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ask: Cipro and birth control pills

By screech
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I just started my new pack of Ortho Tri Cyclen. I took my third pill today (Tues.) Today I was prescribed Cipro for a UTI. It is a three day supply of 500mg twice a day. I asked my doctor if it interferes with my birth control and she said it shouldn't. My pharmacist said that it may. I am confused. Could you weigh in on if you think it does compromise the effectiveness of the birth control pill and if it does how long after I finish the cipro do I need to use backup or abstain from sex?
Thanks so much for your advice

Add a Comment3 Comments

Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hello screech,

I can appreciate your confusion. I did some research on the subject and what I found was consistent. According to rxlist. com and WebMD.com., "Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic."

Since you have received conflicting advice from your physician and your pharmacist, I suggest you use an alternate form of birth control during the entire course that you are taking Cipro. Better to be safe than sorry.


November 20, 2012 - 5:22pm
screech (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you Maryann. I appreciate your advice. So I know you said to use an alternate form of birth control during the course of the antibiotic, but how long after I am done with the antibiotic would you suggest being careful? Today is Wednesday and I just took my fourth pill of my birth controls pills for this month (started my new pack this past Sunday). My pharmacist said 7 days. Would you agree with that? I like to error on the very safe side. I am 39 and we do not plan to have kids so I don't want any surprises.
Thanks so much for your help!

November 21, 2012 - 12:40pm
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to screech)

Hello Staci
I agree with you to error on the safe side and with your pharmacist's recommendation.

November 21, 2012 - 6:05pm
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