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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Birth control question

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Author Topic: Birth control question
Bun Bun
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Today I was prescribed antibiotics (amoxicil) for an ear infection. Since I've read on the box of my birth control (Alesse 28) that antibiotics can affect the pill, I asked the doctor if it'll make a huge difference. He didn't really give me a clear answer...

I'm not too worried, as my boyfriend and I also use condoms, but I was wondering by how much do antibiotics alter the effectiveness of the pill? Also, do they affect it directly, or is it because antibiotics can cause vomiting or diarrhea?

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Stephanie_1
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Although there are varying degrees to which antibiotics may affect hormonal birth control, there are certain drugs which doctors say can cause decreased effectiveness. Among the most commonly listed are Rifampin, Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin etc.

The drug scientifically proven to have a significant impact on birth control is Rifampin which chances are you wouldn't be taking it unless you had tuberculosis or had tested positive for the disease. The others can lower the effectiveness small amounts, but testing is still being done on their effects on birth control.

The reasoning is that antibiotics are thought to interfere with the metabolization of birth control pills. Just as women react differently to being on different birth controls, the same can be said of how antibiotics will effect birth control with any one person. Its really best to err on the side of caution (as I see you do) and use a good backup method.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Bun Bun
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Alright, thank you! I'll be sure to use condoms.

As well, the pharmacist told me to eat lots of yoghurt so I don't develop a yeast infection. Do all kinds of yoghurt contain the right ingredients to help prevent a yeast infection, or is there a specific type I should pick up?

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