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HelixTalk #176 - Hormonal Harmony: A Pharmacist’s Guide to Hormonal Contraceptives (Part 2)

Date posted: January 2, 2024, 6:00 am

In this two part episode, we review some of the most important clinical pearls in the pharmacotherapy and practice aspects of hormonal contraceptives with a brief focus on the very first FDA approved OTC hormonal contraceptive product (Opill).


Key Concepts

  1. Missed dose instructions are particularly important with progestin only pills (POPs). Patients should take POPs at the same time (within 3 hours) each day - missing a dose beyond this 3 hour window is considered a missed dose and requires barrier contraception.
  2. There are a wide variety of hormonal contraception options for patients - each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Shared decision making between a healthcare provider and a patient is critical to selecting the most appropriate form of contraception!
  3. The CDC's Medical Eligibility Criteria (MEC) is an important resource to guide prescribers with regards to selecting hormonal contraception and also in identifying the clinical significance of a variety of drug interactions with hormonal contraception.
  4. One of the most important aspects of hormonal contraception is adequate patient follow-up. Especially given the wide variety of hormonal contraception options, patients may need to switch their contraceptive multiple times until they find one that works best for them. Close follow-up and patient counseling are pivotal for helping a patient identify their optimal regimen.