A white box with black, blue and orange lettering that contains pills for the medical termination of pregnancy.
Credit: Federation of Medical Women in Canada

Health Canada has issued a public advisory warning consumers about the dangers of unauthorized abortion and morning-after pills sold on “Dr. Pooja” websites. 

“They may be ineffective, expired, mislabeled, subject to recalls, or counterfeit versions of authorized products,” the advisory notes. 

“Unauthorized drugs may have no active ingredients, the wrong ingredients, or dangerous additives such as prescription drugs not listed on the label.”

The advisory was posted Tuesday on Health Canada’s online ‘Recalls and safety alerts’ page. It urges Canadians not to buy or use any unauthorized health products from “Dr. Pooja” websites. The agency said prescription drugs should only be purchased from licensed pharmacies.

“Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, efficacy and quality and may pose a range of serious health risks,” the advisory said.

Seek immediate medical attention

Anyone who took unauthorized prescription drugs for medical abortion that claim to contain mifepristone and misoprostol is advised to seek immediate medical attention. 

People who have taken unauthorized over-the-counter emergency contraceptives (morning-after pills) claiming to contain levonorgestrel are being told to speak to their health care professional in order to receive a proper health assessment and medical care. 

Health Canada said it is aware of two “Dr. Pooja” websites and is working to have them removed. The sale of unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal, and the agency “has directed the websites to stop selling unauthorized health products.”

Yvette d’Entremont is a bilingual (English/French) journalist and editor who enjoys covering health, science, research, and education.

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