Birth Control Pills Recalled: Tablets Are Out Of Order In Blister Packs

February is turning into quite the unfortunate month for birth control recalls — earlier this month one million pill packets were recalled by Pfizer, and now another company, Glenmark Generics, says seven lots of its pills might have tablets in the wrong order in blister packs.

The company says the generic pills involved are Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol, where the tablets were placed in reverse order, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Those affected were distributed between September 21 and December 30, 2011.

A key to recognizing whether the pack you have is subject to recall is if its number and expiration date are not visible except on the outer pouch, as the blister packaging was inserted 180 degrees from where it should be within the card.

Consumers exposed to any of these packages should begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception, notify your physician and return the pills to the pharmacy.

See below for affected lot numbers:

NDC: 68462-565-29
Lot number 04110101, expiration 7/31/2013
Lot number 04110106, expiration 7/31/2013
Lot number 04110107, expiration 7/31/2013
Lot number 04110114, expiration 8/31/2013
Lot number 04110124, expiration 8/31/2013
Lot number 04110129, expiration 8/31/2013
Lot number 04110134, expiration 9/30/2013

Previously: Pfizer Recalls Birth Control Pills For Being Potentially Unable To Prevent Pregnancy

Glenmark Generics Inc. Announces a Nationwide Recall of Seven (7) Lots of
Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, 0.18 mg/0.035 mg, 0.215
mg/0.035 mg, 0.25 mg/0.035 mg (Generic) Due to Possibility of Out of
Sequence Tablets


Edit Your Comment

  1. Sarek says:

    The order matters? Each pill isn’t the same?
    Why? Does the sequence raise and then lower the amount of the hormones disbursed?

    (obviously I’m a clueless guy)

    • macnbc says:

      No. The dosage is actually pretty precisely controlled day-to-day, week-to-week, with the period week being essentially placebo pills.

      • MaryK says:

        Some are like that, with the biggest dose being the week you’re ovulating.

        • babyruthless says:

          Isn’t the whole point of HBC that you don’t ovulate?

          • justhypatia says:

            There is some evidence that multi-phase pills can help women with irregular menstrual cycles but that’s about it. They have never been able to prove that they prevent pregnancy (yes by suppressing ovulation) better than any monophasic pill. They generally have the same amount of estrogen and increasing amounts of progesterone as it moves towards a woman’s period.

    • pop top says:

      Simple Googling or a basic health class will tell you that there are three weeks of hormone pills and one week of sugar pills so women can menstruate. So yes, it is a BIG deal if the pills are out of order.

    • Bremma says:

      It varies. Some are a more steady stream for 3 weeks with 1 week of placebos. The one I am on now has 5 different dosage pills (including what are probably placebo pills) over the month for varying numbers of days to control and maintain hormone levels.

  2. jayally says:

    I wonder if we will see another baby boom in 8-9 months from now? I use birth control pills and fortunately not any of the brands recalled but I expect them to work properly as they have for the past 15 years. It would be a very bad day if I ended up pregnant at 43!

  3. Cat says:

    This Cat’s happily neutered. No more pills for Mrs. Cat!

    But it hasn’t stopped me from marking my territory.
    This is mine. This is mine. This is mine. This is mine. And all this here is mine!

    • Bort says:

      which one of you is practicing for the mcat?

    • Tegan says:

      Everything in Fuchal is mine!

    • catskyfire says:

      I’m sorry, but that…that…and (Rubs against something) that, are mine.

    • anime_runs_my_life says:


      Today’s fish is Trout ala Creme. Enjoy.

      • DemosCat says:

        Space Corp Directive 497. ‘When a crewmember has run out of credits, food may not be supplied until the balance is restored.’


        • Cat says:

          ‘Space Corp super chimps performing acts of indecency in zero-gravity will lose all banana privileges.’ – Rimmer misquoting Space Corp Directive 596

    • Browsing says:

      Sadly CAT you are a woman in the US unless you’ve had kids few doctors will let you say YES never let me have children and tie my tubes….apparently we must roll a lot of dice

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I demand you tell us where you were educated so that we may never move there and subject our kids to that pathetic excuse for a school system.

      • yurei avalon says:

        This times 1000. My mother needed a hysterectomy several years ago due to a medical condition and the insurance and doctor fought her very hard on it despite the fact that she already has had children and she is in her 40’s, she is not about to have more.

        They were totally ok with her having a breast reduction surgery a few years before that though. :/

    • DemosCat says:

      Neutered? Really? I thought being neutered turned you into Duane Dibbley.

      You sure sound like your old self, not Duane Dibbley.

  4. yurei avalon says:

    Not as big a deal as the last recall, these can still be taken fine if you basically just flip the package around. Anyone who has ever paid any attention to their BC pills will know the last few days to a week are usually white. Though I’ve never personally taken pills that were 2 colors in addition to the white.

