The Massive Birth Control Recall And How It Affects You

Illustration for article titled The Massive Birth Control Recall And How It Affects You

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals may want to consider changing its name.

The Alabama-based maker of generic drugs is currently recalling a variety of birth control pills because of a teeny, tiny little mistake related to the factory putting the pills "in the wrong places inside plastic packages."

That mix-up means women could be getting the wrong pills during the month, leaving them "without adequate contraception, and at risk for unintended pregnancy," according to the company's notice about the recall.

The affected pills are:
• Cyclafem 7/7/7
• Cyclafem 1/35
• Emoquette
• Gildess FE 1.5/30
• Gildess FE 1/20
• Orsythia
• Previfem
• Tri-Previfem

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The drugmaker has issued a statement saying, "The source of the error is currently under investigation and the company is committed to rectifying the issue in a timely manner."

I'm not sure how the drug company is going to be able to "rectify" countless unintended pregnancies but until that miracle day arrives, you can find the full list of the specific lots that are being recalled here.

Packaging Mix-Up For Birth Control Pills Prompts Recall [NPR]

DISCUSSION

2 Questions: (I'm not science-minded, and I've never been on the pill)

1. Assuming you otherwise took the pill perfectly, if this were say, placebos at week 2 instead of week 4 (and not "21 placebos, 7 hormones"), but everything else was the same - and one of the pills where the hormones are the constant, instead of the ones that have different potencies every week - would this really make that much of a difference?

2. If you were on the pill for a medical reason (endometriosis, for example), assuming again the mess up was just wrong week-placement, and not more drastic, how bad would this be? How bad would this be in general?

Also, when my mom told me this last night, I was so impressed because she's always been very "LALALALA MY CHILDREN ARE NOT EVER GOING TO HAVE SEX LALALALALA" and she said she reminded both of my sisters (one is 21 and on the pill, one is 15 and not ever going to have sex, because apparently I'm a little bit like my mom when it comes to her) that you should always use two forms of birth control. But also that you should never have sex unless you're married and trying for a baby.

Oh, my mom. She comes so far, and then she adds in that last part. She's getting there!