Today’s pearl addresses a misconception regarding a drug interaction between oral contraceptives and antibiotics.
Are back-up methods of contraception required? Does this apply to all antibiotics?
Question: Is there a drug interaction between antibiotics and hormonal contraception that reduces the effectiveness of the contraceptive?
Answer: No, with one exception. In a 2018 systematic review, there was no evidence of a drug interaction in both clinical and pharmacokinetic studies (Simmons 2018). The exception is rifamycin antibiotics such as rifampin, which was addressed in a separate systematic review from the same author group (Simmons 2018).
Take-Home Point: “Most women can expect no reduction in hormonal contraceptive effect with the concurrent use of non-rifamycin antibiotics.”