The use of antibiotics and irregular intake of pills can make them less effective. The following HerHaleness article shares some facts about oral contraceptives.
Many pharmaceutical companies making these pills claim that the medication is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, this is not true as studies have proven that the actual effectiveness of the pill is much lower. Not following the usage instruction correctly can reduce its effectiveness to a great extent.
Use of antibiotics along with these pills is generally not recommended. This is because certain antibiotics can restrict the ability of these pills to prevent pregnancy. For instance, the antibiotic rifampin, commonly prescribed for tuberculosis patients can significantly impair the effectiveness of these contraceptives. Even antibiotics like penicillin and tetracycline derivatives may lessen the effect. Oral contraceptives will work best if the person is not taking any other medicines. St. John’s Wort, a herb commonly used for the treatment of nerve pain can also decrease the effectiveness of these medicines. Ephedrine is another medication that can affect the way the body responds to these pills.
Other Factors that Reduce the Efficacy of Pills
These medicines are also not very effective if the person is suffering from certain medical conditions. For instance, diarrhea and vomiting are known to hamper the effectiveness of these pills. Women who are inconsistent at using these pills can also contribute in reducing the effectiveness of these contraceptives. These pills do not work effectively if they are not taken on a regular basis. Forgetting or skipping the medicine at times will not provide enough protection against pregnancy. Studies suggest that you need to take these pills everyday and at the same time for maximum effectiveness. Taking it 3 to 4 hours late has shown the effectiveness rate to drop to 95%.
There are some pills that help to keep the person away from pregnancy after having unprotected vaginal intercourse. These are called emergency contraception pills (ECP), also referred to as “morning after pill”. ECPs are not designed to be used regularly as they contain higher amount of progestin than the standard pill. Although these medicines have been effective to curb pregnancy, their usage does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
Proper dosage can help to reap benefits of this medication without causing any side effects. The most common side effect associated with these medicines is headache. Blood clots have been reported in a small percentage of women. Other side effects include change in weight and nausea. In case you face any medical problems while taking the pills, immediately contact your doctor.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.