Birth Control Medications (Contraceptives) (cont.)
Omnia M Samra, MD
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Suzanne R Trupin, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Drug and Food Interactions and Side Effects of Birth Control Medications
Drug or Food Interactions
Contraceptive effectiveness may be reduced by antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, HIV-fighting drugs, St. John’s Wort, and other drugs that speed the body’s breakdown and use of contraceptive hormones, which could result in unintended pregnancy or breakthrough bleeding. Examples of such drugs include barbiturates (amobarbital [Amytal], phenobarbital [Barbita, Luminal]), griseofulvin (Grifulvin V, Gris-PEG), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), phenylbutazone (Butazolidin), phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), topiramate (Topamax), and, possibly, ampicillin (Marcillin, Omnipen).
Birth control may cause a change in vision, necessitating a change in prescription, or an inability to wear contact lens. Birth control pills do not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The pills must be taken daily and consistently (at the same time every day). If a woman stops taking birth control pills, it may take a few months for her normal ovulatory cycle to return; however, once stopped, a woman can become pregnant even if her cycle has not returned to normal. The following general side effects apply to all the hormonal birth control medications, regardless of how they are taken (for example, pills, topical patch, injection): nausea, breast tenderness, fluid retention, weight gain, acne, breakthrough bleeding, missed periods, headaches, depression, anxiety, other mood changes, and lower sexual desire. Additionally, the following more serious side effects may occur:
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