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Yaz vs. Yasmin

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on December 25, 2019

Yaz vs. Yasmin

Yaz and Yasmin are birth control pills. They’re brand names for the combination of two hormones: drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol.

You use them to prevent pregnancy. They work by stopping your ovaries from releasing eggs. They also thicken the mucus in your cervix. Thicker mucus can make it harder for sperm to fertilize eggs.

The FDA has approved Yaz for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This is a condition that causes depression, anxiety, and crankiness in the week or two before your period starts. Doctors also use it to treat moderate acne in women who are 14 or older if they want to take a birth control pill. Yasmin isn’t approved for PMDD or acne.

Active Ingredients

Yaz and Yasmin are combination oral contraceptives, or COCs. Drospirenone is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. These hormones are also called progestins. Ethinyl estradiol is a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen.

How They’re Different

Yaz and Yasmin are very similar drugs. But they’re not exactly the same. Both medications include 3 milligrams (mg) of drospirenone, but Yaz contains 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol, while Yasmin has 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol.

You can get Yaz and Yasmin only with a prescription. You and your doctor will discuss which one is best for you.

How You Take Them

Yaz and Yasmin are small pills that you take once a day at the same time each day. You should take your pill every 24 hours even if you don’t have sex with your partner that day.

If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you take it within 12 hours of your normal time, it should still work OK.

If you miss one or more doses of your pills, or if you put off starting a new pack, you could get pregnant. Use a backup form of birth control, such as a condom, until you talk to your doctor.

If you vomit a lot or have diarrhea while you take Yaz or Yasmin, your body may not absorb the pill. You may need to use a backup form of birth control, such as a condom.

How Effective Are Yaz and Yasmin?

Yaz and Yasmin work very well at stopping pregnancy when you use them right. They’re both about 91% effective, which means about 9 women out of every 100 who take them will get pregnant.

What Are the Risks and Common Side Effects of Yaz and Yasmin?

Blood clots are a serious risk for women who use either Yaz or Yasmin. That’s because they contain drospirenone. Birth control pills with this hormone are more likely to raise your risk of blood clots than those that contain other types of progestins.

Your risk of a blood clot is higher when you use any birth control pill, but it’s still lower than it is when you’re pregnant or even for the time just after you have a baby.

Your doctor will talk with you about your chances for getting a blood clot and whether this type of birth control is right for you.

The most common side effects of Yaz and Yasmin are:

Yasmin is also linked to premenstrual syndrome.

It’s less common, but some women who take any COC can get high blood pressure. There’s a rare risk of heart attacks or strokes, but those are uncommon too.

Who Shouldn’t Take Yaz or Yasmin?

Women who are over 35 and smoke shouldn’t take either Yaz or Yasmin. If you smoke tobacco and take any COC, you’re at a higher risk for a serious condition that can damage your heart, like a heart attack or stroke.

Your doctor won’t prescribe either Yaz or Yasmin if you:

Don’t take either of these pills if you’re nursing a baby. These drugs may cause you to make less milk. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or also have vascular disease, you shouldn’t take either Yaz or Yasmin.

Yaz and Yasmin may interact with drugs or herbal supplements that induce certain enzymes. If you mix these, your birth control pill may not work as well. You could also have breakthrough bleeding during the month. If you use any enzyme inducer with Yaz or Yasmin, use backup birth control.

Cost and Availability

You can get Yaz and Yasmin in generic forms that should be cheaper. Several things can affect your cost. These include your insurance coverage, where you live, or whether you pay for your prescription in cash or through your insurance plan.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Yaz: Full Prescribing Information.

Yasmin: Full Prescribing Information.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).”

FDA: “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Updated information about the risk of blood clots in women taking birth control pills containing drospirenone.”

National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Ethinyl estradiol.”

New Zealand Family Planning: “The Pill.”

FDA: “Birth Control.”

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: “What are the different types of contraception?”

National Center for Health Research: “Are Some Birth Control Pills Too Risky?”

Health Affairs: “Prescription Drug Prices: Why Do Some Pay More Than Others Do?”

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