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About one million packets of birth control pills are being recalled in the United States by Pfizer Inc. because of a packaging error that could reduce the effectiveness of the pills and cause unintended pregnancies.

The recall of 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets was announced late Tuesday after Pfizer discovered that some blister packs may contain either too many or too few active pills and that the pills may be out of sequence. The expiration dates on the recalled packets range between July 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

The pills are packaged in blister packs containing 21 active tablets and seven inactive tablets. The packaging error means that the daily regimen for the pills may be incorrect and could leave women without adequate contraception and at risk for unintended pregnancy, Pfizer said in a news release.

Experts said the error could pose real problems for women using the pills.

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