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Have You Seen the New Yaz Commercials?

February 1, 2009

This weekend, I saw a new commercial for Yaz birth control, which features a female spokesperson and started with a statement along the lines that the FDA thought the previous ads were inadequate and asked that they clear up a few things.

I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve noticed an explicit “the FDA made us do this” message in a drug ad.

The FDA really did make them do it, though, issuing a warning letter [PDF] last October stating that “The TV Ads are misleading because they broaden the drug’s indication, overstate the efficacy of YAZ, and minimize serious risks associated with the use of the drug.”

Don’t remember the ads in question? What if I sing “we’re not gonna take it” or “goodbye to you” for you? And you picture women kicking away or popping balloons with words like “irritability?” Also, Sarah Haskins featured one of the ads in her Target Women: Birth Control bit, and you can likely find them on YouTube.

You see, YAZ is approved for “PMDD” – premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a diagnosis akin to “really super-severe PMS, with depression” that entered the general consciousness when the patent on Prozac was running out and so its maker repackaged the drug as Sarafem. [See this related discussion on direct-to-consumer advertising from Our Bodies Ourselves]

The ads, though, didn’t make that clear, that YAZ is not intended for everyday (or everymonth, I guess) PMS symptoms. The FDA warned that the:

“TV ads misleadingly suggest that YAZ is appropriate for treating women with PMS, who may not be appropriate candidates for this drug. We note that despite listing certain symptoms of PMDD, nowhere do the TV Ads use the full phrase ‘premenstrual dysphoric disorder,’ to more completely distinguish PMDD from PMS, thereby increasing the likelihood that a viewer, in light of the claims and presentations described below, will understand it to be the same as, or substantially similar to, PMS.”

Has anybody else seen the new ad? I wasn’t able to find a copy online yet, but it certainly caught my attention with the language specifying that FDA had made them produce clarifying ads. Yay.

About these ads
52 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2009 7:51 am

    I’ve seen the commercials and was also surprised, because nothing really stuck out about the previous ones. However, because I know that Yaz was also approved for PMDD and moderate to severe acne as well as an OCP, I guess they weren’t a fuzzy thing for me. In hindsight, I can see how they would have been unclear to the general public since they were touting how great Yaz is for everything but birth control.

    Now I wonder if the FDA made celebrex make those awful 20 minute commercials about their drug and cox-2 inhibitors.

  2. February 2, 2009 10:53 am

    Labor Nurse, I can’t find anything indicating that the FDA forced those long, texty Celebrex ads, but I did come across this related article from the NY Times describing Public Citizen’s complaint about those ads – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/media/10celebrex.html?_r=1&ref=business

    I’m waiting for something like this to happen with Abilify, because the ads, to me, make it seem like it’s just a little harmless something extra to get you through the day when regular depression meds aren’t enough.

  3. February 3, 2009 8:25 am

    Labor Nurse, does the new Yaz ad actually say that it’s a contraceptive pill? Because that would be amazing.

    I don’t own a TV, so I rarely ever see commercials. Possibly for that reason, I didn’t even know that Yaz was recommended for PMDD until I’d been taking it for months and asked my doctor if there was a reason my period was lighter, shorter, and less uncomfortable. (Shame on me for not doing my research on the drug’s side effects, but all I wanted was a contraceptive pill that didn’t make me feel like a wreck.) So I’m generally pro-Yaz as a product; good for them if they’re becoming more straightforward in their marketing. It’s annoying that prescription drugs have to/want to market at all – I’d rather make an informed choice than be persuaded, thanks – but if they must advertise at least they could be like “this drug can prevent pregnancy AND maybe if your hormones work this way it can make your life easier in these other ways. Maybe.”

  4. February 4, 2009 7:34 am

    Tanglethis, you didn’t ask me, but that’s good because I don’t remember the answer to whether the new ad actually says it’s a contraceptive pill! If I catch it again or can find it online, I’ll post back.

  5. Ethel permalink
    February 4, 2009 2:44 pm

    Yes the ad mentions that’s used for birth control but does not protect against STDs or HIV.

    The big problem with the ad, to me, is that it confuses the issue of PMDD vs. PMS as in general it’s unclear what the difference is and as far as I knew all birth control pills tend to minimize PMS simply as a by-product of how it functions… In general it comes across as a drug for only a few women with some severe problems, not just as birth control.

  6. Valarie permalink
    February 7, 2009 5:43 pm

    I haven’t seen the ad….I want to. My daughter saw it this week while American Idol was on. The reason she brought it to my attention is that I was given this pill to stop bleeding caused by fibroid tumors.I had an immediate negative reaction. Excessive sweating, racing heart, and sleep disturbances were the beginning.
    I took myself off of them but have been on a downward spiral since. My daughter says the new ad states that if you have a predisposition to heart or endocrine problems do not take this pill.
    I have no idea how I was to know I had endocrine or heart indicators.
    I can not write the details of the roller coaster ride I have been on since. I can not say the Yaz was solely responsible for my problems but it certainly is one piece of the puzzle.
    I just want my body to go back to the way it was.

  7. Sarah permalink
    February 13, 2009 12:04 am

    You know, I had a similar experience to Valerie. After occasionally switching pills over several years, I was given Yaz and had a pretty awful reaction. I was exhausted, depressed and completely lost my sex drive. I slept from 9pm until noon, then went to work, came home and went to bed for a week. It worked as birth control in that i didn’t want anyone near me, because I was miserable. I only stayed on it for a week or two, then stopped taking them. I also didn’t get all the way back into my normal swing for a long time. Or maybe I just adjusted.
    Since then (about 3 yrs ago), I get PACs or PVCs, my periods are less regular and more painful. My GYN even checked me out via ultrasound to see if I had cysts (thankfully, I didn’t).
    I would like my body to be back to the way it was, too. I also can’t say that Yaz was the sole reason for all these changes. But I can say that none of these things happened before i took it.

