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Birth control. Do I have to take the brown pills?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 12, 2023.

Do I have to take the brown tablets, the last week in the pill strip? Or can I stop taking the pills that week and resume with a new pill pack the following week? Or if I don't want to take the brown pills, do I need to start a new pill pack right away?

Official answer


The last seven brown tablets do not contain any hormones, but they do contain iron. This may help replace the iron you lose when you have your period, which may help prevent anemia.

You may stop taking the brown pills if you wish and start a new pack the following week. You should get your period sometime during your week off.
You may also choose to skip the brown pills altogether and start a new packet straight away. You will not get a period that month if you choose this option.
It is not recommended to skip more than two consecutive cycles of brown pills.

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