What If My Healthcare Provider Prescribes Rifampin For Me
If your healthcare provider does prescribe rifampin to you, be sure to let them know if you are using a hormonal contraceptive.
Unless otherwise stated by your healthcare provider, you can still continue to take your pills as usual every day. However, during this time, itâs important to use non-hormonal birth control methods, like external or internal condoms, or abstain from sex as backup protection during rifampin treatment .
If you use birth control pills, consider following the recommendations for what to do if you miss two or more pills:
Continue to use these non-hormonal backup methods for 7 days after you stop taking rifampin, provided you still have 7 hormone-containing pills left in your pack
If there are fewer than 7 hormonal pills left in the pack after you stop taking rifampin, skip the hormone-free pills and start a new pack, but still continue to use back-up contraception for the first 7 pills of the pack .
If you are using another form of hormonal contraceptive, like the patch or ring, speak to your healthcare provider.
Herbal Supplements And Vitamins
St. Johns wort is a supplement that people take to help with symptoms of depression, insomnia, or anxiety. Soy isoflavones is from a soybean plant and may reduce menopause-related hot flashes or help maintain strong bones. Research has shown that supplements like these may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
There is some thought that St. Johns Wort, typically used to help with symptoms of depression, contains ingredients which may speed up the breakdown of estrogen, rendering birth control less effective, Dr. Torres says. Vitamin C, often taken to boost immune function, can interact with birth control as well. Estrogen can cause increases in vitamin C levels, which could potentially be problematic.
Not Taking Oral Contraceptives Each Day At The Same Time Can Reduce Their Effectiveness
If youre relying on a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy, sticking to a consistent pill-taking routine is important.
For oral contraceptives, the most important thing is to take the pill every day at the same time. Missing one pill, especially if it is the first pill in the pack, increases the risk of getting pregnant, Dr. Tsvetelina Velikova of MedAlertHelp told INSIDER.
If you do miss a pill, you may want to speak to your healthcare provider and use another form of birth control, such as a condom while you figure out your next steps. Planned Parenthoods website also has a tool that can help you identify which steps to take if you have missed a pill based on the brand of oral contraceptive youre taking.
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Other Birth Control Drug Interactions
Antibiotics arent the only medication interaction you need to be concerned about when taking birth control. Most medications are completely safe with combined oral contraceptives, but there are certain other drugs that can interfere with the pill, making it work less effectively. There are two main types of drugs that can be problematic with the pill:
Theres only one antiretroviral that can interfere with the pill, a drug called fosamprenavir . If youre on the pill and have HIV, your healthcare provider will likely recommend using a back-up method of birth control. Or, she may prescribe a different HIV medication.
With anticonvulsants, the list of drugs that interact with hormonal contraceptives is much longer. If you have a seizure disorder, youll need to work closely with your healthcare provider to find the right combination of drugs for you. The anticonvulsant drugs that can make birth control less effective are :
There are many other anticonvulsant drugs that are perfectly fine to take while on the pill. If you need to be on one of the above medications, though, you should use another form of birth control.
Lastly, some herbal medicines, such as St. Johns wort, can interfere with the pill, causing side effects such as breakthrough bleeding. Its possible these substances can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills, so back-up birth control is recommended .
Taking Other Antibiotics With Oral Contraceptives
What about other types of antibiotics? If you get a UTI, your healthcare provider will probably prescribe one of the many other antibiotics, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin . Can you take those with hormonal birth control?
You can! The only antibiotics that might interfere with birth control are rifampin and rifabutin. All other antibiotics, including common antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin, should be safe, even if youre taking contraceptive pills .
Your healthcare provider might still recommend using a back-up form of birth control while youre on the antibiotics, just to be extra safe. Be sure to follow the medical advice of your healthcare provider.
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How Birth Control Pills Work
Birth control pills are a form of hormonal contraception meant to prevent pregnancy. Most birth control pills contain the two hormones estrogen and progesterone. This helps block the release of eggs from the ovary, or ovulation. Some birth control pills, such as the minipill, help thicken cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach an unfertilized egg.
How Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control
Rifampicin affects the levels of contraceptive hormones present in the body, reducing the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.
There are several ways pills can interact with each other, and affecting gut absorption is just one of them. Rifampicin also changes the levels of some of the liver enzymes chemicals that can affect the way we use hormones in the body.
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Can You Take Antibiotics With Birth Control
Should you use a barrier back-up method of birth control while you are also taking an antibiotic with a hormonal form of contraception?
