Fact Check: Do antibiotics make birth control pills less effective?

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Quick Take

A Facebook post claims that antibiotics will make birth control pills less effective. We fact-checked and found that the claim is mostly false.

The Claim

“PSA: Antibiotics will cancel out your birth control and your doctor will **** forget to tell you that,” reads a Facebook post. The post can be seen here and a screenshot is given below.

Fact Check

How do birth control pills work?

Birth control pills generally contain the two hormones estrogen and progesterone that helps block the release of eggs from the ovary, or ovulation.

Do antibiotics make birth control pills less effective?

Not exactly. Only one specific antibiotic, Rifampin, is known to interact with birth control pills.

A detailed literature review of all researches done from 1975 to 1998 regarding this matter showed, “Rifampin is the only antibiotic that has been reported to reduce plasma estrogen concentrations.”

Researchers concluded, “Oral contraceptives cannot be relied upon for birth control while taking rifampin.”

When is Rifampin used?

Rifampin is an antibiotic that is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of Tuberculosis along with other medicines.  It is also sometimes used to treat people who have Neisseria meningitidis. It works by killing the bacteria that cause infection.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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