Avatar universal

Contraception with antibiotics

Hello everyone this is mainly a question from my partner we did some research and from what we saw there shouldn't be an issue. My partner has the implant as a form of contraception she caught an infection on her finger and is currently taking amoxicillin with clavulanic acid. The pharmacist said it would be best to not have unprotected intercourse while on this medication even tho she has the implant was wondering is someone could clear this up seeing nothing we found states it would stop the implant from working. THANKS
6 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
Amoxicillin is not going to affect the contraception effectiveness of her implant. People (even pharmacists) are glad to pass along half-understood things they heard once about antibiotics "affecting contraception," but the medications that do it are very limited. Here's from Planned Parenthood:
Is it true that antibiotics can make birth control stop working?

No. Only one antibiotic is known to make the pill less effective. That is rifampin, a special medication used to treat tuberculosis.

Thank you for the reply I was pretty sure antibiotics would not affect the implant at all have no idea why he would even mention it if it's not the antibiotic that can  cause it to not work
973741 tn?1342342773
This is just me but if my doctor said it is best to use back up birth control while on antibiotics, I'd jut do it.  It's about 7 days only, right?  But no, Augmentin which is the brand name of what she is taking shouldn't interfere with her implant.  But I follow directions.  
Avatar universal
You might not want to take any risks when it comes to birth control and antibiotics. As others have mentioned previously, if the doctor tells you to use back up contraception during antibiotic use, then you should. I know two people personally who got pregnant while on birth control and taking antibiotics. They went on and had the children even though at the time they didn’t want to have a pregnancy.
134578 tn?1614729226
specialmom and Marcia, it was not the doctor who said this, but the pharmacist. Evidently the doctor did not say this, which is significant if the doctor is who wrote the prescription.
Avatar universal
@Anniebrook, pharmacists know more about medications than doctors do, because that’s what they specifically went to college for several years for and specialize in that area. So no matter who says it, doctor or pharmacist, a person needs to take heed to it. Why risk that unless you are trying to get pregnant? Using a second method of birth control will not hurt for a week or two just in case.  I know people who have gotten pregnant who were on birth control and  antibiotics. When women get their prescription filled, that’s always listed in the print out from the pharmacy about antibiotics and birth control use. To each it’s own, if the person that asked this question want to take that risk, go for it.
134578 tn?1614729226
Hi, Marcia, of course it is up to the couple. But everything I have found says that the only antibiotic that has been proven to interfere with the effectiveness of contraception is rifampin. Here is an example from the med school at Ohio State University:

Q: I heard that antibiotics interfere with birth control pills, but I’m on the birth control that gets implanted under my skin – will antibiotics interfere with that too?

A: This is one of the biggest medical myths of all time; one that gets propagated in doctors’ offices, health clinics, hospitals, blogs, magazines, and student health centers every day.  ...

The only antibiotic that has ever been shown to interfere with birth control levels and effectiveness is a medicine called rifampin, used to treat tuberculosis.  Rifampin may also interfere with the birth control patch and vaginal ring so if you are taking it, be sure to use a back-up, non-hormonal (i.e. condom) form of birth control.

There are some other medications that can interfere with your birth control, however, and if you are taking any of them you should always use back-up contraception.

    Phenytoin (Dilantin)
    Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    Topirimate (Topamax)
    St. John’s Wort (herbal supplement)

But in general, your birth control will not be affected by any run-of-the-mill antibiotic that you might be taking for things like sinus infections, strep throat, urinary tract infections, skin infections, acne, etc.  Some people believe that because antibiotics disrupt the normal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, they will interfere with the absorption of the birth control pills from your stomach.  But this is not an issue, and even if it were, it wouldn’t apply to birth control methods that don’t involve swallowing pills like the skin patch or the vaginal ring or Implanon.

Now, there are enough women out there who swear that they have little antibiotic babies running around the house that your health-care provider will probably still tell you to use back-up just in case.  And birth control doesn’t do anything to protect you against sexually transmitted infections, so using a condom is a good idea no matter what medications you’re taking.  But you can rest assured that your birth control is just as effective when you’re taking antibiotics as when you’re not.

John A. Vaughn, MD (OSU SHS)
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