Yaz (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) is a brand-name drug prescribed for conditions including pregnancy prevention and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Yaz comes as a tablet that’s typically taken once per day.
Yaz is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the following uses in females* who can become pregnant:
- treating the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- treating acne in females ages 14 years and older
- helping prevent pregnancy
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Yaz, including its strength and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Yaz, see this article.
Note: This article describes the typical dosage for Yaz provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Yaz, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
Read below for details about Yaz’s dosage for its approved uses.
Yaz comes as oral tablets in a blister pack. Each pack contains 28 tablets divided into four rows with seven tablets each.
Yaz comes in one strength. Each pack contains:
- 24 pink tablets containing 3 milligrams (mg) drospirenone and 0.02 mg ethinyl estradiol
- 4 white tablets that don’t contain active drugs
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended in adults. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
Dosage for pregnancy prevention
Doctors may prescribe Yaz to help prevent pregnancy. If your doctor prescribes the drug, you’ll take one tablet every day.
You’ll take the tablets in the order shown on the blister pack. Day 1 is your first dose. Your doctor will explain your options for taking your first dose. Typically, you’ll take it on the first day of your period. Another option is to take it on the Sunday after the first day of your period.
For either start day, you’ll take one pink tablet per day for 24 consecutive days. On days 25–28, you’ll take one white tablet per day. You’ll start a new pack of Yaz the following day.
For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.
Dosage for premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Doctors may prescribe Yaz to treat symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The dosage for PMDD is the same as the dosage for pregnancy prevention. For details, see “Dosage for pregnancy prevention” just above.
With PMDD, people experience emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms. PMDD is similar to but more severe than premenstrual syndrome.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your dosage for PMDD.
Dosage for acne
Yaz is approved as an acne treatment in females ages 14 years and older who have started their periods. The dosage is the same as the dosage for pregnancy prevention and PMDD symptoms. For details, see “Dosage for pregnancy prevention” above.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your dosage for acne.
Yaz is approved for pregnancy prevention and PMDD treatment in females who can become pregnant. This is typically once they’ve started having periods. The drug is also approved to treat acne in females ages 14 years and older who can become pregnant.
The children’s dosage for these approved uses is the same as the adult dosage. See “Yaz Dosage” above for details.
Yaz can be taken as a long-term oral contraceptive to help prevent pregnancy. It can also be a long-term treatment for acne and PMDD. If you and your doctor determine that Yaz is safe and effective for you, you may take it long term.
Before you start taking Yaz, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.
Yaz comes as a tablet that you swallow whole with water. The drug’s prescribing information recommends taking Yaz after a meal or at bedtime. But the drug can be taken with or without food.
You should take this medication in the order described on the blister pack, at the same time each day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Yaz can work effectively.
If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
For more information, you can refer to the drug’s prescribing information.
Note: It takes about 7 days for Yaz to be effective in helping prevent pregnancy. So, if you’re sexually active, your doctor may recommend using backup nonhormonal birth control the first week of taking Yaz. Examples include condoms and spermicide.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re taking Yaz to help prevent pregnancy, it’s important not to miss any doses. Doing so can make Yaz less effective. The instructions for a missed dose depend on certain factors. These include the number and type of tablet you miss. It also depends on the timing of your 4-week menstrual cycle.
Below is a table explaining what to do for missed doses of Yaz:
|Number of missed tablets||What to do||Is backup birth control* needed?|
|1 pink tablet||Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. You can take the missed dose with your next scheduled dose.||No|
|2 pink tablets in a row during Weeks 1 or 2||Take 2 pink tablets as soon as you remember, and take 2 pink tablets the next day. Then, take 1 tablet per day until you finish the pack.||Yes|
|2 pink tablets in a row during Weeks 3 or 4, and you started your pack on Day 1 of your period||Discard the pack and start a new pack the same day.||Yes|
|2 pink tablets in a row during Weeks 3 or 4, and you started your pack on the Sunday after Day 1 of your period||Take 1 tablet per day until Sunday. On Sunday, discard the pack and start a new pack the same day.||Yes|
|More than 3 pink tablets in a row during any week, and you started your pack on Day 1 of your period||Discard the pack and start a new pack the same day.||Yes|
|More than 3 pink tablets in a row during any week, and you started your pack on the Sunday after Day 1 of your period||Take 1 tablet per day until Sunday. On Sunday, discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack the same day.||Yes|
|Any number of white tablets||Discard the missed tablets. Keep taking the white tablets until you finish the pack. Start a new pack the next day.||No|
If you’re not sure what to do, take one pink tablet per day until you talk with your doctor. They’ll advise you on next steps. In the meantime, use backup nonhormonal birth control any time you have sex. If you miss your period, you may want to take a pregnancy test and call your doctor.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
It’s important that you do not take more Yaz than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.
Effects of an overdose
Overdose effects of Yaz can include:
- withdrawal vaginal bleeding
- metabolic acidosis. Symptoms can include:
If you take more than the recommended amount of Yaz
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Yaz. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Yaz.
Can Yaz be used for PCOS? If so, what’s the dosage?
Yaz isn’t approved to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The drug’s manufacturer doesn’t provide recommended dosages for this use.
Sometimes, doctors prescribe Yaz off label for PCOS. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Yaz for pregnancy prevention. It’s also approved to treat acne and symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
If you have questions about Yaz and PCOS, talk with your doctor for more information. They’ll advise you about treatment options that may work for you.
How long does it take for Yaz to start working?
How long it takes Yaz to start working depends on the reason you’re taking the drug. To help prevent pregnancy, it takes 7 days for Yaz to be effective.*
Yaz is also prescribed to treat acne and PMDD. For these conditions, it may take a few weeks or months before your symptoms ease.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Yaz treatment.
* During this time, your doctor may recommend using backup nonhormonal birth control. Also, if you miss a dose of Yaz, the drug won’t be as effective. For details, see the “Missed dose” section above.
The dosage in this article is the typical dosage provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Yaz for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Yaz without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Yaz that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Yaz. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Yaz. For information about other aspects of Yaz, refer to this article.
- Drug interactions. To find out what drugs interact with Yaz, see this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about Yaz’s approved uses, see our women’s health and dermatology hubs.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.