For many years, women have been counseled that their birth control might become less effective if they also took a course of an antibiotic at the same time. The usual advice to women from healthcare providers was to add a barrier form of birth control to their contraceptive and for a period of time after finishing the antibiotic to help prevent pregnancy.
Today, most research states that antibiotics, with the exception of the tuberculosis drug rifampin and possibly other rifamycins like rifabutin , do not alter the effectiveness of hormonal forms of birth control that are absorbed into the blood . However, critics maintain that many studies that have found a lack of an interaction have been small and therefore unlikely to detect infrequent interactions.
In contrast, a large but observational database study from BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine published in August 2020 suggests that there is a possibility of pregnancy when birth control and antibiotics are combined. However, this study cannot prove a cause and effect outcome based on the retrospective design and limitations of the research.
Because some studies are conflicting, you should discuss this topic with your healthcare provider if you are prescribed an antibiotic and you use a hormonal form of birth control.
The Truth About Antibiotics And Birth Control
Have you ever been told to use a backup birth control method if you are taking antibiotics? It is always best to play it safe. After all, several antibiotic information sheets come with a warning that says antibiotics may make birth control pills less effective. But how much evidence is there to support this claim? Heres a closer look at what the latest research studies have found in terms of the link between antibiotics and birth control.
Understanding How Birth Control Pills Work
Birth control pills are a method of preventing pregnancy. While there are countless types of birth control pills, most of them contain both estrogen and progesterone to stop the release of eggs from the ovary . There are some pills that prevent pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus and making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. Regardless of exactly how they prevent pregnancy, birth control pills are a highly effective form of hormonal contraception.
Is Your Medicine Impacting Your Birth Control?
What about other antibiotics? A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that hormone levels remain unchanged when the following commonly prescribed antibiotics are taken with birth control pills:
Stay Aware and Consult Your Physician for Guidance
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Can You Get Pregnant Taking Antibiotics While On Birth Control
Im on hormonal birth control. Can I get pregnant if I take antibiotics? In most cases, no, as long as you continue to use your hormonal contraception as prescribed you are safe from pregnancy even if you are on antibiotics. It is a myth that all antibiotics will interfere with the efficacy of your birth control pill.
What Other Types Of Drugs Can Alter Birth Control Effectiveness
Other drugs besides rifampin or the rifamycins may affect birth control reliability. Other drugs that induce enzymes can affect hormonal levels of your birth control and may lower its effectiveness.
Therefore, always have your doctor or pharmacist complete a drug interaction review any time you start or even stop a medication. This includes prescription medicines, as well as over-the-counter drugs, vitamin and herbal or dietary supplements.
- The antifungal medicine griseofulvin may lead to lower levels of birth control hormones and reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
- Certain seizures drugs can also lower the effectiveness of combined birth control pills, for example anticonvulsant medications such as:
- and barbiturates like phenobarbital
If youre taking any of these drugs use condoms as a backup form of birth control. Talk to your doctor about switching to a different nonhormonal method of birth control if youll be on these interacting drugs for a long time.
See Planned Parenthood for more information.
Can You Take Antibiotics And Birth Control Together
In most cases, yes, you can take antibiotics while youre on birth control. There havent been any strong studies showing that most antibiotics make birth control less effective .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there are only two types of antibiotics you shouldnt take with birth control :
These are part of a class of drugs called rifamycins, most commonly used to treat tuberculosis . Tuberculosis is not that common in the U.S., and rates are declining every year, so these medications arent used that often . That means most women on birth control probably dont need to worry about this particular interaction.
If you do need to go on a rifamycin while taking the pill, youll just need to use a back-up form of birth control . This is because rifampin can cause breakthrough bleeding and possibly pregnancy if taken while on the pill .
Which Antibiotics Affect The Pill
Most commonly used antibiotics such as amoxicillin, trimethoprim and erythromycin do not affect the pill unless they cause significant diarrhoea or vomiting. The exception is rifampin which can lower the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill. Brand names of the medicine include Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater, Rifamate and IsonaRif.
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How Is A Nexplanon Inserted
Nexplanon is about the size of a short kirby grip. A specially trained doctor or nurse will insert it under the skin of your upper arm. A cold numbing spray or an injection of local anaesthetic into the skin to numb the area will be used to so that inserting the Nexplanon will not hurt. You will not have any stitches and it will only take a few minutes. The area may be a bit sore and bruised but it will have a dressing on it to help keep it clean and dry. Try not to knock it. After a few days you can remove the dressing and once healed you really should not be aware that it is there. You should be able to do all the things you would normally do with your arm. Usually you cannot see the Nexplanon but you are normally able to feel it.
