OCPs are one of the most popular family planning methods. The use of OCPs was identified as a means of intentional self-poisoning. This article aims to describe the extent, patient characteristics, and outcomes of OCP self-poisoning in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka to inform future guidelines for better OCP promotion.

The researchers carried out a secondary analysis on two hospital-based self-harm case series.

The study admitted fifty-four patients with an overdose of OCP as a means of intentional self-poisoning to one of the surveyed hospitals. None of the patients were severely sick from their overdose, and the hospital discharged two-thirds of the patients within a day of admission. Intentional self-poisoning with OCPs represented less than 5% of all types of deliberate medicine self-poisonings recorded at the hospitals. The information available for a subset of female patients indicates that many cases were in their first year of marriage.

The study concluded that although the toxicity of OCPs is low and the public health significance of OCP poisoning remains minor, reproductive health service providers should be attentive to OCP overdose, monitor the development of this problem, and ensure appropriate information to OCP users.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/43/2/147