Ask Dr. Sally: Took the Wrong Pill

We received our first question from a reader today!

Just realized I took my pill today (Wednesday) but I took the wrong day’s pill (Friday).  What now?  Are they pretty interchangeable at that part of the month?  I take a generic version of Yaz.WrongBirthControlPill

Let me alleviate your concerns!  Yaz is a combination birth control pill, which means there is a combination of both estrogen and progestin hormones.  This is the most popular type of birth control pill and a minority of women use progestin-only pills.  Among the combination birth control pills, there are many different formulations.

Yaz has 24 “active” pills, all with the same doses of both hormones, and 4 hormone-free or “placebo” pills at the end of the pack.  The two active pills are the exact same.  So in this case, the fact that the wrong day was punched out and taken does not make any difference.  It’s just important to remember this and continue taking one active pill a day until you are back on track later this week.

For women taking other birth control pills, the response to this question would depend on the formulation.  Some pills have different doses of hormones every week or sometimes the dose changes after just a couple days.  Your pharmacy, doctor’s office, and community or family planning clinic are resources if you find yourself with a contraceptive mishap.  When asking a question, be sure to let your pharmacist, doctor, or other clinician know which birth control pill or other method you are on…know the medication name!  This way, you’ll get an answer specific to the medication you are on…and this goes for all medications, not just birth control.

Thanks for sending us your question.  Don’t be shy to ask your pharmacist any questions about your birth control pills or other birth control methods.  We look forward to answering many more questions!