Sucheta Dalal :Sex pills will remain as OTC drugs
Sucheta Dalal

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Sex pills will remain as OTC drugs  

November 10, 2009

Moneylife mentioned some time back (6 October 2009, Sex sells in drugs too) that pre-sex and post-sex drugs, Revital and i-pill tablets are growing by 25% and they have replaced the largest-selling drugs like Corex and Phensedyl. Over the past few days, there has been a major furore among religious organisations and individuals objecting to television and print media advertising for post-sex drugs for women. i-pill and Unwanted 72 have levonorgestrel, a synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. Gynaecologists have reported problems like irregular menstruation and other side-effects from these pills.


Gynaecologists have also reported incidents of unsafe sex among teens because of these medications as teens use them easily without knowing the harmful side-effects of continuous usage of these drugs, as they are easily available as OTC drugs. A few organisations have opposed the use of these pills as OTC drugs and they want to make them prescription drugs. However, the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has decided against making these drugs prescription-based as it felt that this necessity of prescription will defeat the purpose of these drugs which are meant to be taken within 72 hours of unsafe sex. The Cipla website mentions that i-pill is 95% effective within 24 hours of unprotected sex, 85% between 25-48 hours and 58% effective if taken between 49-72 hours.


However the DTAB suggested that there could be an expert committee having gynaecologists, information and broadcasting ministry officials and other people who can decide about the advertising of such pills. The committee would judge on what these advertisements could contain—like possible side-effects and minimum interval to be maintained between two successive doses. —Dhruv Rathi   [email protected]

-- Sucheta Dalal