When my wife became pregnant with our first child, she was on birth control.
I'll spare you the sordid details of my initial reaction to the news (we had only been married for three and a half months and I was convinced I was not ready to be a dad yet) but I honestly saw it coming.
I mean she was on a chewable pill, Generess FE. For obvious reasons, I don't recommend it.
OK, so it happens, my wife got pregnant while she was on birth control despite taking her pill every single day. I chalked it up to Generess being a crappy drug and/or because bits of the stuff probably got stuck in my wife's teeth, reducing it's efficacy.
But when my wife got pregnant with our second child while on the "mini pill", I was convinced that her uterus was just the fertile crescent, and we're destined to have a bunch of kids. Which is fine by me because I really love being a Dad. I mean, I got the horrible jokes part down pat already, so why not?
But in the mini-pill (it's still crazy to me that these even exist) and the Flinstones birth control my wife's dumb former doctor recommended to her's defense, they were actual pills filled with chemical agents designed to keep her from conceiving. Some of these "pills" that people are taking, aren't.
Due to a packaging error with from pharmaceutical company Allergan, 170,000 sample packets of its Taytulla birth control pills were packaged with four placebos packaged out of order.
The pills, if taken at the wrong time could result in an unexpected pregnancy. You know, the kind of thing you'd want to avoid while taking birth control.
Although Allergan screwed up royally, it immediately released a statement and is contacting customers to let them know about the mistake.
"As a result of this packaging error, oral contraceptive capsules that are taken out of sequence may place the user at risk for contraceptive failure and unintended pregnancy. The reversing of the order may not be apparent to either new users or previous users of the product, increasing the likelihood of taking the capsules out of order," according to a statement from the company.
Understandably, people on social are freaking out at the prospect of possibly being pregnant and are looking for ways to know if they took the placebo pills or not.
is the only way to differentiate them the colour? what about people with colour blindness who thought of this packaging wth— lily 🌼 (@clarinetdodie) June 1, 2018
Normally, the placebos are clearly different than the other pills.
that shouldn’t necessarily be a problem right because the placebos look very different as far as i can tell— lily 🌼 (@clarinetdodie) June 1, 2018
But in this case, the mix-up makes it difficult to distinguish which pills are legit and which aren't.
Thankfully, the news is spreading to people online who are taking this specific brand.
As crazy as this sound, this isn't the first time a packaging error with placebo pills has occurred.
Less than a year ago, Mibelas 24 Fe birth control pills had almost the same exact issue.
In this instance, the brown pills in the above picture are how they should've been packaged with four at the end.
The packaging error put the brown pills at the beginning of the birth control cycle, which could lead to harmful effect to not just people taking the pill but any gestating fetuses as well.
"For patients in whom a pregnancy is contraindicated or in whom concomitant medications may have teratogenic effects, an unintended pregnancy may cause significant adverse maternal or fetal health consequences, including death," the FDA cautioned.
Doctor Lauren Streicher, associate professor of obstretics and gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University says that taking the placebo pills at the beginning of the cycle is way more dangerous than say, missing a single pill in the middle of one.
"If you take these first four pills thinking that they are the real thing, you may be off the pill for eight days instead of four and that increases the likelihood of inadvertent pregnancy," Streicher said.
If you've taken Allergan's Taytulla birth control with lot number #5620706 then you should contact your physician to return it for a properly packaged set of birth control pills.
If you have any additional concerns, you can contact Allergan here: 800-678-1605. No word yet if they're covering child support for any unexpected pregnancies, however. (h/t abc)