Thursday, September 22, 2011

If You Take "The Pill" to Avoid Pregnancy- READ THIS!

Are you taking generic birth control? There is a PACKAGING ERROR that has reversed the order of the weekly pills, which significantly decreases the contraceptive effectiveness (translation- you can get pregnant more easily.) Qualitest Pharmaceuticals is recalling multiple lots of the following pills:

Cyclafem 7/7/7, Cyclafem 1/35, Emoquette, Gildess FE 1.5/30, Gildess FE 1/20, Orsythia, Previfem and Tri-Previfem

To find out if your generic pill has been affected, click on the link above to check your lot number, or head to your local pharmacy and ask your pharmacist if your prescription is included in the recall.

This is a great opportunity to talk about birth control effectiveness. When used correctly, oral contraceptives are considered to be 99% effective. If that is true, why do we hear about so many cases of women getting pregnant while they were on the pill? The primary reason is that many people forget to take it. Skipping a day, especially the first day of the cycle, greatly increases your risk of ovulating (and therefore, your risk of conceiving.) Additionally, it is important to take the pill at the same time every day. Taking it "when you get up" does NOT work if you sleep in on weekends! Fluxuating your time by minutes is no big deal, but by HOURS is NOT okay. Additionally, other medications can decrease the effectiveness of the pill, particularly antibiotics or antifungals (like oral medications for yeast infections.) Whenever you receive a new prescription, ask your pharmacist if there is a potential interaction. Finally, do the math- if the pill is 99% effective, but you have millions of women taking it, by sheer numbers there are going to be a significant number of pregnancies from that 1%.

BOTTOM LINE: Birth control effectiveness is maximized by taking the pill at the same exact time every day, and being aware of possible decreased efficacy with other medications. If you take a generic pill, make sure it is not part of this nationwide recall.

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