Antibiotics and Birth Control: Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control?

Antibiotics and Birth Control Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control

Have you ever thought of how antibiotics and birth control pills react with each other? Probably not. Well, if you are on birth control & foresee a possibility of taking antibiotics in the future, then this article is for you.

A question that is generally asked – ‘What are some medicines that I can take when I’m on birth control ?’. Well, the only right answer can be given by a doctor after assessing your condition.

It goes without saying, but never skip any of the prescribed medications to make birth control effective. Not following the provided prescription can allow other diseases to stay in the body. If interactions are happening with antibiotics, the doctor may suggest different methods of contraception.

Antibiotics vs. Birth Control Pills

Few antibiotics affect birth control when taken in the form of oral pills. The significant reason is when consuming antibiotics, they kill the bacteria that cause current illness or infection. At the same time, norma flora (the normal bacteria) that is in the stomach activates the birth control pill. So, an interaction between antibiotics and birth control pills is likely to happen in a few women. There is an indication of spotting or mid-cycle bleeding when interaction happens.

What Are The Antibiotics That Affect Birth Control?

1. Anti-Tuberculosis Drug

Rifampin, which treats tuberculosis, lowers the effectiveness of birth control measures by decreasing the hormone levels. The raise of hormonal levels prevents ovulation. So, when Rifampin is taken in the long-run, the effectiveness of birth control pills and rings reduce. Rifampin is a less recommended drug which stands as a significant advantage for those planning birth control.

2. Anti-Seizure Drugs

Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Felbamate (Felbatol), Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), Primidone (Mysoline), Topamax (Topiramate), and Phenobarbital (Luminal). Any of these drugs may lower the effectiveness of birth control pills like Lo Ovral, Ovral L, Ovral G, etc.

Modafinil (Provigil) and St. John’s wort that acts as smart drugs that treat sleep disorders. Studies derive that they induce liver enzymes, which may reduce the therapeutic efficacy of birth control pills.

3. Antifungal Medicines

Griseofulvin and Ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral, Xolegel) may also reduce levels of birth control hormones.

4. Anti-HIV Medications

Few types of research predict that Darunavir (Prezista), Efavirenz (Sustiva), Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaletra), Nevirapine (Viramune) may also affect birth control.

Hence a backup birth control method such as a condom or copper IUD would help the birth control be effective in case any of the above antibiotics are in use.

Satisfactory Results On Antibiotics Along With Birth Control Pills

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology after a survey quotes that level of oral contraceptive steroids has no harmful effects when combined with antibiotics administration, which include:

  • ciprofloxacin
  • ampicillin
  • doxycycline
  • clarithromycin
  • metronidazole
  • ofloxacin
  • roxithromycin
  • tetracycline
  • temafloxacin

Hormonal Birth Control Working

Female sex hormones Progestin and Estrogen are available in the form of pills, rings (NuvaRing generic), patches, and injections. Any method of hormonal birth control stops eggs from leaving the ovaries. Which leads to no ovulation. Thus, results work out well from preventing pregnancy as the men’s sperm cells can’t get in contact with the eggs during sexual contact. A backup control method such as condoms along with primary medication during sex, if added, can make birth control more effective.


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