The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers against using the emergency contraceptive pill labeled Evital, because it may be counterfeit and ineffective at preventing pregnancy.
The possibly fake “morning-after pill” comes in a package labeled “Evital Anticonceptivo de emergencia, 1.5 mg, 1 tablet” by manufacturer “Fluter Domull.” The FDA reports that Evital, which is not approved for use in the U.S., may be circulating in Hispanic communities.
The agency is asking consumers to send an email alerting the FDA if they come across the counterfeit drug. The FDA also offers the following advice:
- Contact your doctor or health care professional if you have taken Evital labeled as the 1.5 mg tablet and experienced any problems.
- There are FDA-approved emergency birth control medicines available both with a prescription, and over-the-counter without a prescription (if you are 17 years old or older).
- You should talk with a doctor, pharmacist or health care professional to find the FDA-approved emergency birth control medicine best for you.
Three FDA-approved emergency birth control pills are currently on the market, branded as Plan B One-Step, Next Choice or Ella. The drugs are most effective at preventing pregnancy when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
The pills are not meant to replace regular birth control, but rather to be used as back-up when another method fails.
For more information on emergency contraception, click here or here.
Meredith Melnick is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter @MeredithCM. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter @TIME.