  8. Cindy permalink
    February 27, 2009 10:17 am

    Hi Gals,

    I saw the new add- and this to me is also misleading- this pill should be removed from the market completely. Right now my family is dealing with the after effects of taking YAZ for two months. My sister-in-law was takng the pill- and then stopped becuase of the minor side effcts (weight gain,skin break outs). She has always been one of those happy bubbley people and YAZ threw her hormones so out of wack she fell into a deep depression- couldnt work because of anxiety and panic attacks and her complete inabilty not to cry every second of the day, nothing was important to her- she wanted it to be, but just couldnt pull herself out of the hole. Her once happy relationship was in shambles and she was doubting that she even loved her fiance when this has NEVER been questioned. After doing tons of research, we found that many cases of severe depression have been reported and the exact same feelings towards significant others were very prevelant. The sad thing- is that this is just the people that have found the YAZ support sites. Many probably dont even have a clue that YAZ can have that much of an effect- but I asure you- it can. This pill is approved for people with PMMD. Does it not strike a cord with anyone else that if YAZ is strong enough to correct this imbalance then it just might be too strong for those that dont have that imbalance? IMAGINE what it would do to their system. Its like giving Codine to someone who needs an asprin. Additionally, we dont know all of the effects that this additional hormone they include truly have on the body. 31 year olds that dont smoke and are generally healthy are getting blood clots in thier lungs and having strokes! I even ran across a few that didnt link their depression with YAZ and starting taking anti-depressants- then overdosing! My gyn explained to me that YAZ effects the hormones, creating a hormonal imbalance in those that really didnt have one (the pill was too strong for). When they take antidepressants- it is then altering the chemical balance then compounding this over the hormonal imbalance creates a suicidal situation. My sister-in-law was directed to start taking an old school PROVEN birth control to force her hormones into a balance that is suitable for her body. This has made a huge difference, but 2 months later- she still is feeling effects during those hormonal times. This is the worst pill out there if you consider yourself pretty normal and do not try to behead those around you during your period.

  9. February 27, 2009 3:23 pm

    Cindy, I’m sorry your sister-in-law had such a terrible experience. Her depression sounds a little like how I felt while taking “old school” birth control… on the other hand, Yaz is the only oral contraceptive I’ve taken that allows me to stay healthy and feel normal. So, taking it off the market would make me pretty miserable!
    Thing is, since women have all kind of different hormone balances, there isn’t a single hormone pill that will have the same effect on all women. And – most unfortunately – there isn’t a really good way to find out which hormones will work with your body until you’ve tried them. It’d be great if medical science could do something about this, but until then, the only thing to do is be super-self aware when taking a drug that’s new to your body, and notice if anything changes for the worse. I respect that you want to help other women going through what your SiL went through, but this one brand isn’t going to hurt all women and certainly will help some of them!

    • Becky permalink
      June 16, 2009 8:28 pm

      I thought that Yaz was helping me for two years until I finally figured out that it was responsible for my digestive issues. Now I’m having problems with my gall bladder like many other young women on Yaz. (I’m 25) I just want all women to do the research. It’s really a very dangerous pill.

  10. Cindy permalink
    February 27, 2009 8:27 pm

    Hi Tang,

    There are many people taking this drug that are not having any adverse effects. However, the FDA is making them clarify things publicly, this tells us all that the whole story is NOT being told. We wont know for years what effect this drug will really have the people taking it long term- but that aside, It has to make you wonder what else they are NOT telling us.

    I have seen some of the effects, and in my mind- ANY company that has a drug, but is misleading about its use or side effects should be pulled from the market until that company accurately defines who the drug is appropriate for.

    Typically, women who are happy with their pill will not be reading these blogs. The ones having issues are typically the ones looking answers in these types of forums and if people do not share their experiences then it leaves so many woman out there wondering why they feel the way they do. I havent looked recently (in the last two weeks or so)- but the YAZ website made it sound like the “wonder” birth control- sweeping complications under the carpet. This simply isnt right.

    So I am happy YAZ is working well for you and the other woman who are currently happy with it- but even you all should be aware of what could happen so you can, as you said, be in tune with your body and notice warning signs. Many woman did not feel any of these effects until they had been on YAZ for a long time or had discontinued use of the product, so they never linked it as a side effect.

  11. Dayna permalink
    March 5, 2009 10:14 pm

    Prior to taking Yaz, I was 120 pounds, happy, healthy and energetic. My only complaint was a terrible monthly period, so I started Yaz to help with that. The pill seemed to work wonders for about 2 months, then the third month I started to gain weight, feel sad, tired, and depressed. I stopped taking the pill after the third month was over. I exercised and watched what I ate and still my weight continued to creep up till it finally stopped at 144. It has been a year since I stopped and I still struggled with mild depression and struggle to lose weight. All of my weight seems to be in my midsection, like a tire or like I’m extremely bloated! I will never take Yaz again, nor would I recommend it to anyone!

