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Do birth control pills (BCPs) interact with any other medications?

Birth control pills (BCPs) can interact with other medications. For example, if taken with certain types of medications, such as seizure medications and antibiotics, birth control pills can be less effective. Women should discuss specific interactions with a doctor before any new medications are started. 

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Consider the following advice before mixing birth control with any other forms of medication:

  • Antibiotics can cause hormonal birth control methods to fail. This includes penicillins, tetracyclines and rifamycins.
  • Anticonvulsants can cause hormonal birth control methods to fail. This includes carbamazepine, felbamate, hydantoins, oxcarbazepine, rufinamide and topiramate.
  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors can cause hormonal birth control methods to fail.
  • Fluconazole, griseofulvin, aprepitant, barbituates, bosentan, glitazones, mifepristone or modafinil can cause hormonal birth control methods to fail.
  • If you are taking a beta blocker, a corticosteroid, theophylline or a tricyclic antidepressant, a form of birth control containing a progestin and estrogen may not be a good option for you.
  • If you are taking cyclosporine, a form of birth control containing a progestin and estrogen can lead to side effects and should be avoided.
  • If you use birth control containing a progestin and estrogen, you should avoid St. John's wort.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.