This contraceptive drug is used in many countries, and it can cause serious side effects.
Sex is an important part of our lives, being much more than mere intercourse and representing one of the greatest physical and sensory pleasures you can enjoy. Although throughout history it has been tabooed and censored, fortunately with the passage of time we have been able to see how sensuality and sexuality have become more and more natural in recent decades, being the enjoyment of this element something sought and desired on a regular basis today.
However, unprotected sex can have consequences: from the possibility of becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease to the arrival of an unwanted pregnancy. That is why prophylaxis is very important, using products such as condoms in order to eliminate or reduce any risk as far as possible.
With regard to the possibility of pregnancy, there are also another type of product that is very commonly used by women (both for this purpose and with others): oral contraceptives. These are drugs that, through their action in the body, seek to prevent pregnancy. One of them is Yasmin, which we will talk about throughout this article.
What is Yasmin and how does it work?
The trademark of a type of reversible contraceptive developed by Bayer receives the name of Yasmin , which exerts its action from the administration of hormones in the body of the user. Specifically we are facing a combined hormonal contraceptive, which are characterized by being composed of more than one active principle with an effect on the body.
It is a relatively frequent drug that is sold in the form of film-coated tablets, each container in its most common presentation containing a total of 21 tablets which must always be taken daily at the same time. Once finished, a week of rest should be allowed to pass (at which time menstruation should occur), after which and even if menstruation has not ended, the next container should be started.
Its mechanism of action is based on the introduction of hormones into the body, specifically two of them: drospirenone (3 mg per pill) and ethinyl estradiol (0.03 mg per pill).
The first one is a type of progestin, synthetic substances similar to progesterone, which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle (and in pregnancy, to protect and maintain the state of pregnancy) and has an antiandrogenic and antimineralocorticoid effect.
Ethinylestradiol is a type of estrogen that alone is useful to help control the symptoms of climacteric or the development of sexual characteristics, but in combination with the previous one, it serves as a contraceptive by not allowing ovulation to occur at the same time that modifies the endometrium and increases the density of vaginal fluid.
Yasmin is sold in a large number of countries, with a price that can vary greatly depending on the location. For example, in Spain its average price in the aforementioned presentation ranges between € 14.85 and € 16.95, while in Colombia it can reach 60,500 pesos (although its price will soon be reduced) and in Mexico it can be found for 230-244.50 pesos.
However, due to the fact that despite its effectiveness it has also been observed that its consumption can generate important side effects and has even been associated with deaths from thrombosis, in countries where it was initially distributed, it is currently no longer prescribed, such as the Netherlands or the United United.
Yasmin is as we have said a contraceptive, being as such its most common indication that of preventing pregnancy. In this sense, it is a highly effective drug, although it must be taken into account that it does not act in any way or prevent the possibility of sexually transmitted infections.
However, despite the fact that it is not indicated at the prospectus level, it is common for some doctors to also prescribe it to treat alterations in the menstrual cycle such as irregularities or excessive bleeding, as well as in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Finally, it has also been used in the treatment of acne or sometimes in premenstrual dysphoric disorder, although these effects are usually secondary to its contraceptive use.
Side effects and risks
As we have mentioned before, Yasmin can be an effective contraceptive, but the truth is that its use also implies the possibility of side effects.
As the most common side effects, we can observe that taking this drug is associated with headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort, weight gain, blood pressure changes, menstruation changes (breakthrough bleeding) or pain in areas such as the breasts or abdomen, depressive mood disturbances or vaginal yeast infection. It can also raise blood potassium levels.
Alterations in libido, skin rashes, fluid retention, weight changes, itching, asthma, galactorrhea or hearing difficulties may also appear.
But undoubtedly one of the most serious risks and possible side effects is the fact that the use of Yasmin increases the risk of suffering thrombosis and thromboembolism, in which blood clots form that can clog arteries and veins (something that As we have previously reflected, it has generated debate regarding its level of danger and legal proceedings against the manufacturer due to the existence of severe cases and even deaths). This risk is highest during the first year of treatment or when it returns after stopping it.
Yasmin is a powerful drug that can generate relevant side effects, and that can be especially dangerous for certain sectors of the population which will have it contraindicated.
To begin with, and taking into account the fact that it increases the risk of suffering from thrombi, it is totally contraindicated in those people who have or have had some type of thrombus or embolism before or who have a higher than usual risk of suffering them.
Nor should it be taken by people who have suffered from heart attacks, angina pectoris or stroke, or who have a blood clotting disorder. Diabetic people, especially if there are lesions in blood vessels, also have it contraindicated. In the same way, those people who have or have had cancer of the liver, breasts or genitals, vaginal bleeding of unknown cause or kidney or liver failure should avoid it.
In addition to all this, people who have an allergy to any of its components should not take Yasmine either. It should not be taken in pregnancy and is not recommended in lactation. Finally, its consumption with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is contraindicated, and in case of taking other medications, it should be consulted carefully with the doctor.
- Vidal Vademecum Spain. (2014). YASMIN Comp. coated with film 3 / 0.03 mg. [On-line]. Available at: https://www.vademecum.es/medicamento-yasmin_prospecto_63576.