Alesse - Oral Contraceptive Pill

On December 1st, 2017 Health Canada issued an advisory to users of the Alesse brand of oral contraceptive pill (Alesse 21 and 28). There have been reports that certain packages of pills contain smaller than normal or broken pills. 

Products affected

Alesse 21 and Alesse 28. The complaints involved packages from the following lots, but it is not known at this time whether the issue is isolated to these lots:

  • Alesse 21 (DIN 02236974) Lot A2532, expires August 2018
  • Alesse 28 (DIN 02236975) Lot A3183, expires April 2019

What you should do

  • Check your pills before and after taking them out of the blister package. Do not consume a pill if it looks unusual. Examine both sides of each pill thoroughly for anything unusual before taking it (such as, a different (paler) colour, jagged edges, or the pill is broken or smaller than normal). It may not be immediately obvious from looking at the blister package that there is a problem with the pills, as the underside of the pill cannot be seen while in the blister pack. 
  • If you have a package with an unusual pill, return it to your pharmacy for a replacement package.
  • Do not stop taking your birth control pills as this may result in pregnancy. 

If you have any concerns, please go to your pharmacy and speak to your pharmacist. Also, if you have any friends who are taking this brand of pill, please inform them.