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Popular Birth Control Pills Recalled Over Misprinted Instructions

Contraceptive pillsContraceptive pills
Janssen Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily recalling three lots of its popular Ortho-Novum pill.Anne Rippy—Getty Images

For those who take birth control pills, check the manufacturer: Janssen Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily recalling three lots of its popular Ortho-Novum pill.

The recall affects one lot of Ortho-Novum 1/35 (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) tablets and two lots of Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) tablets and is due to misprinted instructions with the packages.

According to the FDA, the information included with the affected packages doesn’t have the correct instructions, meaning that women could take the pills in the wrong order or could take an inactive pill instead of an active one, which could lead to breakthrough bleeding or an unintended pregnancy.

Standard birth control packages comprise 28 pills, 21 of which contain “active” doses, and seven of which are inactive, or “reminder” placebos.

The pills themselves are safe and effective if used correctly. The FDA instructs those who choose to continue using them to first take the 21 active peach or white/peach-colored pills for three weeks, followed by one week of the green inactive pills.

Earlier this year, Allergan similarly recalled Taytulla birth control pills after a physician notified the company of a packaging error.