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How to Have a Safe Spring Break

Simple Tips for a Safe, Healthy Trip

MONTVALE, N.J., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring Break is a rite of passage for millions of U.S. college students. However, while many plan for a week of fun in the sun, they need to be prepared for the unexpected.

"An American Medical Association survey of college students found that 83 percent agree that Spring Break trips involve more or heavier drinking than typical college life(1a)," says Jennifer Wider, M.D., author of The Doctor's Complete College Girls' Health Guide: From Sex to Drugs to the Freshman 15. "Almost three-quarters of the surveyed students acknowledged that increased sexual activity takes place on these trips(1b) -- 70 percent know friends who were sexually active with more than one partner on Spring Break(1c). Although many do not plan for the unexpected, they should be aware that STDs and pregnancy are two very real risks of spontaneous sex that can have lasting consequences."

Dr. Wider notes that the only sure way to prevent an STD or an unintended pregnancy is to abstain from sex; however, if you do have sex on Spring Break, always use a condom. Following are some other tips that Spring Breakers should keep in mind for a safe and healthy vacation:

  • Women taking birth control should refill their prescription and, if possible, bring a back-up form of contraception in the event that you forget to take your pill pack.
  • When alcohol is involved, keep responsibility in mind -- use designated drivers and a buddy system and definitely do not leave a club or party with someone you just met.
  • If you have unprotected sex or experience a contraceptive failure, remember that you can get Plan B(R) emergency contraception (EC) at a pharmacy counter if you're 18 or older; if you are 17 years old or younger, you'll need a prescription.
  • There's even a new card that can help you buy EC more privately -- check it out at
  • EC is not for routine use and should not be substituted for primary birth control.

Plan B(R) should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Take the first pill as soon as possible, and the second pill 12 hours later. Plan B(R) is not a substitute for primary birth control methods and should not be used that way because it is not as effective. Plan B(R) isn't effective if you're already pregnant, and it won't terminate an existing pregnancy. Plan B(R) does not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, changes in your period, dizziness, and breast tenderness. If your period is more than a week late, you may be pregnant. If you have severe abdominal pain, you may have an ectopic pregnancy and should get immediate medical help. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Plan B(R) is marketed by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Additional Information

For more information, please see full prescribing information on, call 1-800-330-1271, or speak to your pharmacist.

(1a-c) American Medical Association in conjunction with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Online Survey of 644 women age 17-35. "A Matter of Degree: Spring Break Survey Key Findings," Survey conducted February 27-March 1, 2006.

SOURCE Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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