  12. Cris permalink
    March 5, 2009 11:18 pm

    Hello ladies,

    I feel so betrayed and angry at my Gyn doc for not having explained these possibilities to me prior to giving me 3 months of free samples. All I complained about was having long periods (about 6 or 7 days to completely stop bleeding). After I received an ultrasound to check for fibroids and the results came back negative, my doc suggested Yaz. The ONLY side effect she warned me of was a slight possible weight gain. In the past 3 months, I can no longer wear my size 1 – 2s, I am now wearing a size 5 – 7!! I noticed a massive decrease in a sex drive, an increase in irritability, a sudden negative thought process, snapping at people when I am normally very sincere and considerate of others feelings, feeling unmotivated in school, fatigue, some nights I cannot sleep yet some nights I can sleep for 14 hours straight! I began to break out in lots of black heads on places I have never had them before, I am discharing more than ever, and I have extreme issues with concentration. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I became extremely concerned (I am now finishing my 3rd month); I began to cry myself to sleep, having severe thoughts of suicide, feelings of leaving my kids and running away where nobody will find me, and even hoping ot spend the rest of my life alone…if I do not kill myself first. I was thinking horrible thoughts about my boyfriend when I had absolutely no reason to. I have not talked to a good friend in 2 1/2 months now, and I used to speak to her almost on a daily basis. The feelings of lonliness and insecurities are drowning me… I had NO idea all of this could be related to Yaz until I saw the new commercial. I remember thinking “What? Is there some sort of negative information out there about Yaz?” To top it off, I went to see my gyn last week and told her nurse that I did not like Yaz (also, it did not shorten my bleeding, but instead caused an annoying spotting for 7 days) at all, but instead of changing my pill she tells me to give it another couple of months and if I still don’t like it I should call back and they’ll prescribe something different. A few days later, I see the commercial… I would normally research the drug, but I am using every single ounce of what I have left to focus on raising my two boys alone, working full-time, and going to college online full-time. I cannot afford to screw up my degree especially after having such high hopes of providing for my boys the way I would like to since I am a single mom. But, it has been the hardest thing for me to handle.

    My gyn should have told me that Yaz was for women who suffer from PMDD!!! I do not or have never suffered from PMDD!!! Why on earth would she prescribe it to me? NOW…I am reading women are not the same after a year of being off of Yaz?!?! OMG! I am SOOO terrified right now! It’s only been 2 days since I have taken the pill, but only because I was on the verge of committing suicide all because my boyfriend did not call me back right away and because I remembered the commercial, I googled “Can Yaz make you feel suicidal?” and this forum was in the results, along with many other shocking similar stories! I am appalled that this drug is still on the market. In fact, I am doing further research and I am contacting an attorney. This is ridiculous and completely irresponsible of the drug maker and FDA for approving this drug. At the very least, they should stress the dangers of taking this drug if you do not suffer from PMDD!

    Cris
    Austin, TX

    • Samantha permalink
      March 28, 2009 9:40 am

      I’m glad the FDA is making them clarify, but I don’t know why everyone blames other people for their ignorance. It is YOUR body! It is up to YOU to research the freaking drug! And if you can’t figure out that it’s sole purpose is for PREVENTING BABIES, than good god you shouldn’t be allowed to make any. Cris said ” my doctor told me it was for PMDD.” Do you really think you need a prescription for some friggin midol? Its YOUR job to ask the doctor questions. Not to mention the YAZ website, the FDA website, and the pamphlet that comes with the pills!!!!!!!

    • March 28, 2009 10:19 am

      Samantha, I just have to say that I really disapprove of people proclaiming who should and should not “be allowed” to make babies. There is too much historical baggage there and too much potential for abuse.

  13. Nikki permalink
    March 7, 2009 2:26 pm

    My Doctor put me on Yaz almost three months ago. Before the birth control I was having severe period pain, and 7 day periods. I have been on other birth controls, otrtho-tri-cyclen, the patch, and the nuva ring. When switching to all of those my period started right when it was supposed to coencide with the medication i was taking. On yaz my period still hasnt come on the days I take the white pills. Not only that but my last two periods I still had severe pain and spotted for two weeks before. Now this month I am having period symptoms and spotting two weeks before my period is supposed to be here, three if you count the fact the my period has been coming the week after its supposed to. It has shortened my period to 5 days, but I hate the spotting. The other day after I took the pill for the day, my stomach became upset, I had a bad headache (which I never get), abdomenal pain, and slightly dizzy which lasted the rest of the day. I am not sure if this is the pills that are doing this to me or not, but there is nothing else I can think of that would have caused this. Have others had these symptoms??

  14. Telesia permalink
    March 11, 2009 8:47 pm

    I have been on yaz for 20 months. In the beginning there was nausea but it went away after a couple of months. i stopped taking the pill because i have been moody, depressed and gained weight especially mid section and I even exercised and dieted and went to the gym 6 times a week and still cannot lose a pound. I am now up to 200 pounds more than when i delivered my baby 20 months ago. I use to be a size 12 to 14 and now after yaz a tight 16 and going into 18 and I am exercising excessively for 1.5 hours a day every day. I have not had a period in over 7 months. I use to have 7 day periods, then 4 day, 3 day, 2 day, 1 day and NO Day. I have been off of Yaz for a week and no signs of period. I am not pregnant. So I am hoping I will start my period and be able to lose weight with vigourous exercise. I am going to try a cleanse to get Yaz out of my system.

    • asdf permalink
      May 13, 2009 11:15 pm

      none of that happened to me. and once i got off it i got my period rite away.. im soo unlucky :/

  15. kate permalink
    March 19, 2009 7:15 pm

    First Yaz had to redo the tv adds because it has not been approved for PMS only PMDD– That is the ONLY reason…. Anyway one would think if it can help PMDD it may also help PMS …IT JUST WASN’T APPROVED FOR PMS.. so the company is now looking to do that.

    AS for trusting what the FDA says …How many people died taking FEN FEN and other drugs approved by the FDA!!!!!

    Sorry, if I am not all up in arms over what the FDA thinks.

