What To Do If You Are Sick When Taking Yaz

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses what to do if you miss one dose of the birth control Yaz.

Jan 18, 2018

MJB asked

I have been on Yaz for 9 months now. Yesterday, I got sick an hour after I took my pill, I forgot to take a active pill after getting sick. This morning I remembered and I took two active pills. Am I still protected or should I take extra precautions?


Being sick when taking birth control pills, such as Yaz, can cause concern regarding whether or not the pills will be effective in preventing pregnancy. I discuss below what to do if you miss a dose or have diarrhea while taking Yaz.

Missing One Dose Of Yaz

If you took one dose (i.e. pill) of Yaz, and then vomited within 3 to 4 hours after you taking your pill, it is recommended to follow the directions as if you missed a dose.

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember or are able. Then, take your next pill at your regular time. This means that you could potentially take two pills in one day (as you mentioned you did).
  • You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex in this situation.

If you did not vomit and kept the tablet down, birth control efficacy is most likely not affected.

However, studies indicate that in those who have severe diarrhea, birth control pills may not be absorbed as well and go through your system faster than usual. While there is no specific recommendation for what to do in this case, it is generally thought that if you have diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you can count each "sick day" as a day that you've missed your pill. If this is the case, refer to the instructions for missed doses.

You can find the patient instructions for Yaz here. It details the directions to follow if you miss more than one dose of the pills.


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