Emergency contraceptive prescription

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Question

Do I need a prescription to get an emergency contraceptive?

Answer

You do not need a prescription to get an emergency contraceptive if you are over the age of 17. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter (OTC) sales of the emergency contraceptive drug Plan B One-Step® (one 1.5 mg levonorgestrel tablet) and Next Choice® (two 0.75 mg levonorgestrel tablets) to men or women age 17 years and older. Women under age 17 years old will require a prescription to obtain either form of emergency contraception.

Plan B One-Step® and Next Choice® are sold only in stores staffed by a licensed pharmacist. A person must show a government issued form of identification to verify age (example: Driver's License, State ID, or Passport) in order to purchase either medication from behind the pharmacy.

Learn more about safe sex and birth control in the Health Encyclopedia.

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