  16. YazHands permalink
    March 21, 2009 9:12 pm

    Kate said it best, brief and to the point. Now, my question is, does anyone have a link to the most recent commercial (the FDA redo one). I want to show it to a friend who I have a YAZ joke with. We find the nightclub atmosphere a silly place to advertise a contraceptive, and the way the friends talk about it is ridiculous. This is a serious drug, not a “get a lesser period pass.” Plus the way the friends discuss it is so oddly casual as well, it stands out a lot as a drug commercial before the FDA announcement one.

  17. March 22, 2009 7:25 am

    I’ve been looking for the ad on YouTube and elsewhere, but I haven’t been to find it so far. There *are* a bunch of Yaz commercial parodies on YouTube, though!

  18. say-rah permalink
    March 27, 2009 9:52 pm

    Several young, non-smokers in my community have had serious complications on YAZ. Of course, it may be a fluke, but at a minimum, those who are on it should really take a look at the FDA warning letter on their website. At a minimum, the manufacturer is guilty of false advertising. All medications have side effects, but we have a duty to make reasoned judgements about how we care for our bodies. This is made difficult if data we have ready access to is incomplete or exaggerated. Be an informed consumer.

  19. April 6, 2009 2:15 pm

    I was prescribed YAZ in early December, 2008, for PMDD. I was suffering extremely severe symptoms before and during my period for nearly a year, and this seemed like the most reasonable answer. Actually, for PMDD, it was the perfect answer! I had awesome results from the first period after I started taking it.

    However, on February 1, after having taken YAZ for nearly two months, I began to suffer from unexplained joint pain, night sweats, fever, sleeplessness, lethargy, rapid heart rate, paresthesia…and did I mention JOINT PAIN?!?!?! These symptoms persisted for nine weeks, until my new Rheumatologist (2nd one I’ve seen in two months; along with a Neurologist; my family doc; and an ER doc) told me he believes I have drug-induced/drug-exacerbated Lupus or some other underlying connective tissue disorder brought on by the use of YAZ.

    I was told to stop taking this medication immediately, but have read on some forums that it may even take weeks or months to fully get back to my old self. That is, if YAZ is indeed the culprit. At this point, even to me, it seems the most plausible answer. This has been nothing short of a harrowing experience, and the pain has been unbearable. I just want it to go away! I want my life back!

    I cannot say that YAZ should be pulled off the market, or that it is a wonder-drug. I would say that, like every other medication, YAZ will be a huge help to some, and an even bigger burden to others. Talk with your doctor, ask questions, do your research, etc. This is your body – your life. Take care of it!

    The only thing my doctors have to figure out now is whether the disease, thought to have been brought on by YAZ, is a faux illness, or a true, underlying disease, which I will have to deal with for the rest of my life.

    I am currently taking Celebrex 200 twice daily; Ultram 200 ER once daily; and Ambien at bedtime. Until last Thursday, I hadn’t slept in so long, I was nearly delirious during the daytime. I feel my mind becoming sharper, and snapping back into shape. Sleeplessness will certainly harm your body and mind in ways you never imagined!

    Hopefully, I am on the road to recovery…

    • Susan permalink
      April 21, 2009 6:14 am

      I am having exactly the same symptoms as you in my third month of YAZ. It is freaking me out and making me think I have MS or who knows what. Have you found anything else out?

      I am quitting YAZ today!

    • Susan permalink
      April 21, 2009 6:18 am

      I will keeping checking to see if you have responded! I am so interested in how you have recovered.

    • Becky permalink
      June 16, 2009 8:44 pm

      I also went to the doctor for joint pain after 5 months on Yaz. I was tested for Lupus because of the pain and fatigue. The Lupus tests came back negative. I never thought that it could be related to Yaz. These are the symptoms I experienced while on Yaz: joint pain, fatigue, depression (constant crying), bloating, weight gain (20 lbs in a year and I’ve never had issues with my weight before), problems with my gall bladder (I’m in the process of getting tests done to see if it has to be removed.), trouble wearing contact lenses, frequent urination, trouble sleeping…. I will never go on another birth control pill again. It’s way too risky. Yaz has made my life miserable. Thank God my husband put up with me through it all. (I was an emotional lunatic. I was constantly unhappy and caused many fights.) I have never been to the doctor as much in my whole life as I was while on Yaz.

    • July 17, 2009 4:08 pm

      Hello TW, I wanted to know how your recovery has been. I have been on the same roller coaster since march. My doctor wanted to start running tests on me but I told him I KNOW it is from YAZ. I went from perfectly healthy to a month after the pill deteriorating. I have MASSIVE joint point, my feet and hands were completely swollen, my entire body ached, I was always tired and forget about sleeping, it hurt too much. I felt like I was trapped in an 80 year old’s body. I stopped the pill June 19 b/c I felt it was getting worse. 3 weeks after I still felt HORRIBLE. I know some take longer than others to get hormones back to normal. Anyway, I am on day 4 of celebrex and a duiretic (I made my doctor give me to try and flush out my system). I am told my doctor I wanted to give time for any YAZ leftovers to flush out before taking 10 mill blood tests. I would LOVE to hear how you are doing now or if you had any diagnosis. Hope you’re doing well!!

    • Amanda permalink
      October 2, 2009 9:42 pm

      Similar situation here… Started taking YAZ about 1 year ago. About 8 months ago started experiencing joint pain. The pain became so severe at one point my shoulders hurt so bad I could not lift arms up to blow dry hair for about 3 days without wincing in pain and crying at the thought of it. Joint pain has continued .. went to gyno and she said sometimes the hormones from BC can bring out underlying conditions?! After this, went on a trip and had walked several miles – came home and my feet were swollen for 4 weeks and still hurt now?! Who have ever heard of that. I’m only 30? Either way I was tested for pretty much everything – came back normal so now I’m quitting on my own decision. If you can even sleep through the night without pain it is not normal. Before this pill, never had ANY problems. Quit while you can.

