Pfizer released a press alert yesterday that they are recalling 14 lots of Lo/Ovral®-28 (norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) Tablets and 14 lots of Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets in the United States. All the pills were marketed by Akrimax Rx Products and have expiration dates ranging from July 31, 2013, to March 31, 2014. It has been found that some of the blister packs may not contain enough of the active hormone ingredient to prevent pregnancy and that some of the tablets are out of sequence.
Birth control pill (BCP) packets typically contain 21 days of active hormone pills and 7 days of inactive or placebo pills. The inactive pills are usually taken during the last week of the blister pack. Some of the recalled packets have too many active hormone tablets while others don't have enough, and some of the pills may be out of sequence which could cause a disruption in the proper hormone levels necessary to prevent pregnancy.
Pfizer said, in a statement it released on Tuesday, that "as a result of this packaging error, the daily regimen for these oral contraceptives may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy." "...Consumers exposed to affected packaging should begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately." In other words, women who are currently taking the recalled birth control pills should start using another method of birth control right away.
This is the second major birth control pill recall in less than six months. In September 2011, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals recalled 1.4 million packages of BCPs due to a packaging error.
Birth control pills or oral contraceptives are not only used to prevent pregnancy. Many women, including teenage girls, are on hormone pills to help reduce painful endometriosis, minimize painful menstrual cramps, reduce or shrink ovarian cysts, or control abnormal or heavy periods. A failure in the hormone medication can also lead to a worsening medical condition in these women.
Any failure or wrong dose of oral contraception can lead to an unplanned pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy, wrongful birth, or other problems. It is recommended that women take a multivitamin, especially one with folic acid, a few months before attempting to get pregnant and especially after conception or fertilization has occurred to minimize the risk of neural tube defects or spina bifida. Other women may be taking prescription medications for other medical problems that may be teratogenic and cause harm or birth defects to the developing fetus. Women who become pregnant due to a faulty birth control pill may also be putting their newborn baby at risk for spina bifida, bone deformities, and other birth defects that could have been potentially avoided if the mother was planning on becoming pregnant and took the proper precautions to help prevent birth defects or developmental deformities. Any unplanned pregnancy due to a failure of the birth control can not only lead to emotional and financial stress on the mother, but also stress on an unborn baby.
If you, your spouse, wife, daughter, fiancée or girlfriend became pregnant while taking a birth control pill that was recalled due to a pharmaceutical company mistake, please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses for a confidential and free consultation. Since 1958, the experienced medication error teams here at the Beasley product liability law firm have been awarded over $2 billion in awards and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. We were there when they needed us and we are here for you now.