If you take birth control, you should always check your packs for broken pills before you take them, says Health Canada.
The warning comes after Alysena 21 and Alysena 28 birth control packs were discovered to have chipped pills.
The manufacturer, Apotex, issued a recall for lot LF10133A of Alysena 28 packs in February after receiving complaints of this issue, and on Thursday, Health Canada declared "all lots of both Alysena 21 and Alysena 28 may have chipped pills."
Both prescription drugs are used to prevent pregnancy (and to treat acne, in some cases), but chipped pills "may contain less of the active drug ingredients, which may reduce Alysena's effectiveness in preventing pregnancy," both Health Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada previously reported.
Apotex spokesperson Jordan Berman told CBC News on Thursday that the initial recall was done "out of an abundance of caution before we had all the scientific data."
Explaining why Health Canada has now issued a warning and not a recall, Berman said, "We now have scientific data from both published studies and internal testing by the manufacturer, which demonstrate that taking pink pills that have a small chip at the edge will not reduce the product's overall effectiveness in preventing pregnancy."
But that doesn't mean women shouldn't be cautious. Those who use Alysena 21 and Alysena 28 birth control packs are now advised to carefully examine their pills for chipped or jagged edges before taking them.