Introduction

Beyaz and Yaz are both brand-name birth control pills. This article compares these birth control pills and highlights how they’re alike and different. This information can help you decide if Beyaz or Yaz is a good choice for you.

Use, dosage, and storage

Beyaz and Yaz are similar in their dosage and storage needs. They have one difference in why they’re used.

Uses

Yaz is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for three uses, while Beyaz is approved for four:

Preventing pregnancy: Both pills are mainly used to reduce the chance of pregnancy in women of childbearing age. Both Beyaz and Yaz contain the same strengths of two female hormones. These hormones are ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) and drospirenone (a progestin). They help prevent pregnancy in the following ways:

  • stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from one of your ovaries)
  • causing other changes in your cervix and uterus that make it harder for you to get pregnant

Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): PMDD is more severe than premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A woman with this condition may feel severely depressed, anxious, or irritable. These symptoms typically occur several days before the woman’s period starts. Both pills are also approved to help treat PMDD.

Treating acne: Both pills are approved to help treat moderate acne in women aged 14 years or older.

Providing folate (Beyaz only): Beyaz tablets contain folate, a B vitamin. Taking folate (also called folic acid) is recommended if you’re a woman of childbearing age. This vitamin can help prevent certain birth defects in case you do get pregnant. Yaz tablets don’t contain folate and are not approved for this use.

Beyaz and Yaz do not protect you against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Dosage

Beyaz and Yaz are tablets you take by mouth. They come in blister packs with 28 tablets per pack. In each pack, 24 tablets contain hormones and four do not. For each cycle of Beyaz and Yaz, you take one tablet per day for 28 days.

Beyaz:

  • Take one pink tablet with hormones daily for 24 days.
  • Then take one orange tablet without hormones daily for 4 days.

Yaz:

  • Take one pink tablet with hormones daily for 24 days.
  • Then take one white tablet without hormones daily for 4 days.

Storage

You should store your Beyaz or Yaz blister packs at room temperature.

Cost, insurance coverage, and availability

Beyaz and Yaz are likely available at your local pharmacy. Your insurance company may not cover the cost of Beyaz or Yaz because they are brand-name birth control pills.

If your insurance provider doesn’t cover one or both of these birth control pills, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about other options.

Beyaz: Insurance companies cover the cost of generic drugs more often than brand-name drugs. This is because generics typically cost less. No generic version of Beyaz is currently available. If your doctor prescribes Beyaz for you, your insurance provider may not cover it, or they may require a prior authorization. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company to cover the drug.

Yaz: Generic versions of Yaz are available. A generic would likely be cheaper. For this reason, your insurance company may want your doctor to prescribe a generic drug instead.

Side effects

Like all birth control pills, Beyaz and Yaz can cause side effects. Some of these are more common and may go away after a few days. Others are more serious. These side effects may require medical care. Be sure to review all side effects when you are deciding if a drug may work for you.

Common side effects

Beyaz and Yaz have similar common side effects. These include:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • bleeding between menstrual periods
  • weight gain
  • breast tenderness
  • headache
  • trouble wearing contact lenses (hormone products may change the way lenses fit)

Serious side effects

Beyaz and Yaz also have similar serious side effects. These side effects are rare in healthy women. They include:

  • blood clots
  • high blood pressure
  • gallbladder disease
  • liver tumors (rare; may or may not be cancerous)
  • increased levels of potassium (can cause heart rhythm problems)

Drug interactions

When a substance changes the way a drug works, this is called an interaction. An interaction can be harmful or keep the drug from working well.

Certain drugs may interact with Beyaz or Yaz or other birth control pills. Examples of drugs that may interact with Beyaz or Yaz include:

  • tuberculosis drugs such as rifabutin or rifampin
  • levothyroxine (a thyroid medication)
  • cholesterol drugs such as cholestyramine
  • HIV drugs such as nelfinavir or ritonavir
  • anti-seizure drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, valproic acid, or lamotrigine
  • antibiotics such as clarithromycin or erythromycin
  • cholesterol drugs such as atorvastatin or rosuvastatin
  • antifungal drugs such as itraconazole, voriconazole, or fluconazole
  • pain drugs such as morphine or acetaminophen
  • drugs for autoimmune diseases such as methotrexate or sulfasalazine
  • drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection such as mycophenolate
  • drugs that lower blood pressure such as enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, or valsartan
  • anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium
  • prescription potassium supplements

These other drugs can increase your bleeding between periods or raise your potassium levels, which can cause heart rhythm problems. These drugs can also make your birth control pills less effective in preventing pregnancy. If you take any of these drugs, you may need to use an additional birth control method.

To find out if Beyaz or Yaz might interact with another drug you’re taking, talk with your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking.

Use with other medical conditions

Be sure to consider your overall health when deciding if a drug is a good choice for you. In some cases, a drug can make a certain condition or disease worse.

The effects of Beyaz or Yaz on any medical conditions you have are the same. These pills are safe for use in many women. However, you should avoid them in some cases.

Don’t use Beyaz or Yaz if:

  • you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant
  • you smoke and are older than 35 years of age

Also avoid Beyaz or Yaz if you have:

  • blood clotting problems, such as:
    • history of blood clots
    • history of stroke
    • history of heart attack
    • certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
    • a blood clotting problem that runs in your family and causes your blood to clot more than normal
  • high blood pressure that’s not controlled by medication
  • diabetes that has caused kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
  • a history of severe migraine headaches, with symptoms such as:
    • aura
    • numbness
    • weakness
    • vision changes
  • a history of breast cancer or any cancer that’s affected by female hormones
  • liver disease, including liver tumors
  • kidney disease
  • adrenal disease

Birth control pills may not be a good choice for you if you have or have had:

  • cholestasis of pregnancy (jaundice caused by pregnancy)
  • chloasma gravidarim (darkening of your skin during pregnancy)
  • hereditary angioedema, a rare but serious immune system problem that’s passed down in families

Finally, if you have a history of depression, talk with your doctor to see if Beyaz or Yaz is safe for you. Watch your depression symptoms if your doctor prescribes you one of these birth control pills. If your depression comes back or gets worse, stop taking the pill and call your doctor right away.

Effectiveness

Beyaz and Yaz work as well as most other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. When used correctly, about 1–2 women out of 100 may get pregnant during the first year of use.

Pharmacist’s takeaway advice

Beyaz and Yaz are very similar birth control pills. The main differences may be:

Generic status: Both Beyaz and Yaz are brand-name medications, but only Yaz has a generic version available. This is important if your insurance provider will only cover a generic drug.

Ingredients: In addition to hormones, Beyaz contains folate, but Yaz does not. If your doctor feels you may benefit from taking folate, this difference might help you choose between these drugs. Keep in mind that you can also get folate in a separate supplement.

If you’re considering taking birth control, talk with your doctor. Discuss the information in this article and be sure to ask any questions you have. Your doctor can help you find a birth control pill that’s right for you.