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RE: Birth control and antibiotics

I'm just curious. It's not applicable to me because I'm on Accutane, but I'm wondering if you can be on birth control and antibiotics at the same time? Does this cause any increase in health concern?

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I'm just curious. It's not applicable to me because I'm on Accutane, but I'm wondering if you can be on birth control and antibiotics at the same time? Does this cause any increase in health concern?

Hey there,

I am on Doxycycline and Yasmin BCP and it was prescribed by my doctor. Of course, taking Doxy can cause some side effects as well as taking Yasmin or any birth control... it all depends.

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Antibiotics increase the failure rate in BCP. If you are just taking it for acne purposes it should be fine, but you should use a secondary method (like condoms) if you are also using it for contraception.

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Hmm.

Well, I just meant it as a combo for the treatment of acne.

Beentheredonethat says that for contraceptive purposes, antibios decrease the efficacy of BCP's.

I'm not sure of ScaryMonster's interpretation...Do you mean that for acne purposesantibios decrease the efficacy of BCP's or for contraceptive purposes like beenthere suggested??

Has anyone used them both with great results? Also, I'm hearing a lot of people hailing Yasmin over other BC's. Anyone on it and who've had experince with others--what were your results?

Again, this is for a friend who is considering both because she can't take Accutane.

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I took this from the Pharmacist's Letter because I was wodering exactly what happens:

"RUMOR: Antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

TRUTH:

Women have been warned for decades to use backup contraception when taking oral contraceptives and antibiotics together.

This all started back in the '70s when a few women on oral contraceptives took rifampin and then got pregnant.

Additional anecdotal reports started popping up, suggesting that other antibiotics might be related to unwanted pregnancies in women taking oral contraceptives.

One theory was that antibiotics killed gut bacteria, which are involved in estrogen absorption.

Researchers later discovered that rifampin and griseofulvin actually increase the metabolism of oral contraceptives, making them less effective.

But the evidence for other antibiotics is shaky.

In fact, oral contraceptive levels are not DECREASED by most antibiotics...tetracycline, doxycycline, ampicillin, quinolones, and metronidazole.

Oral contraceptive levels are actually INCREASED by some antibiotics...erythromycin...clarithromycin...and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

There's growing evidence that most women taking antibiotics with oral contraceptives do NOT have an increased risk of getting pregnant.

But most package inserts still warn that another form of contraception is needed when starting antibiotics.

Explain to women taking oral contraceptives that there can be up to a 3% failure rate, regardless of antibiotic use.

A small number of women might be predisposed to a higher failure rate due to genetic metabolic variations...but it's difficult to determine who these women are.

To be on the safe side, tell women to continue using backup contraception during the entire course of antibiotics and for 7 days after.

Explain that sickness or antibiotic side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting can increase oral contraceptive failure."

I would say you should not notice any interaction when it comes strictly to treating acne.

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im currently using retin-a 0.1, 2 minocycline tablets per day, and yasmin bc, works pretty well after the tablets kick in, its taken about a week or two for me to start seeing a diff though. plus like the first month bc totally screwed up my menstrual cycle i had my period two weeks after the previous one, and it lasted like 10 days. but now im pretty sure its regulated.

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My friend is pretty etchy about having a single bump emerge. I can totally understand her since I suffered from a case like her and then having clear skin for a long while only to start breaking out in mild acne again. It gets paranoical because your afraid it might start turning cystic again, which was my case so I had to go under the Accutane for a second course. Now I'm wondering whether I should have done the BC/Anti-bio combo. I understand that the tane is the ultimate soldier against acne, but I'm a vet at the tane so I know what the side-effects can do to you and I can't stand that.

I've been warned about the possibility of PCOS (policystic ovarian syndrome) in females which I haven't been tested for, but most women with an onset of acne caused by irregular cycles and chronic hair shedding like me do exceptionally well under BC's and other hormonal therapies. I'd really would have liked to get to the root of it and try to treat my symptoms hormonally, but the period of time it takes to start seeing results I cannot afford. I already have acne scarring and I scar easily from stupid breakouts. Accutane was my choice to prevent further damage.

My friend on the other hand, has had a history of abnormal liver function so Accutane is out of the question, although antibio's don't make it any better. She's under the antibios, but she's still getting breakouts. Although, she has told me that she would like to treat her problem from the root instead of masking the symptoms. She feels her problem is definitely hormonal since she exhibits some of the same problems I am having that point to PCOS--I told her to get off the antibiotics and go for the BC's, but she's reluctant since she's already on a high dose of doxycycline (200mg/day) and still gets breakouts so she holds no hope for the BC's alone and like me is afraid of scarring.

