Drospirenone is the only progestin derived from 17a-spironolactone. It helps to suppress the secretion of hormones that regulate water and electrolyte levels in the body. It also has low androgenic activity.
Drospirenone and estrogen appear to reduce symptoms associated with mild PMS (increased appetite, low mood, and water retention). Drospirenone can cause high potassium levels, so women with kidney, liver, or adrenal gland problems should not use it.
The YAZ and Beyaz brands have 24 days of active pills and four days of placebo. This combination can cause less fluctuation in hormones than regular pill packs.
YAZ has also been approved by the FDA for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder . In several studies, drospirenone has been associated with an increased risk of blood clots.
A 2017 review reviewed 17 studies that found that the risk of blood clots ranged from no increase to a 3.3-fold increase in the risk of blood clots compared to levonorgestrel (birth control pills believed to have the lowest risk ) … It was concluded that, based on the best research, risk increases only marginally.
On the other hand, in another 2017 study , some of the same researchers looked at the risk of blood clots in first-time and repeat-use oral contraceptives in more than 55,000 women. They found that the risk of blood clots was 3.19 times higher with drospirenone than with levonorgestrel for first-time users and 1.96 times higher with repeat administration.
Women who have other risk factors for blood clots may consider taking birth control pills other than drospirenone or desogestrel, or another form of birth control.
Benefits : May help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMDD) and acne.
Disadvantages : increased risk of blood clots; Elevated serum potassium