Another reason to consider the IUD — certain medications can wreak havoc on hormonal birth control. It's important to keep in mind that different brands will have different guidelines, and when filling a prescription for potentially problematic meds, the pharmacist should warn you of any possible conflicts (if your doctor hasn't already). Most prescription drugs can coexist happily with hormonal birth control; below, we've compiled a shortlist of those that can't.
According to Bedsider, these are the medications that will make your birth control less effective:
· Rifampin or rifabutin, a strong antibiotic given to people with tuberculosis, makes the pill less effective. It may also interfere with the workings of the patch and the ring.
· Medications for epilepsy and bipolar disorder, including barbituates, carbamazepine, oxycarbazepine, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate, felbamate and lamotrigine. With these, there may be a mutually detrimental relationship — talk to a doctor about alternate contraceptive options if these drugs are on the table.
· Antiretroviral therapy drugs, which are given to HIV patients. Some problem ART meds to look out for if you're taking hormonal birth control are nevirapine, nelfinavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, lopinavir and tipranavir. Talk to a doctor about non-disruptive birth control or treatment options.
· St. John's Wart, which is not a prescription drug, but does lower the pill's hormone concentrations and may have some effect on the pill's pregnancy prevention abilities.
According to Planned Parenthood, these are the medications that might behave differently under the influence of hormonal birth control:
· Analgesics including acetominophen, so Tylenol, Pamprin, Parcetamol, aspirin-free Excedrin and the like may be less effective for those on the pill.
· Antihypertensives like prothiazide may be less effective for those on the pill.
· Antidepressants including janimine and tofranil may have exaggerated effects for those on the pill.
· Bronchodilators including Primatene, Theo-Dur, Marax, Bronkotabs and Quibron Tedra may have exaggerated effects for those on the pill.
· Tranquilizers including Valium, Ativan, Librium, Serax, Tranxene and Xanax may have exaggerated effects for those on the pill.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood warns that anti-fungal drugs prescribed for serious fungal infections can disrupt the pill's efficacy. If you're taking griseofulvin — Fulvicin, Gris-PEG, Grifulvin V, Grisactin or Gristatin — talk to your doctor about alternative contraceptive methods for the length of your treatment. Or, alternatively, stock up on condoms while the birth control is out of commission.