This Birth Control Has Been Recalled―Here's How To Check If Yours Is Safe

birth control pills

As if forgetting to take a birth control pill isn't stressful enough, now a pharmaceutical company has issued a recall of over 170,000 packages of birth control pills after a packaging error resulted in placebo pills replacing actual birth control pills.

Allergan, the company at the core of the mix up, issued the recall of the sample packs of the birth control pill Taytulla after a doctor who received the sample pack noticed the error. According to Motherly the doctor noticed that the first four days of the pills were actually the placebo pills, instead of active birth control pills.

The recall affects Lot# 5620706 of the doctor supplied sample packs with an expiry date of May, 2019. The pill pack should feature 28 days of pills, standard for most birth control pills. The pills are color coded and should 24 pink pills, which are the birth control pills, followed by four maroon capsules which are the placebos. In the recalled lot the packs contain four maroon placebo capsules at the beginning of the pack, where the pink pills should be. If you have a sample pack with that lot number you should contact your doctor.

Allergan released the following statement with the recall notice. "As a result of this packaging error, oral contraceptive capsules, that are taken out of sequence, may place the user at risk for contraceptive failure and unintended pregnancy. The reversing of the order may not be apparent to either new users or previous users of the product, increasing the likelihood of taking the capsules out of order. If patients have concerns regarding the possibility of an unintended pregnancy they should consult their physician."

birth control pills
Credit: iStock / crankyT

The notice gives users a full breakdown of how to identify whether or not their received a package of Taytulla birth control pills that are part of the recall. Allergan is notifying those patients who may have been provided the recalled birth control pills by sending a recall letter. They told Stat News in a statement that they are confident the error was limited to only one lot of the product.

“An investigation has been completed at the packaging site,” the company said. “Given the nature of the issue, controls and inspections in place on the packaging line, the recall is limited to one lot of Taytulla. At this time, no other units with the defect have been identified within the lot or within any other Taytulla lot.”

Although it was limited to only one lot, that isn't really reassuring women who may have unknowingly been taking inaffective birth control. Women are reacting to the news on social media with a mixture of fear, dread and outrage. 'As a responsible woman, there is nothing worse than hearing the words, “birth control recall”," one woman wrote.

"There was a birth control recall because placebo and active pills were switched. #terrifying," wrote another.

Anyone who has questions about the recall is being told to contact Allergan by phone at 800-678-1605 8am-8pm EST Monday through Friday.

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