Believe it or not, women take birth control pills for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. Some women take the pill to help regulate their cycles, while others have been prescribed birth control to manage acne. However, the most popular reason women choose to take birth control is to prevent pregnancy. When women take birth control pills, they rely on the medication to do its job and prevent pregnancy. Missing pills can certainly disrupt your birth control’s effectiveness, but it is essential to be aware that other drugs and medications can also sabotage your pill’s success.
Drug interactions are common issues that people deal with when they are taking more than one prescription for any reason. This is why physicians always ask what other medications you are taking before prescribing a new medication. When it comes to taking your birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, it is vital to know which drugs can interfere with the hormones you are taking. Certain medications can make the pill less effective at preventing pregnancy, potentially putting you in an unwanted situation.
The following drugs are known to interfere with birth control pills:
- Antibiotics (Rifampin only)
- Anti-Fungal Medications (Griseofulvin and Ketoconazole)
- Anti-HIV Drugs
- Sleep Disorder Medications (Provigil/Modafinil)
In addition, these herbal remedies can also interfere with your birth control:
- Garlic pills
- St. John’s Wort
- Saw Palmetto
What Do You Do?
Just because you are ill and are prescribed a drug that could interfere with your birth control does not mean you can’t take it. If your body needs any of the medications listed above, you simply need to use a back-up method of birth control while you take them. Condoms, an IUD, or a diaphragm are all satisfactory back-up methods of birth control. Speaking with your doctor about how medications may interfere with your birth control is also important. It may be possible that your doctor can find another prescription for your medical issue that is not known to interfere with your birth control.
The lesson to gain is this: ALWAYS disclose any type of drug or herbal supplement that you are taking with your physician. Your medical history and current medications will provide your doctor with the right steps to help you get and stay healthy. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., we work with our patients to find the proper birth control method that is right for them.