Introduction

Yaz and Loryna are two birth control pills on the market today. Loryna is a generic version of Yaz. Yaz is a brand-name drug. This article describes how these two birth control pills are similar and different. It may help you decide if Yaz or Loryna is right for you.

Use, dosage, and storage

Because Loryna is a generic version of Yaz, the two pills have similar use, dosage, and storage needs.

Use

Like all birth control pills, Yaz and Loryna are mainly used to help prevent pregnancy in women of childbearing age. However, Yaz is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a use that Loryna is not. These uses include:

Preventing pregnancy

Yaz and Loryna contain the same amounts of two female hormones: ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) and drospirenone (a progestin). These hormones help prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from one of your ovaries), and causing changes in your cervix and uterus that make it harder for you to get pregnant

Treating acne

Both Yaz and Loryna are approved to help treat moderate acne in women who are 14 years of age or older.

Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Yaz is also approved to help treat PMDD, but Loryna is not. With this condition, a woman can feel severely depressed, anxious, or irritable. These symptoms typically occur several days before the woman’s period starts. PMDD is more severe than premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Yaz and Loryna do not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted infections.

Dosage

Yaz and Loryna are tablets that you take by mouth. They come in blister packs with 28 tablets per pack. In each pack, 24 tablets contain hormones, and four tablets do not. During each cycle for either drug you take one peach-colored tablet with hormones daily for 24 days, and then one white tablet without hormones daily for four days.

Storage

You should store the blister packs of both Yaz and Loryna at room temperature.

Cost, insurance coverage, and availability

One of the main differences between Yaz and Loryna may be cost.

Cost and insurance coverage

Generic drugs are cheaper than brand-name drugs. As a result, they’re often covered by more insurance companies than brand-name drugs are. Loryna is a generic drug, so it may be covered by more insurance plans than Yaz is.

Also, for generic drugs, the cash price (what you would pay without insurance) may be less than the cash price for brand-name drugs. With or without insurance, Loryna would likely be cheaper than Yaz.

Availability

You can get Yaz and Loryna at most pharmacies.

Side effects

All medications can cause side effects. Some of these effects are more common. They may go away after a few days. Others are more serious and can require medical care. When deciding if a drug may work for you, you should consider all of its side effects.

Common side effects

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

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

Serious side effects

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

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

Drug interactions

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or keep the drug from working well.

Certain drugs may interact with all birth control pills, including Yaz and Loryna. These other drugs can increase breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods). They can also keep the pills from working well to prevent pregnancy. You may need to use other birth control methods if you take any of these drugs. Examples of drugs that may interact with Yaz or Loryna include:

  • tuberculosis drugs such as rifabutin or rifampin
  • levothyroxine (thyroid medication)
  • HIV drugs such as nelfinavir or ritonavir
  • anti-seizure drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, 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 to prevent organ transplant rejection such as mycophenolate
  • drugs to lower blood pressure such as enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, or valsartan
  • anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium

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

Use with other medical conditions

Your general health is a factor when deciding if a drug is a good option for you. For instance, if you have a certain condition or disease, a particular drug may make it worse. Yaz and Loryna would have the same effects on any medical conditions you have.

Many women can use each of these pills safely. However, you should avoid them in some cases.

Don’t use Yaz or Loryna if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant or if you smoke and are older than age 35 years of age.

Also avoid Yaz or Loryna if you have:

  • a history of heart attack or stroke
  • a history of blood clots
  • certain heart valve or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
  • a hereditary blood clotting problem (one that runs in your family)
  • 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
  • a history of breast cancer or any cancer that’s affected by female hormones
  • liver disease, including liver tumors
  • kidney disease
  • adrenal disease

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

Note: Women of any age who use birth control pills are strongly advised not to smoke.

Effectiveness

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

Pharmacist’s takeaway advice

Because Yaz and Loryna have the same chemical formula, there are not many differences between them. The main differences may be cost and use. Yaz is a brand-name drug and Loryna is a generic, which means Yaz may be more expensive than Loryna. Your cost would depend on your insurance coverage. Also, both Yaz and Loryna are approved to prevent pregnancy and treat acne. However, Yaz is also approved to treat PMDD. Loryna is not.

The amount of side effects for these two pills could also be slightly different. This is because Yaz and Loryna are made by different companies, so the production process could be different.

Your doctor can help you decide if Yaz, Loryna, or another birth control pill is right for you. Talk with your doctor about the information in this article, as well as your overall health. Also, be sure to ask any questions you have. Your doctor can help you find a birth control pill that’s both effective and appropriate for your health needs.