Talking to your kids about the effects of Plan B

Talking to your kids about the effects of Plan B

TYLER (KYTX) - Now that the FDA has allowed 15-year-olds access to one type of Plan B, it's important they know what's in the pill and what side effects may come with taking it.

In most pharmacies, the "morning after pill" will be on shelves almost immediately. A lot of pharmacies already have Plan B behind the counter, so all they'll have to do is move the medication out onto the shelves.

The difference is, when you go to pay for the medication, you will be asked for identification and will have to prove that you're 15 or older.

Tyler mom Brenda Stratton's daughter is 15 years old, meaning she can now get Plan B off a pharmacy shelf without her consent.

"It makes me realize I need to make sure that we're having the communication in our house because now my daughter can go buy that," Stratton said.

What Stratton's daughter now has access to, is a combination of what's in your every day birth control.

"Of course it is in a higher dose," said Good's Medicine Chest Pharmacist David Davis, "hence you only have to take the one or two tablets depending on which type you purchase."

Davis says just like regular birth control, Plan B has some possible side effects.

"Nausea, GI upset is the most prominent, perhaps some diarrhea, vomiting. Sometimes a young lady will see a change in their menstrual cycle because of taking the medication, she may also experience some bleeding that she normally doesn't have," Davis said.

Studies show there are no detrimental long term side effects, but that doesn't mean the pill is meant to be taken all the time.

"It would not be something we encourage a young lady to use on a regular basis. It should only be used in an 'emergency situation,'" Davis said.

As Plan B makes its way onto shelves next to condoms and other types of contraception, the concern is that young ladies who now have access to these pills won't understand that they can't protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.

"That's an education process that needs to go on between the parent and the child," Davis says. "There are many risk factors out there with unprotected sex, not just pregnancy."

"These are hard conversations to have but we owe it to them to have those hard conversations," Stratton said.

Davis says he plans to put up signs in his pharmacy stating that you have to be 15 to buy Plan B, just like signs that say you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes.

Before this FDA approval, you could only buy Plan B during pharmacy hours, but that's not the case anymore. Now that the medication is over the counter, as long as the pharmacy doors are open, you can buy it. It costs $50.


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