    • Frances permalink
      March 11, 2010 5:45 pm

      I know this is a late response to your posts, but I suffered the same way. I was suffering with extreme fatigue, sweatting out of know where, fever would spike, bad joint pain, couldn’t sleep, weight gain, mood swings…. Some nights it was all I could do to keep it together and not just lay there and cry. I would get up several times a night and sit in a hot bath and cry. I wondered what was wrong and never pieced it together until about 2 months ago. I had every test ran you can think of. They checked my thyroid, hormones, lupus, ms, rheumatoid arthritis… I am a nurse and have worked in a clinical setting for 8 years. I knew something was wrong but when all the tests were normal or not enough abnormalities to be conclusive I really started to feel crazy… I drove my primary doctor crazy (even thought he would never let me know that and was great through everything) I went to an infectious disease doctor, who wanted to send me to a dermatologist because I had an abnormal ANA. I had all the symptoms of lupus but no rash. I scheduled myself an appointment with a rheumatologist when I started researching. I started looking at all things lupus. Any form, symptom, exacerbation (what could make it worse). That’s when I read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that told about a study done on women about systemic lupus erythmatosus. It said that women get the disease far more than men and there could possibly be a link between lupus and female hormones. I then went on to look into drug induced lupus and found that COC’s(combines oral contraceptive)(birth controls with both hormones, estrogen and progestin) could cause it. THAT WAS IT!!! I JUST KNEW IT, I FINALLY KNEW WHAT IT WAS! I then wrote a letter to my gyno who knew I was feeling so bad for so long explaining to her what I found. The only common link in 5 years ago and now was my birthcontrol, YAZ….. She supported me and even has started researching the link between drug induced lupus and yaz. I stopped the pill and stayed off any form of BC for one month. Then started a progestin only pill about 3 weeks ago. I feel like a new woman. Although I still have weight to lose and am not totally back to normal, I am well on my way. I felt bad for so long, I have made it my mission to help any other woman who may feel like this that is taking yaz. Don’t be afraid to take control of your situation. You know your body better than anyone. Make the decision to stop taking something that could be making you feel this way. If you stop it and don’t start to feel better at some point, then yaz may not be the problem. All I know is that if I had kept on seeing doctor after doctor, I would still feel bad and be a lot broker! :) No doctor I have told my story to has ever heard of it happening but they have welcomed the information. My mood swings are much better, I don’t cry at everything I see and I am even getting my sex drive back. I want to say thank you to everyone who shared their story on here, it is truly inspiring. In fact while I was reading your stories, I easily cried for the first time since stopping yaz.

      • July 23, 2012 3:34 pm

        Your life is mirroring mine. I just figured out it is the YAZ that’s doing this to me. I’m curious how long it took to get back to normal? Please send me an email and let me know, I’m so sad and scared about all of this. :( My joint was bad and I started going to all the Docs trying to figure it out and whatever they did just made it worse. Now I’m even worse off. I stopped the YAZ 3 days ago, I’m praying it makes all this go away.

  20. Colleen permalink
    April 19, 2009 4:11 pm

    Does anyone know if youtube or any site has posted the new yaz birth control commercial? I did my senior thesis on prescrition drug advertising and I wanted to use this during my presentation. If anyone knows where I could find it please let me know. Thank you!

    -Colleen

  21. April 20, 2009 11:47 am

    Colleen, it wasn’t up before, but I just found it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO-G8O0lHq0

  22. Colleen permalink
    April 30, 2009 7:50 pm

    Rachel, thank you so much for letting me know, i appreciate it very much!

  23. May 19, 2009 9:20 am

    Thanks for this great post Im pretty sure that many people are searching informative post like yours .

  24. BCP Nightmare permalink
    June 10, 2009 1:05 pm

    I have been on birth control pills since I was 16-17 years old. I am now going on 27. They started me on OrthoTriCyclen and I tried that for three months but couldn’t stand it because they gave me migraine headaches at least once a month. My doctor was nice enough to ask me how I knew it was a migraine. I had never experienced anything like the pain, vision and cognitive issues I had during these headaches. The only thing that made it better was just sleeping it off. They switched me over to Norinyl 1/28 (generic, Necon). I was on the Norinyl relatively problem free for almost 9 years. My only issues were chronic yeast infections (BC pills can change the pH down there and lead to yeast overgrowth). And I did have a problem a few years into it with twitching “like a metronome” while I was asleep. I didn’t know until years later when my husband told me I had been doing it for about 6 years (two years after I started the pill).

    I then saw a product advertised on TV, Yaz. It cost a bit more but I was interested in the skin clearing benefits of it. My gyno said it was a better product than the Necon I was on which was one of the first pills developed so I switched. I have to say it did clear up my acne, my skin looked great! I took Yaz for about 5 months and in that time I started experiencing strange symptoms. I had extreme fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, bone and joint pain, burning in the hands/feet, twitching while AWAKE and some other issues including emotional instability. I was still able to work but I wasn’t nearly as efficient as I once was and I was miserable.

    I visited nearly every doctor I could think of. I did a sleep study and that came back normal. I did blood tests and all those were normal (later on I found that BC pills can throw off thyroid tests). I visited a rheumatologist and he tested me for all the arthritic conditions and those came back negative. I even was tested for allergies to see if I was having a reaction to a certain food or something. The only test that showed anything was that my Vitamin D was low so I was put on 50,000 IU once a week for a few months and then told to take 2,000 IU a day. The Vitamin D helped with the fatigue but I was still in pain. My rheumatologist thought I had Fibromyalgia and told me he had been treating patients for 20+ years with little or no improvement. I was not satisfied with living with this painful condition without any relief so I started looking elsewhere for answers.

