Attention all women taking Lo/Ovral-28, Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets, Pfizer, Inc. has found a problem and needs those back!
Due to some production mistakes, consumption of packets with expiration dates from July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014 (a total of 1 million pill packs) may lead to an increased likelihood of unintentional pregnancy. The company claims the problem has now been corrected, but check the lot numbers on those packages, ladies, and compare them to the list at Pfizer’s website. The problem, according to Pfizer, was that some of the packs contained an incorrect number of ingredient tablets.
If you’ve been taking these birth control pills, there are some simple steps you should take to protect yourself against an unwanted pregnancy.
1. If you’ve been taking one of the recalled pills, check the lot number on the package to see if it’s one that’s been recalled. Both Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration have posted the lot numbers.
2. If you discover you have been taking pills from an affected lot, “assume that you do not have any birth control protection,” advises Dr. Kristen Eckler, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and instructor at Harvard Medical School.
3. If you’ve had sexual intercourse in the last few days, Eckler says, she would “strongly encourage” you use emergency contraception as soon as possible if you want to avoid an unintended pregnancy. Plan B, available without a prescription to those 17 and older, is effective up to three days after unprotected sex, while prescription ella works up to five days afterward.
4. When you return your recalled pills to your pharmacy, you could obtain a new pack and start taking pills right away, Eckler says. You might have some minor breakthrough bleeding, breast tenderness or digestive tract upset, she says, but those should pass in a few days.
5. Because you can’t be sure where you are hormonally, Eckler says, you “absolutely have to use a barrier method (a male or female condom) during that first new pill pack.”