Birth Control Pills And Antibiotics

July 22, 2013


Birth control pillsMany women believe and are still told that if they are taking antibiotics, their birth control pill will be less effective. They are told that if they are on antibiotics they must use a back-up method or they could get pregnant! This is a very common medical myth and is frequently not the case.

There has only been one antibiotic that has been shown to make birth control less effective. This antibiotic is Rifampin and is used to treat tuberculosis (TB). There are, however, other medications than Rifampin that can make pills less effective. These medications include some anti-seizure and HIV medications.

The World Health Organizations has guidelines regarding birth control methods. All antibiotics (except Rifampin), antifungals and antiparasites are a category 1. This means there is no restriction when taking both medications.

It is always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about potential interactions between the medications you are taking. You can be rest assured, though, that when you are taking antibiotics for a skin infection, urinary tract infection, sinus infection, etc., your birth control will not be any less effective. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has also supported this claim.

As a reminder, birth control does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. The best way to protect your self from infections is to use condoms consistently.

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