For example, BritishGirl: When you say you see results. What exactly are results for you? 95%, 100%, 80% clearance??

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Guest tired of this shish

Hey--i'm really interested in this subject too. Mabey I should take birth control with my antibiotics. I don't know if I'm definitely building a resistance to them or not, but I am uncontrollably oily and if i dont stop the oil, i won't stop these damned breakouts.

Who knows what is the BEST birth control for regulating oil? Is it the Yasmin? I'm hearing a lot of good stuff too.

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Hiya Tired and all,

Yasmin is actually a diuretic therefor dries out excess oils. It also flushes out water retention, which is why a lot of people are crazy about it. I am on Yasmin, have only been on it for a few weeks, but I already exprerienced the flushing out of all the water... I was peeing so much! And it does dry out your skin, my skin doesn't need drying out so I'm moisterizing a bit more. But if you have oily skin then you might want to talk to your derm about Yasmin...

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Me personally i will never take antibiotics for acne again and wish i never had.

I've been warned about the possibility of PCOS (policystic ovarian syndrome) in females which I haven't been tested for, but most women with an onset of acne caused by irregular cycles and chronic hair shedding like me do exceptionally well under BC's and other hormonal therapies.

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Me personally i will never take antibiotics for acne again and wish i never had.

I've been warned about the possibility of PCOS (policystic ovarian syndrome) in females which I haven't been tested for, but most women with an onset of acne caused by irregular cycles and chronic hair shedding like me do exceptionally well under BC's and other hormonal therapies.

Get tested!

So if I did test positive for PCOS, how is that treated acne-wise, hormonal health-wise? Just BC's or is there something specific? I'm also trying to do research on the reasons why PCOS causes hair shedding. It makes no sense.

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GD2006 - I would do a search on Dr. Geoffrey Redmond, The Hormone Doctor. His web site is super interesting IMO. He also has a book called "The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman". He treats women with a combo of bc pills and spironolactone or aldactone. These extra drugs are androgen blockers. If you want to be treated this way find an endocrinologist in your area that specialises in PCOS. Our GP has ordered blood testing and we will take the results to the endo. Sometimes gynocologists can help with this. I am hoping this helps my daughter because I would prefer her not to do a second round of accutane. She is also taking Doryx 200mg/day for about 3 weeks. Also, even if you do not test positive for PCOS, hormones can be affecting your acne and a knowledgeable endo or gynie can help a lot.

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Yes Boston,

That's the problem. Being able to find a good doctor. I'm already on my 2nd course of Accutane, but once I'm done with it I'm going to start searching for another way to possibly end my problems. Even if I don't help the acne, I still have to treat my condition. I hear that most doctors wont' treat acne hormonally, I don't understand why. My GP is one who has sent for recent bloodwork and suggested the possibility of PCOS, but once my results are in, I wouldn't know if he will be one to treat me since I trust him a lot--he might refer me, I don't know.

One thing I am also concerned about is exactly how does PCOS cause alopecia in women. I have been to Redmond's site and he suggests it is a lack of estrogen or a reaction to testosterone, but he just covers the surface of how it works. I want to make sure that whatever treatment I would be placed on if I ever underwent hormonal therapy will help both my acne and alopecia. I've heard on spiro to block the male hormone and reduce oil, but I've also heard it really screws with your menstrual cycle, which mines is already irregular to begin with. I'm hearing a lot of hailing on Yasmin, but I'm not sure if this will regulate all: my cycle, oil and alopecia. It's confusing really.

By the way: PCOS is really worrying me. I've heard this stuff has a potential for cancer. All females in my family have history of tumors. Benign and cancerous.

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Yes Boston,

That's the problem. Being able to find a good doctor. I'm already on my 2nd course of Accutane, but once I'm done with it I'm going to start searching for another way to possibly end my problems. Even if I don't help the acne, I still have to treat my condition. I hear that most doctors wont' treat acne hormonally, I don't understand why. My GP is one who has sent for recent bloodwork and suggested the possibility of PCOS, but once my results are in, I wouldn't know if he will be one to treat me since I trust him a lot--he might refer me, I don't know.

One thing I am also concerned about is exactly how does PCOS cause alopecia in women. I have been to Redmond's site and he suggests it is a lack of estrogen or a reaction to testosterone, but he just covers the surface of how it works. I want to make sure that whatever treatment I would be placed on if I ever underwent hormonal therapy will help both my acne and alopecia. I've heard on spiro to block the male hormone and reduce oil, but I've also heard it really screws with your menstrual cycle, which mines is already irregular to begin with. I'm hearing a lot of hailing on Yasmin, but I'm not sure if this will regulate all: my cycle, oil and alopecia. It's confusing really.

