I was given the antibiotic Azithromycin (250 mg) for a 5-day regimen to battle my bronchitis. Worried that antibiotics can have an effect on birth control, I did a little research on this antibiotic to see what affect it may have (if any) on my birth control. I’m on the Depo, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interfering with my birth control by taking this particular antibiotic. Here is what I found out about Azithromycin versus birth control, and I’ll share other side effects I’ve experienced while taking this antibiotic for my bronchial infection.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, like bronchitis (why I’m taking it), STDs, ear infections, and other bacterial infections, like early onset Lyme disease. It typically is prescribed in a pill or liquid form from 1-5 days, and should be taken with a full glass of water, food optional.
Side effects I noticed right away were severe stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting within a few hours of taking my dosage for the day. I also experienced mild dizziness, and fatigue. These are common side effects, particularly if you are taking Azithromycin on top of other prescriptions (I was also using an inhaler and cough syrup with codeine in it at the same time).
Does the antibiotic Azithromycin affect birth control? A website called Kaiserpermanente.org goes into detail about Azithromycin in combination with other drugs, stating that “This medication may decrease the effectiveness of combination-type birth control pills. This can result in pregnancy.” This website is a “drug encyclopedia” designed to give a user of prescription drugs full detail of what to expect when they are on any prescription medication, and is highly useful.
So yes, the antibiotic Azithromycin can affect birth control’s effectiveness to some degree, and you may become pregnant if you are not using backup birth control while using this product. If you are on birth control and taking any antibiotic, talk to your doctor about how long you have to use a backup birth control method while you are on any antibiotic, including Azithromycin, and how long after taking Azithromycin you may need to use a backup birth control to best avoid getting pregnant while you are healing from your bacterial infection.