I have missed a pill – what do I need to do?

I have missed a pill – what do I need to do?

If you forget to take your pill at the right time you may need to take extra steps to avoid getting pregnant, such as using emergency contraception or condoms. 

Being sick (vomiting) or having diarrhoea, is like missing a pill because the medication will not have been properly taken in by your body. If this happens within 4 hours of taking a pill, you should consider this a ‘missed pill’.

When you miss a pill, what you’ll need to do depends on:
  • the type of pill you’re taking: combined pill, or progesterone-only pill (mini pill)
  • when you last had unprotected sex
  • when you last took a pill (or when you got sick)
  • how many pills you’ve taken from the pack 
If it’s been more than 48 hours since you took a pill and you’re not sure what to do, we suggest that you speak to your GP or a pharmacist as soon as possible.

Last reviewed: 28/5/2020 by Dr Simran Deo

How to remember to take your pill

  1. Take the pill at the exact same time every day, using a daily marker (such as brushing your teeth).

  2. Set an alarm or use a diary to remind you when your pill break ends.

  3. Keep your pill pack somewhere easy to find, so you do not have to search for it.

  4. Make sure you get a new pack with plenty of time before the current one runs out.