    Broke, frustrated, losing weight rapidly, and tired of being called crazy by my husband saying that my health issues were “all in my head” I finally found a Naturopathic doctor to help me. She did a hair mineral test to find that I had severe nutritional deficiencies to the point that my body had started attacking my muscles for protein. I also couldn’t utilize my calcium so it was being stored in my hair and joints causing my joint pain. I also had elevated levels of a few heavy metals. We are not sure which caused which since both are interconnected. I also now have blood sugar stability issues and my hormonal and endocrine system is a wreck! I stopped taking my pills back in January after reading how they can cause nutritional problems and absorption issues. It took nearly 5 months for my period to return.

    I have been put on a special low-glycemic diet, told to eat only organic vegetables and meat to avoid the chemicals they have in pesticides. It has turned my world upside down and I am still not 100%. I am taking multi-vitamins, liquid minerals, probiotics, liquid vitamin B12, fish oil, CoQ10, EmergenC and Horsetail tea try to get me back to good health. My nutritional issues didn’t happen overnight and they aren’t going to be fixed quickly either. I am finally starting to maintain my weight and am not losing any more. I was thinner now than I was back in middle school and that was downright scary. I had lost so much muscle mass from my body cannibalizing myself. At least now I hurt from my exercise, not from some mysterious condition. If I cheat on my diet and eat stuff that is high carb I start to feel achy and the fatigue comes back so I know we are on to something.

    So those of you out there on birth control pills PLEASE make sure you take a good multi-vitamin (not the 1 a day crap unless you want to take a few of them a day) and a good B Vitamin Complex to avoid this from happening! (Please see this article here: http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?Id=1260) Also know that birth control pills are not 100% safe. I wasn’t informed as a teenager and honestly I wasn’t that sexually active I could have used condoms. I started on the pill at the request of my Mother who wasn’t informed on their potential risks either and the military doctor who prescribed them to me did not mention anything either. Be an informed consumer and know that when you are taking synthetic hormones there is always a risk!

  25. Casey permalink
    June 12, 2009 12:24 pm

    I am so sorry that so many people have had bad experiences with Yaz. However my experience has literally been life saving. I have had horribly debilitating periods since the 5th grade. I would have to stay home because the pain would have me doubled over, throwing up, with the added benefit of fevers. My doctors had me on an ever revolving combination of pain medication and muscle relaxers that never really worked. This had to stop when I was at the legal limit of what they could prescribe me for this type of issue. I also had major anxiety and depression issues since around the same time. I have been on and off an ever revolving list of anti anxiety and depression medicines as well. In college they started prescribing me yet another revolving list of hormonal birth control pills to try to control my periods that caused me to become a recluse and want to kill myself. I would fly off the handle or cry at the stupidest things. None of these medications ever fixed anything. The doctors would tell me to put up with them a little longer for them to take effect but nothing ever did. I was absolutely miserable and it kept me from participating in life. Nothing fixed the two week periods and the debilitating pain associated with them.
    Last year I self diagnosed my own ovarian cysts after doing a lot of research. I went through seven doctors before I could convince one to do an ultrasound. Apparently I don’t “look” like I should have cysts because I am to thin. The ultrasound showed multiple very large cysts on both ovaries to the point that one ovary was twice the size it was supposed to be. The doctor was very surprised and told me that I needed surgery. I did not want surgery so she said that I could try Yaz for three months and if the cysts had gone down we could potentially avoid the surgery. Like I said before, Yaz has literally been a life saver. My periods are lighter and shorter. The cramps have diminished to the point that Aspirin or a heating pad takes care of them. My anxiety and depression is almost completely gone, it only comes back on the days when I take the inactive pills. And the best thing is that the cysts have decreased in size and are under control so I don’t have to have surgery.
    I can relate to having horrible birth control side effects because every other pill, patch or injection I have ever taken made me a monster. But Yaz has been completely different for me. People need to be educated and we need to stop treating birth control and related issues so lightly in the general public. Most birth controls will not work for an individual because of side effects, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one that will work. And that doesn’t mean that we should ban one because if has negative effects on some. We need to walk into the doctors office and demand that they answer our questions and we need to come prepared with educated questions and a willingness to learn and be involved in our own health care. No more walking in and just taking what they hand us, no more putting up with side effects and being told it is all in your head. If your doctor is not taking care of you demand better service or get another doctor. If they provide poor service, refuse or are hostile while answering questions then turn them into the licensing board. This is your body and no one knows what you are feeling, you are the front runner in deciding if you are ok and many times you are going to be your only advocate.

  26. hurleygurlie permalink
    June 22, 2009 9:20 pm

    I am sorry for those of you who have had a terrible experience with Yaz. For me, it has been a total godsend. I love this birth control pill. My skin was not bad before Yaz, but now I have maybe one zit per month, which is quite an improvement from before, when I would have maybe one or two zits on my face all the time. I used to be angry and depressed before my periods, not anymore. I find that I’m generally happier and less anxious than I used to be.

    I used to have severe cramps, to the point that I was vomiting. My cramps are so much less severe now. One or two OTC painkillers takes them away. My period used to be heavy for a week. Now it’s much less and only for four days. I love Yaz!

  27. social worker girl permalink
    June 24, 2009 11:44 am

    I am appreciative of this website, to allow me this opportunity to vent my complete disgust of the new Yaz commercial. They may want to “clear up” a few things, but they have shown this annoying commercial so many times in our area that if I had not had a total hysterectomy, I think I would venture to do just about anything than take Yaz! Enough already! I think I may have listened to it the first 1 1/2 times it was on. Now I just look at something else or hum until it’s over.

    Again, thanks for the opportunity!

