New Progestin-Only Contraceptive Approved by the FDA

By | June 5, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new progestin-only oral contraceptive called Slynd.  This preparation contains the novel progestin drospirenone which is one component of the oral contraceptives (OCs) YaZ and Yasmin.  (These contraceptives also contain the estrogen ethinyl estradiol.)

Contraceptives containing only progesterone have raised concerns with regard to their impact on mood.  There is evidence that Depo-Provera may increase risk for depression, including postpartum depression.  Less clear is if oral progestogen-only contraceptives increase risk for depression.  According to a recent study, progestogen-only pills were associated with a 1.34-fold increase in risk for depression, which is similar to what is observed in combined oral contraceptives containing both estrogen and progestogen (RR of 1.23).

What is interesting about this new contraceptive Slynd is that it contains the progestin drospirenone, which is related to spironolactone.  When drospirenone was first included in the oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin, there was much excitement because it was believed that drospirenone may have less impact on mood and may actually have beneficial effects for certain women.  

We do not yet have any information on the impact of Slynd on mood.  We tend to think of estrogen as having a beneficial effect on mood, so it is possible that drospirenone alone may behave differently.  Another difference is that Slynd contains 4 mg of drospirenone whereas Yaz and Yasmin contain 3 mg.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Slynd Product Label (FDA)

MGH Center for Women's Mental Health

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