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Im On Hormonal Birth Control Can I Get Pregnant If I Take Antibiotics
In most cases, no, as long as you continue to use your hormonal contraception as prescribed you are safe from pregnancy even if you are on antibiotics.
It is a myth that all antibiotics will interfere with the efficacy of your birth control pill.
There is however, one class of antibiotics that is the exception: rifamycins .
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Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control
Youve probably heard before that you shouldnt use antibiotics in combination with your birth control. Perhaps youve even read it on your birth control packaging as a warning, but is it actually a cause for concern? Do antibiotics affect birth control? Before we get to that, lets quickly discuss what birth control is and how it works with the women body.
Hormonalcontraceptives all contain a small amount of hormones including estrogen,progestin, or a combination of the two. Combination birth control pills like Alesse,Yaz, Aubra, and Yasmin are an example of this as these brands contain both estrogen andprogestin. Birth control is typically taken to prevent pregnancy but there aresome cases where women use it for treatment of acne, regulating heavy periods,or excessive cramping.
Its the hormones in a womans body that control the release of an egg from the ovary , which occurs once a month. If a woman is not taking birth control and has unprotected sex, an egg will then become fertilized by the sperm and pregnancy will occur. But, when a woman takes birth control, the hormones in birth control actually trick the body so that ovulation doesnt occur. Without ovulation, pregnancy isnt possible!
Using A Backup Method
Although there have been some cases reported of contraceptive failing when a woman takes antibiotics, it doesnt happen regularly. To ease your mind while taking antibiotics, your doctor will generally recommend that a backup method of birth control is used during this time. Typically, a condom, spermicide, or a female condom are all good options to use as a backup method.
If you are takingboth antibiotics and birth control at the same time and wondering doantibiotics affect birth control, you should speak with your doctor and findout how long you should use a backup method for.
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Antibiotics That Do Not Affect Birth Control
Most antibiotics have no proven effects on hormonal birth control and will not increase your chances of getting pregnant if you have sex during treatment. Commonly prescribed antibiotics that are safe to take while on birth control include:
- Ampicillin, for treating bladder infections, pneumonia, and more.
- Cephalexin, for treating upper respiratory, ear, skin, urinary tract, and bone infections.
- Ciprofloxacin, for treating skin, respiratory, joint, and urinary tract infections.
- Clarithromycin, for treating bacterial skin and respiratory infections.
- Clindamycin, for treating skin, lung, soft tissue, vaginal, and pelvic infections.
- Doxycycline, for treating urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, respiratory infections, and more.
- Metronidazole, for treating vaginal, stomach, liver, skin, joint, and respiratory system infections.
- Minocycline, for treating urinary tract, respiratory, and skin infections, as well as chlamydia.
- Ofloxacin, for treating skin infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
- Roxithromycin, for treating bacterial respiratory tract, urinary and soft tissue infections.
- Sulfamethoxazole, for treating urinary tract, ear, and respiratory infections, among others.
- Tetracycline, for treating skin, respiratory, urinary, and other infections, as well as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
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Understand How Your Contraceptive Works
Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea can also lower the effectiveness of the pill. If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for advice about additional methods of birth control. If you have any questions about birth control methods or potential interactions with other medications, talk to your healthcare provider. You will lower your chances of birth control failure if you have a proper and thorough understanding of how to use your contraceptive.
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How Antibiotics Might Affect Birth Control
Some types of antibiotics have the potential to affect birth control because they can alter the bodys hormone levels. Hormonal birth control methods that these antibiotics might impact include:
All four of these birth control methods contain the hormones estrogen and/or progestin which thickens the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg, and thin the lining of the uterus to reduce the chance of getting pregnant. The methods that contain estrogen also prevent you from ovulating, while progestin-only methods stop ovulation but not consistently. Certain antibiotics can lower the levels of estrogen and progestin in your body, potentially to the point of affecting your birth control.
Theoretically, antibiotics might also reduce your birth controls efficacy by interrupting the recirculation of estrogens in the body a process called enterohepatic circulation. They do this by killing the bacteria in the small intestine that help break the hormone down and redistribute it within the body.
For these reasons, many manufacturers have historically placed warnings on antibiotic labels to inform women about this risk. Over the years, scientists have done many studies on various types of antibiotics effects on hormonal birth control to determine which ones you should and should not take at the same time.