There can be interactions between combined pills and other medications, which is why it’s important for you to let us know if you’re currently taking medication for any health issues.
For the most part, antibiotics are safe to take when you’re on the pill — except for rifampin that is used to treat tuberculosis. These antibiotics can affect your periods, making them irregular so your chances of becoming pregnant increase.
Let the prescriber know if you’re currently taking medication to treat HIV, as some of these treatments can impact your pill. Medications like Darunavir, Efavirenz and Nevirapine all interfere with the combined birth control pill so another birth control option may be better for you.
Anti-fungal medications used to treat skin conditions like jock itch may interfere with your pill, as can anti-seizure drugs. Drugs like carbamazepine, phenobarbital and primidone can impact how the hormones in birth control are broken down. Another birth control option should be used instead of the combined birth control pill.
Modafinil (you may know this under the name Provigil) is used to treat sleep issues like narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. It can reduce the effectiveness of your pill so you shouldn’t use a combined birth control method if you’re taking this medication.
Be mindful of herbal remedies too, because they can have an impact on your pill. St John’s Wort (used to treat mild depression or sleep disorders) can affect how oestrogen is broken down so the pill may not work as well and the chances of breakthrough bleeding increase.
Saw palmetto (used for hair loss), alfalfa (for kidney or bladder problems), garlic pills (taken for heart and blood diseases) and flaxseed (for digestion problems) can all impact the effectiveness of your pill. Combined birth control pills will probably not be a good fit for you if you’re using any of these treatments.