Contraceptive recalled for out-of-order dosing

Thursday, July 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Women who use a birth control pill named Nortrel 7/7/7 should closely examine 28-day packs of the contraceptive because the color-coded pills may be out of order, putting them at risk of pregnancy.

Barr Laboratories is recalling three batches of the pills _ 470,000 packs _ from pharmacies, and will replace any out-of-order Nortrel that women return to their drugstores. The company also said it will cover the cost of a pregnancy test for any woman who used an out-of-sequence pack.

Nortrel comes in a mix of colored pills to be taken a week at a time: Yellow pills in the top row, for Week 1, followed by a row of blue pills and then peach pills. The last row, for Week 4, should be white _ placebo or dummy pills.

Two women contacted Barr to say their Nortrel was reversed, with the white pills on top. Taking the pills in the wrong order could put a woman at risk of pregnancy, as well as cause irregular bleeding by changing the menstrual cycle.

Barr urged women taking the 28-day Nortrel 7/7/7 to check their packages. If the pill sequence is correct, keep using them. Women who have used an out-of-order pack, or aren't sure, shouldn't stop taking the pills but immediately consult their physician for further instructions.

The recalled batches involve the following lot numbers, printed on the upper right corner of the package's back: 290122001, 290122002 and 290122003. Any Nortrel 7/7/7 28-day package without a lot number also is included in the recall.

For more information, call Barr at 1-800-222-0190, ext. 33302.