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August 1st, 2011
04:14 PM ET

FDA warns of counterfeit 'morning-after' pill

The Food and Drug Administration says the emergency "morning after" birth control pill Evital could be counterfeit and may not be safe or prevent pregnancy. The agency is asking women not to use the medication.

Evital is not approved for use in the United States.  But the FDA says, while it doesn't have evidence of "pattern targeting" of a specific ethnic group, the drug may have been distributed in Hispanic communities under the label "Evital Anticonceptivo de emergencia, 1.5mg, 1 tablet by Fluter Domull."

"Evital was discovered through routine imports entry review and we are currently working to find out more about this apparently illegal U.S. distribution of what FDA suspects is a counterfeit product," said FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess.

The FDA is asking consumers to contact their doctor if they've taken the pills and had any side effects. It also is asking anyone with information about the pills to contact their Center for Drug Evaluation and Research/Ingredient Adulteration (CDER). Any information gathered will be used to get Evital off the market.

Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex. Common brands are Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and ella. The drug can cost from $10 to $70 depending on the brand.

FDA-approved emergency birth control is available with a prescription and over-the-counter if you are at least 17 years old.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.