ZocdocAnswersCan I take birth control pills while on antibiotics?

Question

Can I take birth control pills while on antibiotics?

I had strep throat and took antibiotics to get rid of it. I also took birth controls like I normally do. Is there any way the antibiotics could have messed with the birth control pills?

Answer

Depending on what antibiotics you took, there is a small chance that the metabolism of your birth control pills were altered. You should speak to your general physician about this possibility and need for back up forms for contraception (such as condoms). Most antibiotics will not change the metabolism of birth control pills in your body. The concern for any additional medications you take while on oral contraceptive pills is that the medications can increase the metabolism and excretion of the hormones in the pills leading to ineffective prevention of ovulation. So, if you are taking an additional medication that has this effect, like rifampin, and you do not use another form of contraception, you may become pregnant because the hormonal action of the pills are not at an effective level. That being said, most antibiotics do not have this effect and are likely safe to take with birth control pills. When taking birth control pills as a form of contraception, it is a good rule of thumb that if you are ever concerned about the effectiveness of these pills, you should employ a second form of contraception such a barrier method like a condom or diaphragm to ensure that you will not become pregnant. You should speak to your primary care physician or gynecologist about your specific medications and their effect on oral contraceptive pills.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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