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Serious Depression and YAZ: What You Need to Know


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Drospirenone (DRSP), the so-called “revolutionary” progestin used in YAZ, Yasmin, and Ocella oral contraceptives, can cause severe depression.

Depression is a disorder that should not be taken lightly, yet pharmaceutical companies do not properly emphasize the gravity of this potential side effect.

In the drug information documentation, “Mood changes, including depression” is listed amidst myriad other serious YAZ side effects. Beyond the bulleted list, it is revealed that depression is one of the most frequently experienced adverse reactions in clinical trials for contraception, PMDD, and acne. Listed under warning signals, “Difficulty in sleeping, weakness, lack of energy, fatigue, or change in mood (possibly indicating severe depression)”, symptoms of depression warrant an immediate call to the doctor. These mentions of depression are underplayed in the text and not adequately addressed in drug facts presented to patients.

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While signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person, there are some commonalities. Persistent changes in sleep patterns, either inability to sleep or sleeping too much, may indicate depression. Difficulty concentrating on tasks or trouble completing tasks that used to be easy is another indicator. Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and anxiety are common in depression. Many will find that they have lost interest in things that they previously enjoyed. Some patients experience appetite changes, either eating too much or lacking appetite. Irritability and short temper may be observed. Persistent negative thoughts, despite efforts to change, may point toward depression. Everyone experiences negative feelings on occasion. In depression, the feelings are persistent and cannot be changed or stopped.

Thoughts of suicide, especially specific thoughts and plans should prompt the patient to seek immediate help from a doctor. These thoughts are the most serious symptom of depression. These feelings should never be ignored or minimized. They require urgent professional medical assistance.

Women with a history of depression can experience recurrent symptoms to an extreme degree when taking oral contraceptives. These patients should be carefully monitored and OC should be discontinued if depression is determined to be related to the use of the Pill.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are lax in presenting truthful information about the risk for depression that exists for oral contraceptive users. If you find your quality of life is affected because of depression related to birth control pills, contact your doctor – and your YAZ lawyer – today.

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