Apotex Corp. is recalling birth control pills because some packs don't contain the correct number of hormone pills.

By Renee Cherry
Photo: TEK IMAGE / Getty Images

Today in living nightmares, one company's birth control pills are being recalled because there's a major risk that they're not doing their job. The FDA announced that Apotex Corp. is recalling some of its drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets because of packaging errors. (Related: Here's How to Get Birth Control Delivered Right to Your Door)

The "packaging errors" refer to how the pills are arranged: As is often the case, the company's pills come in 28-day packs, with 21 pills that contain hormones and seven pills that don't. Apotex packs typically contain three weeks' worth of yellow active pills with one week of white placebos. Problem is, some packs reportedly have an incorrect arrangement of yellow and white pills, or have pockets that don't contain a pill at all.

Since taking birth control pills out of order or skipping an active day significantly increases your chance of getting pregnant, Apotex is recalling the batches that include defective packs. (Related: Is It Safe to Skip Your Period On Purpose While Taking Birth Control?)

Photo: FDA

If this recall rings a bell, that's because the FDA has made two similar announcements in recent memory: Allergan made a birth control recall in 2018 on Taytulla, as did Janssen on Ortho-Novum. As with the current Apotex Corp. recall, both had to do with incorrect packaging of the pills rather than issues with the pills themselves. On the plus side, the FDA hasn't reported any unwanted pregnancies or adverse effects connected to any of the three recalls. (Related: The FDA Just Approved the First App to Be Marketed for Birth Control)

According to the FDA's statement, Apotex Corp.'s recall extends to four lots of the company's birth control. To find out if your birth control is included, check the packaging. If you see the NDC number 60505-4183-3 on the outer carton or 60505-4183-1 on the inner carton, it's part of the recall, but if you have questions, you can call up Apotex Corp. at 1-800-706-5575. If you have an affected pack, the FDA recommends contacting your health care provider for advice and switching to a nonhormonal form of birth control in the meantime.


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