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Ars Pharmaceutica (Internet)

On-line version ISSN 2340-9894


VALLE-VELASCO, Betsy; ZARZUELO, Maria José; VALVERDE-MERINO, Maria Isabel  and  MARTINEZ-MARTINEZ, Fernando. Oral contraceptive use and perception of the role of the community pharmacist among adolescents: an observational study. Ars Pharm [online]. 2023, vol.64, n.2, pp.75-88.  Epub July 03, 2023. ISSN 2340-9894.


Unintended pregnancies in adolescents have serious consequences both for the adolescents themselves and their babies and for the use of health system resources. One of the reasons is the low use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) among this population, mainly due to lack of information or non-adherence to the medication. The aim of this study was to describe the information adolescents receive about OCPs and their use, as well as their perception of the role of the community pharmacist in this field.


A cross-sectional observational study was carried out by means of a survey applied to women aged 12-19 years living in Spain, regardless of whether or not they had used OCPs, during April 2021. Different social networks were used to disseminate the survey. Different Spanish associations dedicated to family planning and adolescent sexual health counselling were also contacted.


81.7% (n=76) of respondents had not taken OCPs, although 35.5% (n=33) had had sex. The 6% (n=1) who were taking or had taken OCPs reported adherence. 88% (n=82) thought that the pharmacist is knowledgeable about medicines; however, only 19.4% (n=18) would consult them for OCP questions.


To solve the problems of lack of information about OCPs and adherence in adolescent women, the community pharmacist is an accessible professional who can contribute to this by taking an active role and using different forms of educational materials.

Keywords : Medication adherence; Adolescent; Oral contraceptive pills; Community pharmacy services; Sexual health; Perception; Health promotion; Community health.

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