French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma has just released a warning stating that the morning-after pill "Norlevo" is completely ineffective for women weighing over 176 pounds. The pill even begins to lose effectiveness for women weighing 165.
So...we should all just be thankful we don't live in France, right? Well, it turns out the aforementioned Norlevo is identical in both chemical makeup and dosage to the morning-after pills sold in the United States, such as Plan B and its generic counterparts. With the average American woman weighing 166 pounds, most of us can't even effectively use these contraceptives.
European drug companies have taken steps to immediately update the packaging of these contraceptives to reflect these issues. In the United States, however, the situation is a bit different (a.k.a. makes much less sense). Generic drug manufacturers are prohibited by the FDA from changing product information unless the brand name does so first. This means that Teva Pharmaceuticals, the producer of Plan B, would need to alter their packaging information before any other morning-after bill brand was allowed to do so. Yikes!
As of today, Teva has yet to announce any sort of changes in the way their products are presented to customers. I don't want to say something smells fishy, but you can never be too careful when it comes to taking care of yourself. Make sure you keep yourself and others informed about the limitations of the emergency contraceptives available to you.
If you are in need of emergency contraception and the morning-after pill would be ineffective for you, check out resources such as Planned Parenthood to learn about the choices you still have!
Thanks to Salon
Image via ABC