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Boy ate mom's contraceptive pills

(Shanghai Daily)

09:41, November 13, 2012

Keep out of reach of children.(File Photo)

A five-year-old boy in Shanghai city, who took his mother's contraceptive pills, thinking they were candy, was taken to a hospital after he finished most of the drugs in one pack within a week, hospital officials said.

Doctors from Shanghai No. 411 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army said the boy was tested and monitored when he was taken to the hospital several days ago, but did not have any severe, immediate reaction to the pills. He was able to go home, but will have to return for follow-up doctor visits.

Doctors said an overdose of such contraceptive medicine could cause the boy to have abnormal development and early puberty, and they blamed the parents for not putting the medicine in a safe place.

The boy was not expected to have any permanent injury in the case. The boy's parents were not charged, but educated about the dangers of pills, officials said.

Contraceptives, antibiotics and medicine for hypertension or colds are the pills most likely to be mistakenly taken by children because they may be sugar-coated or are so common that they may not be properly secured, experts said.

A community hospital doctor in Hongkou District said swallowing such medicine is one of the top reasons youngsters are taken to the hospital, along with colds and swallowing odd items.

According to Zhu Weijie, a 411 hospital official, the boy's father told doctors that he might have seen the mother taking contraceptive pills and thought they were candy.

They took the boy to hospital after finding most of the pills in one pack had vanished.

"Adverse reactions for boys taking contraceptives include the enlargement of breasts and lethargy," said Dr Dai Liangtu, director of the No. 411 hospital's department of gynecology and obstetrics.

"A low dosage of contraceptives can be metabolized by the body naturally and then the adverse reaction will vanish. If over 20 pills are taken in a short time, the large intake of hormone can result in the boy's early puberty and abnormal secretions of hormone."

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