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Is the Morning-After Pill Available Over-the-Counter?

I forgot to take my birth control pills for two straight days and had sex with my boyfriend last night. Do I need to visit my doctor for the morning-after pill, or can I get it over-the-counter at the pharmacy?

Answer

Morning-after pills, also known as emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), are available over-the-counter (OTC), with some exceptions. You can get brand-name Plan B One-Step™ over-the-counter, with no sales restrictions whatsoever (any woman of any age can buy it). Generic versions, such as Next Choice®, may be purchased without a prescription by any man or woman age 17 and older.
 
You will need to ask for the generic versions at the pharmacy, as these products are kept behind the counter. You must also show proof of age with a government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, in order to buy these products. No identification is necessary for brand-name Plan-B One-Step, which can be sold over-the-counter.
 
It's a good idea to call ahead to the pharmacy to see if they carry these medications. The selection may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. 
 
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