By the way: PCOS is really worrying me. I've heard this stuff has a potential for cancer. All females in my family have history of tumors. Benign and cancerous.

Well, I sure don't have a lot of answers but I know a couple. Yes, spiro screws with your cycle so it's best to take it with a BC pill. On Redmond's site they give links to doctors who specialize in PCOS. That's how I found the doctor we're going to go see. Of course, I'm paying out of pocket for him. I do not want to wait for my HMO to cooperate because I could be waiting a long time.

How did you react to accutane the first time?

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I meant that if you were using Yasmin/Dianette as a contraceptive then you should be aware that its reliability is reduced by antibiotics thus you should use additional protection.

From the poiint of view of treating acne neither reduces the effect of the other.

In answer to the oil question, Dianette also reduces oil production.

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One thing I am also concerned about is exactly how does PCOS cause alopecia in women.

Well, the first google link led to this explanation:

The cause of the failure to grow new hair is not well understood, but in the case of women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), excessively high levels of androgens (male hormones) are thought to be primarily responsible.

A male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is converted from testosterone, binds to sites on hair follicles and appears to make the follicles go into their "resting" phase sooner, which in turn starts to cause the hairs produced by those follicles to become thinner and thinner with each growth cycle.

Women with high or increasing levels of androgens, such as women with PCOS or who are menopausal, may find that the hair on the head is thinned, while facial hair is coarser. Although new hair is not produced, the follicles remain alive, suggesting the possibility of new hair growth.

It appears that sex hormone imbalances or fluctuations are responsible for most female hair loss, including those who have PCOS, recent pregnancy, menopause, postmenopausal trauma, or birth control side effects.

"Androgenic alopecia" is hair loss due to a male hormone imbalance, and is probably the most common cause for hair thinning and loss in PCOS women.

However, androgenic alopecia is not to be confused with estrogenic alopecia, which is due to a fall in estrogens.

In contrast to testosterone, estrogen helps hair grow faster and stay on the head longer, resulting in thicker hair. This is the reason women’s hair gets fuller during pregnancy when estrogen levels are quite high, then sheds several weeks after the baby is born. Estrogen-deficiency alopecia generally starts around menopause. Because estrogen levels start to fall before periods stop, this form of female hair loss can be the first sign of approaching menopause. But sometimes the alopecia does begin until a few months or even a few years after menstruation has ended. Not all women get noticeable alopecia after menopause but most have at least mild thinning.

Many PCOS women also have thyroid problems, usually hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Not only does hypothyroidism contribute to weight problems, it can also contribute to hair thinning. Some women with PCOS have both an excessively high level of testosterone and an underactive thyroid. It's not uncommon to have multiple factors involved in female hair loss.

You should really consider getting tested, please. Otherwise, get on a birth control pill - it will regulate your periods and should help to settle your hormones depending on how out of whack they are. With faithful use, your androgen levels should decrease and the pill itself will increase your estrogen levels which should reverse the alopasia and reduce your oil levels. An anti-androgen BC pill like Yasmin would be a good choice to start - if it doesn't agree with you then try a multiphasic like OrthoTriCyclin. I think if you are actively taking BC it can interfere with testing for PCOS though. You should go to an endocrinologist or gynecologist and tell about all your symptoms that seem to coorelate with PCOS. The right BC pill may be enough to rebalance your hormones, but you may need spiro as well, or you may have a thyroid condition that requires a different approach. Without knowing exactly what's going on with your hormone levels it's impossible for anyone to really predict what treatment is going to be successful for you - you just have to suck it up and go to a doctor or five.

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Yes, thanks beentheredonethat--

I've researched the topic and came up with the same information as you. My alopecia is probably due to a number of things. Not necesarily PCOS, just hormonal imbalance, stress, something in my diet I'm missing....whatever it could be I'm pretty sure it's reversible with proper treatment. This is why I've made an appointment for tommorrow. First for a pelvic sonogram then I'll have my blood results in.

Although, what get's me angry is the fact that if I would have thought sooner years ago, I probably could have avoided the tane in the first place and second time around.

BTW: beentheredonethat, can I ask what were the specific reasons as to why you regret taking antibiotics?

Boston: First time on Accutane cleared me for 6 years...

