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Definition Return to top
Birth control pills, also called oral contraceptives, are prescription medicines designed to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pill overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
Most birth control pills contain one of the following combinations of estrogen and progestin hormones:
The following birth control pills contain progestin only:
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
Where Found Return to top
Symptoms Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Stop using the birth control pills and use alternative methods, if desired, to prevent pregnancy. The overdose is unlikely to be life threatening, but call poison control for further instructions.
Before Calling Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
See: National Poison Control Center
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
A trip to the emergency room will probably not be necessary.
If an ER visit is needed, the health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The patient may receive:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Serious symptoms are very unlikely.Update Date: 2/3/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (10/29/2007).