Drug maker Allergan announced on May 29 that it was recalling its prescription birth control known as Taytulla. At issue is a mistake in the ordering of the pills in the monthly pack that could actually lead a woman to get pregnant. The error was found by physician reports, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also announced the error to help aid in the recall process.
Allergan and FDA Announce Recall
Allergan, a pharmaceutical company based in Dublin, Ireland, recently made the announcement that it was recalling thousands of packs of the birth control medication Taytulla. According to the manufacturer’s page for the medication, it is the first birth control to be made available in a gel cap and is 96 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. Taytulla is an extended-regimen birth control with 24 active pills and just four inactive or placebo reminder pills.
The pills included in the recall are those in lot number 5620706, called Taytulla Softgel Capsules 1 mg/20mcg 6×28 sample with an expiration date of May 2019. The active pills are pink and have “WC” printed on them. The inactive pills are also printed with “WC” but are maroon.
Allergan issued a press release about the recall but is also sending recall letters. The FDA also made an announcement about the recall. Any consumers who were given one or more of these packs should talk to their physicians about how to return and get new pill packs. Consumers can also contact Allergan with any questions.
The Mistake in the Pill Packs
Birth control pills are packaged as four weeks of seven pills. They are placed in a blister pack in the order in which they are to be taken daily for the four-week period. There are several active pills, those that contain hormones that help prevent pregnancy, followed by the last pills in the pack that are inactive. These inactive, or placebo pills contain no hormones and are used simply as reminder pills. A woman typically gets her period while taking the active pills.
The error in the Taytulla packs being recalled is that the order of these active and inactive pills was incorrect. The first four pills, which should have been active, were actually the placebos. The error could have caused the contraceptive to fail and a woman relying on it to avoid pregnancy to actually become pregnant.
While some women may have noticed that the package contained the error, others may not have. Those who were using it for the first time were at particular risk of not knowing there was a mistake and of using the pills incorrectly through no fault of their own. Nearly 170,000 pill packs were in error and are included in the recall. This means that thousands of women could potentially be at risk of having an unintended pregnancy.
If you were issued a pack of Taytulla pills that fall into the lot being recalled, contact your doctor right away to find out what to do next. If you are concerned about the possibility of getting pregnant, let your doctor know and find out what your options are going forward.