Do Antibiotics Affect The Pill and How Long??

Dear Couch,

Does any one know how cephalexin and/or macrobid affects ortho-tri-cyclen? Some antibiotics cancel out the effects of birth control pills, and I was wondering if it cancelled it out for just the time you were taking the antibiotics, or for the entire menstral cycle?


Dear Typhoid Mary,

Some antibiotics affect your pill more than others, but a safe way to think about it is that ANY antibiotic makes your pill not work as well. That means that you're much more likely to get pregnant during the entire cycle that you took the antibiotics. So to be covered, you need to use a backup method of contraception (ie. condoms) until you start the next packet of pills. Remember to always ask your doctor what if any effects a new medication will have on your birth control pill and any other medications you take. When you fill the prescription, ask the pharmacist the same things. Although there have been no randomized studies performed to date specifically regarding this topic, a recent review of literature cannot exclude a " small decrease in" the pill's efficacy . So weigh it yourself take a chance and have an unwanted pregnancy or put up with condoms for a few weeks. If you find yourself taking antibiotics often enough for this to be an inconvenience then you should consider another form of birth control altogether.

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