A pharmaceutical company has recalled all lots of birth control pill Alysena-28, including product sold on some Manitoba pharmacy shelves.
A week ago, Apotex Inc. recalled one lot of Alysena-28 birth control pills (LF01899A) because the company incorrectly packaged extra white placebo bills with pink active pills.
Now, as a precaution, the company has pulled all lots of Alysena-28 off the shelves.
Packages of Alysena-28 should have three rows of the pink active pills and only one row of white placebo pills. The faulty blister pack that was returned to Apotex had 14 pink pills (active drug) and 14 white placebos.
Missing a week of the active pink tablets would place an individual at the same risk level of becoming pregnant as an individual who is not using contraception at all, according to an alert on Apotex's website.
Gynecologists warn that some women may not know they were taking the recalled contraceptive. That's because the drug is a generic version of the most popular birth-control pill used in Canada, a drug called Alesse which is not involved in the recall.
Some prescription drug plans require pharmacists to replace higher-priced brand-name drugs with generic versions if a generic is available. That means women might think they are taking Alesse -- because that is what their doctor prescribed -- but they are actually taking Alysena.
Canadians using this product should use a non-hormonal method of birth control, contact their health care provider for medical advice and return unopened packages to their pharmacist.
Apotex has also established a toll-free recall information service at 1-866-367-4537 to provide patients and health care professionals with additional support.
The additional recalled medication have the following lot numbers: LF01901A, LF01900A, LF01898A, LF01894B, LF01980A, LF01982A, LF01981A, LF01979A, LF02037A, LF02036A and LF02026A.
With files from The Canadian Press