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Doctors put spotlight on Plan B pill
June 17, 2004 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Doctors put spotlight on Plan B pill The American Medical Association voiced its support for over-the-counter sales of morning-after birth control, saying the Food and Drug Administration was wrong to reject such sales and urging doctors to write advance prescriptions.
posted by Postroad (9 comments total)

 
Excellent! Now, will Catholic bishops deny communion to AMA members? That'd be fun.
posted by nicwolff at 2:30 PM on June 17, 2004


Good news indeed.
posted by agregoli at 2:42 PM on June 17, 2004


The AMA also "approved two anti-smoking measures -- one saying that tobacco products should only be sold in tobacco specialty stores and another that encourages the movie industry to place an "R" rating on all new films in which characters smoke." That makes me laugh.
And too bad that AMA's stance against pharmaceutical companies giving away freebies to is lip service at best.
Regarding the article, CNN also ran a similar article in May. This appears to be more of an update than anything else. There is also info here about the effects of the pill. It appears that the pill can have an adverse affect on females and maybe the FDA wants to make sure they don't overdose or become totally messed up by the drugs (only 16 year olds or younger need a prescription).
posted by jmd82 at 2:46 PM on June 17, 2004


It appears that the pill can have an adverse affect on females and maybe the FDA wants to make sure they don't overdose or become totally messed up by the drugs (only 16 year olds or younger need a prescription).

Not nearly as adverse as a pregnancy. How you could seriously overdose when given at most two pills (as it used to be issued - I even think it may be just one nowadays) beats me. It's practically impossible to do yourself serious damage with a one-off overdose of the contraceptive pill. ( I had a not-very-bright friend who tried to kill herself that way). Paracetamol and aspirin are many many times more dangerous and they are easily available over the counter. The one very serious potential side effect of the MAP: ectopic pregnancy is very rare.
posted by Flitcraft at 3:13 PM on June 17, 2004


The point is you can't overdone when given at most two pills, but you can get more than two pills when not on prescription. And I do agree that plenty of OTC drugs can be quite dangerous.
posted by jmd82 at 3:47 PM on June 17, 2004


TodaysPapers.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:49 PM on June 17, 2004


It's so hard to 'overdose' on this drug and do yourself permanent damage that you might as well argue that there should no such thing as over the counter medicines.
Pharmaceutical Journal online

Overdosage: May cause nausea and withdrawal bleeding. No specific antidotes and treatment should be symptomatic.

Withdrawal bleeds are usually like lighter than usual periods.

To do any permanent harm to yourself you would have to be phenomenally dedicated or very very unlucky. There are strong moves in Great Britain to make it available for people to get from pharmacies so they can keep it at home in the medicine cabinet for when it's needed. The people pushing for this are the pharmacists and doctors (it works best when taken as soon as possible). The people opposing this are various conservative moral groups with religious reasons for doing so.
posted by Flitcraft at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2004


Flitcraft, to my knowledge the morning-after pill is already available over the counter in the UK, it just isn't cheap (25 quid or thereabouts). But again you need to provide proof that you are over the age of 16.
posted by arha at 12:36 AM on June 18, 2004


Most drugs over the counter are more dangerous, jmd82. No excuse not to offer this one.
posted by agregoli at 6:50 AM on June 18, 2004


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