  28. June 24, 2009 12:52 pm

    Quick update. I am about 50% better since I stopped taking YAZ. I am still under the care of a Rheumatologist. I still take 400mg of Celebrex daily, and Ultram for pain as needed. The issue is “controlled”, but not over, I am sorry to say. I still have some days that I can’t function due to the pain, but they are fewer and further between.

  29. Mary permalink
    July 2, 2009 4:12 pm

    I came to this website looking to know if it was okay to not have a period at all while on Yaz but after reading the responses I feel I should leave some general feedback.

    I’ve been on Yaz for several months. I think I had all the syptoms of PMDD, or possibly just really severe PMS. Regardless, Yaz has changed my life. I am not depressed, my relationships have improved, and I have two day long period that are so light I feel bad having to use up my tampons. I think it’s unfair to say that Yaz should not be recommended for anyone. It’s different for everyone.

  30. nancy permalink
    July 24, 2009 10:02 am

    My teenage daughter took Yaz for acne for 4 months before we took her off because of mood swings, heavier periods and 10 lbs of weight gain. She has gained 5 more pounds in the last 2 months after stopping Yaz. For those who took Yaz and then stopped because of side effects, how long before your body went back to “normal” (i.e. lost the weight, felt better, etc)?

  31. July 24, 2009 10:47 am

    I personally lost weight while taking Yaz, but my doctor contributed the weight loss more to the other sickness, which is believed to have been exacerbated by Yaz (see posts above). My body is still not back to normal, and my weight seems to yo-yo a lot more than it did before. It’s like my metabolism can’t make up its mind.

    I can honestly say that I believe the Yaz and its effects are out of my system, and what I am left with is a connective tissue disorder. My doctor doesn’t believe Yaz is what made me sick. He believes that I have a real disease, which was hastened by my use of Yaz. Though, as of yet, I haven’t had any positive blood tests for diseases, such as Lupus and RA. However, I can tell you that I am at high risk for RA. My grandmother was diagnosed in her late 30’s. I am 34. I have learned that RA affects mostly females, typically comes to the surface in their 30’s, and tends to skip a generation.

    My Rheumatologist says that we will meet every six months, re-do my physical exam, re-evaluate my meds, and repeat my blood work. It takes some people years to be diagnosed with autoimmune illnesses; and some, who have RA, never test positive for the Rheumatoid Factor.

    Oh, and I have been off the medication for about four months.

    • csf permalink
      February 9, 2010 2:26 pm

      I have just found out/heard about all the YAZ controversy. I have been taking this pill for 3 years. At first, it regulated me, took the cramps away…I felt fine. I had some minor joint pain but attributed it to an old sports injury. After doing my research on YAZ, I think I am wrong. Like others, I do not think that YAZ is the reason but it has done something to speed up the disease I have or something. I have not tested positive for any of the auto immune diseases. I have been in and out of dr. offices, including MAYO and no one knows where this inflamation is coming from.

      How are your symptoms? Are they are any better. I am trying to be optomistic and hope that after a year of so of taking the medicine, things HAVE to get better but after reading what you have wrote, I doubt that is true. It sounds like whatever connective tissue disease we have, it’s here to stay.

      My pain is currently in one finger and my feet. My ring finger is swollen and I can’t make a fist. They have said that my connective tissue is so inflamed that my tendon is now bowing. I just stopped taking YAZ last week and I am hoping that the swelling goes down. Even if it doesn’t, I am just glad that I have stopped taking YAZ.

  32. katcelata permalink
    September 8, 2009 5:16 pm

    I found the entire second ad very confusing as I had no recollection of the first ad. That said, I don’t feel the second ad is explanatory enough. I just saw it again, and had time to google it, and so for the first time since it appeared months ago I know what it is talking about.

  33. Kelly permalink
    September 28, 2009 9:26 pm

    I have been taking Yaz for about two months. I did get a slight facial rash in the second week that cleared in about 5 days. Other than that, this pill has changed my life. I’ve been bulimic, slightly depressed and quite anxiety prone since my early teens. I’m 30 now and it’s been a long road. In the past month, I have become a different person. The pill has actually controlled my hunger–not killed it, just leveled it off. I am eating healthy and I don’t have the urge to binge and purge–the compulsion is gone. Now, will this be temporary? Maybe. I hope not. But sometimes all it takes is a period of being asymptomatic to try and work into a healthy routine, and learn to find other ways to occupy myself when I’m feeling anxious. My depression and anxiety would also keep me from eating enough, and so adding hunger to the compulsion is a very bad combination and since I don’t feel anxious or blue, I am eating properly. It’s all connected.

    My boobs are a little bit bigger but that’s a welcome effect. I am not having soreness at all. Periods are light and short. I am so unbelievably grateful for Yaz. I feel like a veil has been lifted.

