Health Canada is telling all women who take Alysena 21 and Alysena 28 birth control pills to carefully check their medication for broken or chipped pills.
The manufacturer, Apotex, voluntarily recalled one lot of the pills in February. Now, Health Canada says that all lots of the pills may have the same issue. Chipped pills might be less effective at preventing pregnancy because they contain less of the active drug in them.
The department recommends that women check to see whether any of the pink “active” pills are chipped, have jagged edges, or are broken. If so, they say to not consume that pill and to instead take the next unchipped pink pill in the package.
“Do not miss a dose as this may result in pregnancy,” says their press release.
If there are no unchipped pink pills left, then women should return the package to the pharmacy as soon as possible in order to get a replacement. In the meantime, Health Canada recommends using a non-hormonal form of birth control such as condoms or spermicidal foam until you can get a new package of pills.
Packages that don’t contain any chipped pink pills don’t need to be returned. The white pills in the Alysena 28 packages already don’t contain any active medication by design.
According to Health Canada, Apotex has put in place measures to address the manufacturing issue and is visually inspecting their product before release. Along with asking women to carefully inspect their medication themselves, the department thinks this is sufficient to address the problem.
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