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I take both and basically the acne fighting effects of the BC (diane 35 in my case) is not effected by the antibiotics but the use of it as an effective means of preventing pregnancy is. So if you are going to use antibiotics you should ALWAYS use a secondary method i.e. condoms (but really to be super careful you should just do that anyways in my opinion) but the acne fighting effects of both remain intact :)

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I take both and basically the acne fighting effects of the BC (diane 35 in my case) is not effected by the antibiotics but the use of it as an effective means of preventing pregnancy is. So if you are going to use antibiotics you should ALWAYS use a secondary method i.e. condoms (but really to be super careful you should just do that anyways in my opinion) but the acne fighting effects of both remain intact :)

I don't care for pregnancy. This is strictly for acne. I'm not active.

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well uhh on clearance. well i was on the minocycline and retina last time. w/o bc and i mean i got about 80 - 90% clearer. all i had left was hyperpigmentation and okay yeah i had acne but it was like way less than i had before being on that treatment. this time im on the minocycline and retin a and bc. and ive only been on it about a month so the bcs only just started to kick in and regulate me. but its def gotten better like about 30-40% so far id say..

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Well, I got tested for PCOS and almost lost my virginity... :)

Still waiting on results this Monday. I'm going to get my GP to put me on the Yasmin while on Accutane.

As for my bloodwork...everything else negative.

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Hmm.

Well, I just meant it as a combo for the treatment of acne.

Beentheredonethat says that for contraceptive purposes, antibios decrease the efficacy of BCP's.

I'm not sure of ScaryMonster's interpretation...Do you mean that for acne purposesantibios decrease the efficacy of BCP's or for contraceptive purposes like beenthere suggested??

Has anyone used them both with great results? Also, I'm hearing a lot of people hailing Yasmin over other BC's. Anyone on it and who've had experince with others--what were your results?

Again, this is for a friend who is considering both because she can't take Accutane.

hello!

I am using lymecyclin and dianette at the same time and have had excelent results!

Because I am using a combination of treatments its hard to know which ones are clearing my skin or if they all are in combination.

For 2 years I have had severe imflamatory acne all over my back and some on my chest and the tops of my arms.

For 10 years I have had moderate acne on my face. I took erythomycin for a few months and this completely cleared my face. However when i stopped taking them, about two days after, I woke up with acne all over my chest and back. Was so sudden and severe that i thought I had a rash but the doctor confirmed it was acne.

That was two years ago and have used many treatments such as BP, freederm, salycic acid. Its only now that My body acne has compleately gone after taking lymecyclin and dianette and using skinoren azelaic acid twice a day. My face also cleared but I have had a few on my face for the past few days in places where I never used to get any so am asuming this is an initial breakout from Dianette and they are fading quickly.

The skinoren is also fading my red/brown marks. And also the sun. (i know everyone goes on about how this is BAD but a key word here is MODERATION, the sun has helped fade red marks) So what ever chance of sun I get here in rainy england I run out like most of the other sunstarved english people and lie out in the sun for a few hours) Always use sunscrean though. The fairer you are, the higher!

here is my regeime

Am. wash with boots act soap (a mild soap for acne skin, v good)

apply skinoren

11.00 am (an hour after food) take lymecyclin 408mg

3. 30 pm take dianette

late evening wash with act soap and apply skinoren.

Now I dont know what to do! I dont know If i should stop taking the antibiotics. I was on it for one month b4 I started taking dianette and have been on dianette for a month and a half (which is ment to start clearing acne after around 3 months). Am scared to come off the lymecyclin as I think its too early for the dianette to have kicked in yet.

I have had no side effects or problems as yet except my boobs have grown which is a plus!

Have asked my doctor and pharmasist and read up in medical jornals that the contraceptive effects of the pill MAY be affected by oral antibiotics but this is more theoretical than real and you should use other contraceptve methods for the first month. after this it is not required.

here is the quote from a medical site

If a patient has been taking long-term antibiotic therapy (e.g. for acne vulgaris) then additional contraception should be used for the first month after starting the oral contraceptive pill. After this period gut flora should have adjusted to the effects of antibiotic therapy and additional use of the combined oral contraceptive pill so that additional contraceptive protection should not be required. Also patients on a combined oral contraceptive pill who are prescribed antibiotics for their acne need to take additional contraceptive measures, at least for the first month.

http://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/cache/1483407432.htm

Sorry If this message was going on a bit. I hope this has helped.

Does anyone have any advice about what treatment I should stop?

Or If i should.

Will be v apreciated.

Thank you

:dance:

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Well, I got tested for PCOS and almost lost my virginity... :)

Still waiting on results this Monday. I'm going to get my GP to put me on the Yasmin while on Accutane.

As for my bloodwork...everything else negative.

What did you mean by "almost lost my virginity....:)"

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