Expert Opinion: Over-the-Counter Contraceptives for Adolescents
This article by Upadhya et al. (JAH, 2017) aimed to review the regulatory and scientific issues with changing oral contraceptives (OCs) to over-the-counter status for adolescents under 18 years of age.
This review delves into information about: 1) how the process of switching a drug to over-the-counter status works, 2) risk of pregnancy and the safety of OC use in adolescents, 3) adolescents’ ability to properly use OCs, 4) access to over-the-counter OCs, 5) effects on sexual risk behaviors, 6) potential in reduction of occasions for doctors to inform adolescents about reproductive health care. There is strong rationale for allowing adolescents access to over-the-counter OCs if there occurs any regulatory change. OCs are effective and safe for adolescents, and easy access to OCs, condoms, and emergency contraception increases their use while not increasing sexual risk behaviors.
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This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.
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presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.
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