    This could be problematic if you ere taking BC pills or this brand for the first time however :/

  5. Lethe says:

    I think that this is the result of industry sabotage by Pampers. Or maybe Osh-Kosh.

  6. sirwired says:

    This is just stupid; the packaging engineer that put that together was asleep at the switch. He SHOULD have known that if your packaging is otherwise a regular polygon, you need to “key” one corner so as to prevent this very situation. If the packaging loader requires the packaging to only face one way (or jam or refuse to start otherwise), this can never happen. It’s all of one line on a cutting die, and two bends in the packaging feed magazine or chute.

    • sirwired says:

      BTW, I am not, myself, a packaging engineer. But I have watched a lot of episodes of “How It’s Made” and I am familiar with how punchcards did this. (No, I’ve never personally used punchcards; I’m not quite that old.)

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I’m a manufacturing automation engineer and you’re really not far off the mark. Other than keying the packaging (not 100% fool proof) they could use a vision system as part of a final check. Guess which option costs a lot more?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Very true.

  7. stooj says:

    uh oh…

  8. alliebeth says:

    “Those affected were distributed between September 21 and December 30, 2011.”

    So, it’s most likely too late for most people. Even if you get your BC in 3-month supply, you’ll probably only have 1 pack left that hasn’t been taken. Lovely.

    • sirwired says:

      Depends… if the date they are referring to is the date they got loaded on a truck to the Pharm distributor, there could still be quite a few left in the system. If the date is the date they were actually sent from the distributor to individual pharmacies, it still depends on how fast moving the pharmacy stock is.

      “Dispensed” is the term used to refer to actually handing meds over the counter to patients.

      • alliebeth says:

        From the FDA article:
        “This product is distributed to wholesalers and retail pharmacies nationwide between September 21, 2011 and December 30, 2011.”

        I know the difference between dispensed and distributed, as I am a pharmacy intern myself. It sounds like both happened in this case. Generic BC are generally fast movers, at least at my pharmacy.

    • ElleAnn says:

      Could still be a problem when the patient switches back to correctly packaged pills. Let’s say that you got a three month supply and are supposed to take 1 week of placebos then 3 weeks of hormones. The “wrong” packages have 3 weeks of hormones and then one week of placebo. You finish your placebo week and get a new “correct” package, and it has the placebo week first. If you take these pills in the order on the correct packaging you will have two placebo weeks in a row- which is a problem.

      • alliebeth says:

        I see what you are saying here, which is true. However, most people fill their BC script each month for 1 28-day pack. It is now the end of February, so even if this was the case, it’s now after the fact, and the pills they received after Dec 30th were packaged correctly.

  9. JF says:

    The number of birth control pill recalls lately has been getting ridiculous. I’m waiting to hear about one of these companies being sued for the cost of raising a child when someone gets pregnant while on a recalled product.

  10. blue_muse says:

    Women don’t need to menstruate. Just keep all the pills the same and get rid of the placebos.

    • little stripes says:

      It really depends on the woman, and if they can handle the hormones in the pill to begin with.

      Also, a lot of women need that reminder they aren’t pregnant. I appreciate it. My periods are light enough when I’m on the pill that it’s just not a big deal. It’s just a nice reminder that yo, I am not pregnant again this month. WOO, (no) baby.

      Also, skipping periods means you have to buy more packs each year.

      It’s a good option but it’s not for every woman.

  11. Cantras says:

    Huzzah for my IUD.

  12. Dallas_shopper says:

    Thank god I’m over 35 and a smoker, so my doctor won’t prescribe BC pills for me in the first place. ;-)

    That, and I’m single anyway. ;-)

  13. HomerSimpson says:

    “Further proof that BC is provided by the DEVIL!!!!!!!”

    This PSA brought to you by your local GOP candidate.

  14. Sian says:

    If they just had keyed blisters (notch in one corner), then this mistake would have been impossible.

  15. Ayla says:

    It’s making headlines now, but the problem is birth control pills fail A LOT. The companies that make them want to tell you they are 99% effective but it simply isn’t true. Women get pregnant quite often while on the Pill and many other forms of “birth control,” As men and women we are being lied to and our culture is upholding a myth that we can “control” birth as if it were up to us. Sorry, but it isn’t. Sure we can slow things down with birth control but nothing is 100%, not even surgery. Heck even abortions sometimes fail. As human beings we need to rethink our mind set on having babies. We need to embrace children as a blessing to our lives and we need to stop presenting sex as something we can have “just for fun” with no consequences.

    • Eliamias says:

      Yup. Blessings that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise and completely impact your life, in some cases affecting your mobility job-wise. Yes, kids can be awesome, but they are also expensive and difficult and quite frankly, there are some non-virginal people out there I wouldn’t leave in charge of a ficus.

    • DFManno says:

      Is that you, Santorum?