  34. CindyS permalink
    January 26, 2010 12:00 pm

    At 48, I was experiencing some perimenopausal symptoms…mood swings, painful periods, the occasional hot flash. With mood swings being my biggest concern (they were getting “out there”), my Dr. prescribed Yaz. For a year it was great! I was singing Yaz’s praises, because it evened my moods out, got rid of my lifelong acne problems, eliminated my periods, and killed my libido (a plus when your divorced & not looking). My ‘script ran out before I was able to get another appointment, and there was about a 4 month gap to have it refilled. Then I noticed some serious changes. I developed a headache that wouldn’t go away. More of an overall pressure, like my head was going to explode. It was terrible. After a couple of months, I went off of the Yaz to see if it was the problem. The headaches continued, frequently jerking me out of a sound sleep at night with pain. Sometimes it felt like my head, sometimes I thought it may be my neck & I’ve changed pillows 3 times. At times I thought it may be sinus. My internist sent me for an MRI, then the neurologist sent me for a Cartoid Doppler to check bloodflow to the brain. No one ever mentioned a connection to the Yaz. For the next 3 months, I became a hormonal train-wreck. The hot flashes & night sweats were coming every 30 minutes, and sleep was impossible. I was/am in constant emotional turmoil, far worse than I ever was prior to ever starting the Yaz pill. I’ve become unrecognizable to family and friends, as well as to myself. The only upside, after 3 months, my head was starting to feel better. Finally, 3 days ago, in a desperate attempt to find relief from the emotional & physical upheaval, I began taking Yaz again. Just 3 pills over 3 days. Guess what, the headache & pressure are back! A sad tradeoff to being more cheerful & only having 1 hot flash today, lol. I agree that it was a wonderful pill for awhile, but I also agree that it probably is not meant for long-term use. Problem is, now my body is so far out of whack, I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to feel myself again. A true tragedy….life’s to short for this crap!

  35. Kat permalink
    August 30, 2010 10:16 am

    I took Yaz for 3 months back in 2002 when it was still called Yasmin. I started getting pain in my knee, it soon spread to my other joints. Also fatigue, general malaise, tingling in my fingers, my arm would fall asleep in the middle of the day. I would also sometimes get a weird warm, red rash on my face, like I had frostbite. After tons of blood tests I was diagnosed with RA, then that was rescinded and instead I was told that I had fibromyalgia. I started getting symptoms during the second month of Yasmin and suspected there was a connection-told all the doctors I visited and they all dismissed it. Seeing the other comments above I really wish the FDA would look into this.

  36. Laura permalink
    September 24, 2010 9:19 pm

    Yaz is evil evil evil! I took it for 3 years. The first two years were fine, but then i started to gain weight and my hair started falling out!!! it was crazy! i stopped because of the hair loss! when i got off of it the hair loss stopped but then about 6 months after i stopped it, my skin started breaking out like CRAZY!!! i have never had skin problems before! well, now its been a year that i’ve been off it it. my skin is clearing and my hair is not falling out and i seem to be going back to my pre-yaz weight. finally!!! my periods are still irregular but i think they are becoming more regular now. it takes forever for this pill to leave your system!!! Don’t start yaz EVER!!!

    • January 10, 2011 1:23 pm

      Laura, Are you on another birth control now?
      Ive been on it for 2 years now and have noticed many little things getting worse and feel like I’m becoming a hypochondriac! Im thinking of quitting Yaz to see if that’s the cause of all my ailments but would like to be on something…but scared to try another pill.

  37. December 22, 2011 4:10 am

    I have been on yaz for 3 years now and I have nothing bad to say about it! My skin is flawless- before I went on it I had moderate acne, I did not gain a single pound, never felt sick, and my periods are short and light. But everyone’s body will react differently to this pill obviously, but as for me…I love it

  38. July 23, 2012 4:14 pm

    I’ve got news for the people on here who say they love YAZ.

    Sure, I suffer from cystic acne, to the point where I have 5-7 cysts on my face and horrible scars that make me not want to go outside. YES the YAZ was amazing for my acne, it disappeared, gone. I’ve had flawless skin for the last 4 years.

    BUT… the YAZ has brought me a host of other problems that are far more debilitating than acne.

    When I first started yaz 4 years ago, at 21-years-old, I started experiencing numbness and tingling down the left side of my body. Of course, it freaked me out…. I went to the doctor had an MRI done and it came back fine along with numerous blood tests.

    Three years go by and I’m still experiencing this numbness probably twice a month and moderate joint pan. I know it is excacerbated by alcohol so I try not to drink very often. However, it can come out of no where as well.

    I go to the doctor again this past year, at 24-years-old, hoping maybe a new perspective can put an answer to this. My GP puts me through a million blood tests, he is determined I have some type of autoimmune disorder and is leaning towards Lupus. I test negative for just about everything. He discovers I have (like someone else already mentioned on here) a very low Vitamin D count. He starts me on 2,000 units Vitamin D everyday which helped with my fatigue but not the joint pain or numbness. He also discovers I have high blood pressure, at 24! I’m not over weight, I probably could exercise more but nurses and friends look at me and say, “Really? You have high blood pressure?”. My doctor put me on bisoprolol to lower my BP, and it does what it’s supposed to.

    He then decides to put me on Prednisone, to see if it makes the numbness go away. I cannot stress this enough DO NOT ever go on steroids unless it is the only thing that will keep you alive. It was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I was on the Prednisone for about 3 months, and I did feel good — but I’d like you to show me any person that doesnt feel good while ON Prednisone. Coming off of it was a different story, I experienced all the horrible side-effects, water-retention, moon face, swelling, weight gain, and my joint pain was excruciating. It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve been off the Pred and I’m still stuffering from horrible joint pain.

    The joint pain was so bad I couldn’t move, I would just soak in the bathtub and cry. I’m pretty sure I’ve put my boyfriend through hell and back. My GP sent me to a Rheumy who prescribed me Plaquenil. I’ve been on the Plaquenil about 3 months and it is helping with my joint pain drastically. I feel a lot better, BUT if I don’t take it for a couple days I’m right back to square one, in horrible pain, and it takes me a couple of weeks to catch up.

    Then I start doing my research and discover forums like this…I’m 100% sure all of my issues are stemming from YAZ. I stopped it 3 days ago and already feel a little better. My skin is returning to it’s old cystic ways which breaks my heart… if anyone has any rec’s on cystic acne meds I’d surely appreciate it.

    If anyone has any questions about what I went through please comment. You’re not the only one who’s going through this.

    • July 23, 2012 4:16 pm

      Also if anyone recommends a new BC I should switch too that would be great.

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