A "packing error" has prompted US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to recall more than one million packets of birth control pills. The drug maker said Tuesday that while the packaging defects do not pose any immediate health threats, the mistakes could leave women at risk for unintended pregnancy.
According to a press release by the company, the birth control pill recall affects 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets with expiration dates ranging between July 31, 2013, and March 31, 2014. Both products are manufactured by Pfizer and marketed in the U.S. by Akrimax Rx Products.
The pills come in blister packs of 28 pills from which each dose must be taken in sequence. A Pfizer investigation found that some packs have the wrong number of pills, and the pills may be out of order.
Each pack normally contains 21 white pills with an active ingredient and seven pink pills that are inert. But women who take inert pills on days they should be taking active ones may not get the contraceptive effect they want, and should be aware of the signs of early pregnancy.
The drug company is encouraging anyone who has used the affected tablets to begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately. Pfizer also advised users to return the product to the pharmacy.
“Any adverse events that may be related to the use of these products should be reported to Akrimax Medical Information at 1-877-509-3935 (8 AM to 7 PM Mon-Fri CST) or to FDA’s Med Watch Program either online, by regular mail or by fax,” noted Pfizer.