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Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinylestradiol)

What is Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinylestradiol)?

The Yasmin pill is a contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. Each tablet (light yellow in colour) contains a small amount of two different female hormones, namely drospirenone and ethinylestradiol.

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How does Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinylestradiol) work?

Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are also known as "combination" pills. Taking these hormones will prevent you getting pregnant by performing three different tasks. Firstly, they prevent the release of an egg from your ovaries. Secondly, these hormones work to thicken the fluid (mucus) in your cervix (resulting in the sperm experiencing difficulties entering the womb). Finally, the lining of your womb is prevented from becoming thick enough for an egg to grow in it.

What are the side effects of Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinylestradiol)?

Like all other medicines, the Yasmin pill can cause side effects, although not everybody will experience them.

There is a possibility that serious side effects could occur. If you experience any of the following you should consult your doctor immediately and discuss any action that should be taken:

  • Signs of a blood clot: a migraine experienced for the first time, a migraine that is worse than usual, or unusually frequent or severe headaches. You might also experience sudden changes to your eyesight (loss of vision or blurred vision, for example), as well as potential sudden changes to your hearing, speech, or sense of smell, taste or touch. All of these symptoms, along with pain or swelling in your leg, a sharp, intense pain when you breathe, coughing, pain in the chest, sudden weakness or numbness in one side or part of your body and dizziness or fainting, are potential signs of a blood clot.
  • Signs of a severe allergic reaction or worsening of hereditary angioedema: inflammation of the hands, face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat. A swollen tongue or throat, which could lead to problems with swallowing and breathing, a red bumpy rash (hives) and itching are also symptoms.
  • Signs of breast cancer include: dimpling of the skin, differences in the appearance or feel of the nipple, and any lumps you can see or feel that weren’t there before.
  • Signs of cancer of the cervix include: discharge from the vagina that is accompanied by an odour and/or contains traces of blood, unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain or experiencing pain while having sex. Signs of severe liver problems include: severe pain in your upper abdomen, jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin or eyes), hepatitis (a swelling of the liver), and your entire body may become irritated by incessant itching.

Additionally, this pill may also bring about less serious side effects. These include a depressed mood, headache, migraine or feelings of nausea. You may notice pain or tenderness in your breast, menstrual disorders, bleeding at a time of the month that isn’t usual for you, thick whitish vaginal discharge, vaginal yeast infection or breast enlargement. There’s also the possibility of an altered sex drive, a higher or lower blood pressure than usual, vomiting, diarrhoea, acne, severe itching, skin rash, hair loss (alopecia), vaginal infection, fluid retention, or changes in your regular body weight.

It’s advised that you consult the full list of side effects for Yasmin. You should also read the instructions on the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment about what you should do if you are to miss a pill, or are late in taking one. Details of this can also be found here.