LETTER : Where to learn about the Pill

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From Dr Harold Booth

Sir: Your reporter Decca Aitkenhead ("A hard pill to swallow", 1 May) quotes women who complain of a lack of information from manufacturers and GPs on oral contraceptives. She fails to mention that the side-effects, contra-indications and monitoring requirements of all prescribed drugs are listed in The British National Formulary (BNF). Knowledge of these details is crucial in the case of oral contraceptives, as these are mostly prescribed to perfectly healthy women.

The BNF is updated regularly, is available from bookshops and can be consulted in public libraries. When used with a concise medical dictionary, the BNF allows patients to have informed discussions with their GPs on the acceptability of a particular drug.

Yours sincerely


Attenborough, Nottingham

2 May