These Medications Can Make Birth Control Ineffective

Birth control can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

While society has commonly led us to believe birth control is the most effective method of contraception, it isn’t necessarily – especially when combined with other medications.

READ ALSO: How To Choose a Birth Control That Won’t Kill Your Sex Drive

Before you pop your daily pills and let your boo do his thing inside of you, make sure you’re not on one of these meds. And even if you’re not, make sure you’re not letting your birth control turn you into someone who thinks it’s okay to have unsafe sex!

As a disclaimer, keep in mind many of these medications have different names on the market and in their generic forms. If you’re not sure about what you’re taking, double check.

1. Some Epilepsy Medications

Many medications prescribed for epilepsy increase the breakdown of contraceptive hormones in the body, specifically, the medications that are “liver enzyme inducing.” These drugs include carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital (Luminal), and primidone (Mysoline), and topiramate (Topamax), according to The National Epilepsy Foundation.

If you take any of these medications, your birth control may not be as affective, although there is no concrete data giving an accurate percentage of how affective birth control will be for someone taking one of these medications.

READ ALSO: Male Birth Control Study Ends Early Because Guys Are Babies

2. Rifampicin or Rifabutin

If you take Rifampicin or Rifabutin, which are commonly taken for Tuberculosis or other bacterial infections, there is a chance your birth control pills may not work properly, and it’s advised that you use another form of contraceptive as well, according to Mayo Clinic.

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4. Antiretroviral Medications

Unfortunately, most medications made to treat HIV also interfere with hormonal birth control. The National Institute of Health recommends using another form of contraceptive, and has a detailed table of antiretroviral medications and their properties on their site.

READ ALSO: Beloved Ginger Prince Harry Took An HIV Test On Facebook Live

5. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is not technically medication, but it’s an herb that is commonly taken for depression. There’s a potential that it has the side effect of breaking down estrogen in the body, which can fuck with hormonal birth control, according to The National Institute of Health.

6. Tetracycline

Tetracycline can be prescribed for anything from acne to pneumonia to Lyme disease. If you’re taking it, make sure you’re utilizing another birth control method.

7. Ampicillin and Amoxicillin

Both Ampicillin and Amoxicillin are found in medications used to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, UTIs, ear infections, and more. They can be found under many names in the pharmacy, including Amoxil, Dispermox, Alphamox, Omnipen, Polycillin, and Principen. If you’re taking anything that includes Ampicillin or Amoxicillin, wrap it up!

8. Benzodiazepines

These are used for treating insomnia and anxiety, as well as bipolar disorder. They may also be f-ing with your birth control, so be careful.

10. Anti-Depressants

Many anti-depressants, such as Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft, are known to mess with the effects of your birth control. Bummer.

11. Theophylline

Theophylline is used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis and is known to react with some oral contraceptives, so check with your doctor before YOLO-ing around.

12. Avandia

Avandia is generally used by people with Type 2 Diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you’re also on an oral birth control, because there may be some issues.


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