National birth control recall hits Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

National birth control recall hits Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Some one-million women could be at risk for unintended pregnancies, after a birth control mix up.

Wednesday, Chattanooga pharmacies pulled Lo/Ovral tablets and a generic version from shelves.

It's a busy night at Access Family Pharmacy off Hixson Pike as word of a large birth control recall reaches customers.

"They are requested to bring them back to the pharmacy," Pharmacist Phillip Smith says. "We'll send them back to the manufacturer."

The world's largest drug manufacturer, Pfizer, recalled one-million packs of Lo/Ovral and its generic because of an error that mixed up the active and inactive pills in the 28-day package.

"Some of them had too much, some of them had too little," Smith explains, referring to a fax sent to his pharmacy Wednesday morning. "They are mainly worried about the ones that had too little."

The packaging mistake puts woman at risk of unintended pregnancy, but Smith says the recall is not as large as customers think.

Every year, 75 million prescriptions for birth control pills are written. Lo/Ovral is not one of the top five kinds prescribed.

"I'd say one million is not very many in the bigger scheme of things," Smith says. "It's a lesser used birth control."

Access Pharmacy only had two doses on its shelf when the recall was issued. Those two doses are already on their way back to the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, pharmacy staff is reassuring customers.

"I wouldn't tell anyone to get too freaked out," Smith says. "Because it's just certain lot numbers and the chances of anyone getting pregnant are pretty slim."

Pfizer says consumers exposed to the incorrect packaging should begin using a non-hormonal form of contraception immediately.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a list on its website of the lots impacted. You can view that list by clicking here.

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