Yaz is Not for Older Smokers

The official Yaz website emphasizes that the contraceptive is contraindicated for women who smoke and are over the age of 35. It seems that age and smoking increases the risk of developing side effects with Yaz, including blood clots, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Women over age 35 who don’t smoke have less risk than those who do, while smokers in general should just forget about taking Yaz.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when a young non-smoker suffers from side effects? This is what is carefully not addressed by the manufacturer. Marketing efforts tout Yaz as a triple threat: prevent pregnancy, treat moderate cases of acne, and alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, Yaz is not approved for use for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Why this is so is not really explained.

The fact is, Yaz does increase the risk for dangerous side effects 6 times more than other contraceptives for anyone who uses it, and many women are not aware of this. Moreover, the risk is greatest in the first year of use, so side effects can develop within a few weeks of first use. This should be emphasized to the general public so that women will know what they are getting into. Doctors would be able to warn them, but Yaz is now sold over-the-counter so that’s one control out the window.

Bayer HealthCare, already tangled up in more than 12,000 defective pharmaceutical lawsuits for serious Yaz and Yasmin side effects, has to inform the public in no uncertain terms about the dangers of using either formulation. There are great benefits to using Yaz for the right women, but they need to be carefully screened for contraindications such as a history of liver or kidney problems, high blood pressure, and so on. This may cut back on sales, but it would solve a lot of problems for everyone in the long run.

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