets to those of YAZ.
If you are switching from a progestogen-only Pill (minipill), stop taking the minipill on any day and start taking YAZ at the same time the next day. But make sure you also use additional barrier contraceptive precautions (e.g. condoms or a diaphragm) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking when having intercourse.
If you are switching from an injectable or implant, start using YAZ when your next injection is due, or on the day that your implant is removed. Make sure you also use additional barrier contraceptive precautions (e.g. condoms or a diaphragm) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking when having intercourse.
How to take YAZ
Take your first pink (active) tablet from the green area on the blister pack corresponding to the day of the week. Each blister pack is marked with the day of the week.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. It does not matter if you take this medicine before or after food.
You must take YAZ every day at around the same time every day.
You must take YAZ every day even if you do not have sex very often.
Follow the direction of the arrows on the blister pack until all the tablets have been taken.
If you do not understand the instructions on the blister pack, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Always start a new blister pack on the same day of the week as your previous pack.
If you miss a tablet
If you miss a tablet and take the missing tablet within 12 hours of missing it, you will be protected against pregnancy. If you are more than 12 hours late follow these detailed instructions:
For YAZ to be most effective, pink active tablets need to be taken uninterrupted for 7 days.
If you have been taking the pink active tablets for 7 uninterrupted days and miss a pink active tablet, take the missed tablet as soon as you remember, then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally, even if this means taking two tablets in one day. You will be protected against pregnancy.
The chance of pregnancy after missing a pink active tablet depends on when you missed the tablet. There is a higher risk of becoming pregnant if you miss a tablet at the beginning or end of a pack.
If after taking your missed tablet you have less than 7 days of pink active tablets left in a row, you should finish the active tablets in your pack but skip the white inactive tablets and start a new pack. This is the best way to maintain contraceptive protection. However, you may not have a period until the end of the pink active tablets of the second pack. You may have spotting or breakthrough bleeding on tablet-taking days.
If you have been taking the pink active tablets for less than 7 days and miss a pink active tablet, take the missed tablet as soon as you remember, then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally, even if this means taking two tablets in one day. In addition, you should also use additional barrier contraceptive precautions (e.g. condoms or a diaphragm) for the next 7 days. If you have had sexual intercourse during that time, there is a possibility of pregnancy and you may need emergency contraception.
If you forget to take more than one pink active tablet, seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist about what to do.
If you have had sexual intercourse in the week before missing your tablets, there is a possibility of becoming pregnant.
If you vomit within 3-4 hours or have severe diarrhoea after taking a pink active tablet, the active ingredients may not have been completely absorbed. This is like missing a tablet. Follow the advice for missed tablets.
If you forget to take a white inactive tablet, take it as soon as you remember and take the next tablet at the usual time. You are still protected against pregnancy because the white tablets do not contain any active ingredients.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Please refer to diagram for a Summary of advice if you missed a tablet more than 12 hours ago.
Summary of advice if you missed a tablet more than 12 hours ago.
Before missing your tablet, did you take pink active tablets for the previous 7 days?
Did you have sex in the 7 days before missing the tablet?
Take the tablet missed AND use extra barrier precaution for 7 days
See your Doctor or Pharmacist for advice
Does your pack still have 7 active pink tablets in a row to follow?
Take the tablet you missed AND complete taking the pink active tablets. Skip the white inactive tablets
Take the tablet you missed AND complete the pack as normal
If you take too much (overdose)
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much YAZ, immediately
telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26 in Australia or 0800 poison or 0800 764 766 in New Zealand) for advice, or
go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need medical attention.
While you are using YAZ
What you must do
Tell any doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
Have regular check ups with your doctor When you are using the Pill, your doctor will tell you to return for regular check ups, including getting a pap smear test. Your doctor will advise how often you need a pap smear test. A pap smear test can detect abnormal cells lining the cervix. Sometimes abnormal cells can progress to cancer.
If you are about to start on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking YAZ.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist beforehand that you are taking this medicine.
The risk of having deep venous thrombosis is temporarily increased as a result of an operation or immobilization (for example, when you have your leg or legs in plaster or splints). In women who use the Pill, the risk may be higher. The excess risk of thrombosis is highest during the first year a woman uses a combined oral contraceptive. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking the Pill several weeks before surgery, or at the time of immobilization, and when you can start taking the Pill again. If you notice possible signs of a thrombosis, stop taking the Pill and consult your doctor immediately.
Consult your doctor if you develop high blood pressure while using YAZ - you may be told to stop using it.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you have unexpected bleeding and it continues, becomes heavy, or occurs again, tell you doctor. When using these tablets for the first few months, you can have irregular vaginal bleeding (spotting or breakthrough bleeding) between your periods. You may need to use sanitary protection, but continue to take your tablets as normal. Irregular vaginal bleeding usually stops once your body has adjusted to the Pill, usually after about 3 months.
If you have missed a period, but you have taken all your tablets, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Continue to take YAZ as usual, if after taking the white active tablets at the right time, (without using any other medicines), you have not vomited or had severe diarrhoea.
If you miss your period twice in a row, you may be pregnant and you should seek advice from you doctor. Do not start the next pack of YAZ until your doctor has checked that you are not pregnant.
YAZ will not protect you from HIV-AIDS or any other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus and syphilis.
To protect yourself from STDs, you will need to use additional barrier contraceptives (e.g. condoms).
What you must not do
Do not take YAZ to treat any other conditions, unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else.
Do not stop taking your medicine or change the dosage without checking with your doctor. You may become pregnant if you are not using any other contraceptive and you stop taking YAZ, or do not take a tablet every day.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking YAZ. This medicine helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed on the following pages may also occur in some people.
If you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
changes in weight
headache, including migraines
mood changes, including depression
breast tenderness or pain.
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. These are usually mild and lessen with time.
If you experience any of the following, tell your doctor immediately, or go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital:
sharp chest pain
breathlessness and/or difficulty breathing
painful swelling in your leg(s)
weakness, numbness or bad 'pins and needles' of an arm or leg
severe stomach pains
a bad fainting attack, or you collapse
unusual headaches or migraines that are worse than usual
sudden problems with your speech or eyesight
jaundice (yellowing skin or yellowing eyes)
you cough up blood
unexplained vaginal bleeding.
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are very rare.
Cancer and the Pill
Breast cancer has been diagnosed slightly more often in women who use the Pill than in women of the same age who do not use the Pill. This slight increase in the numbers of breast cancer diagnoses gradually disappears during the course of the 10 years after women stop using the Pill.
It is not known whether the difference is caused by the Pill. It may be that these women were examined more often, so that the breast cancer was noticed earlier.
In rare cases benign liver tumours and, even more rarely, malignant liver tumours have been reported in users of the Pill. These tumours may lead to internal bleeding. Contact your doctor immediately if you have severe pain in your abdomen.
Cervical cancer has been reported to occur more often in women who have been using the Pill for a long time. This finding may not be caused by the Pill, but may be related to sexual behaviour and other factors.
How to store YAZ
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store YAZ in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave this medicine on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep YAZ where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Bayer Australia Limited
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875 Pacific Highway
Bayer New Zealand Limited
3 Argus Place
Hillcrest North Shore
Australian Registration Number AUST R 133649
Date of Preparation This leaflet was prepared in February 2008.
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