Medical News Today: What to do if you lose a combination pill

It can be easy to lose a pill in a handbag or down the drain. If this happens, the best course of action depends on the type of pill.

In this article, we discuss what a person should do if they lose a combination or progestin-only birth control pill. We also explore how missing a pill can affect pregnancy rates and medical conditions.

What to do if you lose a combination pill

Woman reading leaflet after losing a birth control pill

If a person loses a combination pill, they should take the next active pill and request a replacement pack.

 

Combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin.

Combination pills come in 21- or 28-day packs, which have slightly different instructions:

  • People need to take every pill in a 21-day pack to prevent pregnancy. After finishing these pills, they take no pills for 7 days, then start a new pack.
  • People also need to take every pill in a 28-day pack, but the final seven pills will contain no medication. These are placebo pills.

If a person loses a pill, they should call their doctor and ask for a replacement pack as soon as possible. In the meantime, the doctor may offer the following advice:

  • If you lose an active pill, take the next active pill in the pack as soon as possible.
  • If you lose a placebo pill, it is fine to skip the dose, as these pills do not contain any hormones.

If a person loses a pill and fewer than 48 hours have passed since they took their last pill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend:

  • taking the skipped dose as soon as possible
  • continuing to take a pill at the regular time of day, even if it involves taking two pills in 1 day
  • considering using emergency contraception if pills were also lost or skipped in the last week of the previous cycle or earlier in the current cycle

Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322749.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_country=CA&utm_hcp=no&utm_campaign=MNT%20Weekly%20%28non-HCP%20non-US%29%20-%20OLD%20STYLE%202018-08-15&utm_term=MNT%20Weekly%20News%20%28non-HCP%20non-US%29

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