Recent Advances in Oral and Transdermal Contraception

Peggy Piascik, PhD


US Pharmacist. 2008;33(9):19-23. 

In This Article

Drospirenone-containing Oral Contraceptives

COCs that contain the antimineralocorticoid drospirenone (Yasmin, Yaz; 3 mg drospirenone) as the progestin component may decrease the bloating and water retention that commonly occur with COC use. Drospirenone may cause potassium retention, however, leading to hyperkalemia. While this is not likely to be a problem in most patients, those who are concurrently taking potassium-sparing drugs, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II agonists, and potassium chloride, are at increased risk for hyperkalemia.[18] A 2007 study found that 17.6% of women taking a drospirenone-containing product were concurrently taking another potassium-sparing drug; 40% of those aged 35 years and older were taking an interacting combination.[18] In a related study, only 40% of patients who received an interacting combination of drospirenone with a potassium-sparing drug were monitored for hyperkalemia as recommended by product labeling; reasons for noncompliance included physician disagreement with the recommendation, patient factors, and health-plan barriers to testing.[19] Pharmacists can monitor for this interaction and educate patients to help them overcome barriers to having their potassium levels monitored.


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