View Full Version : Does ADHD medication make the pill/other hormonal birth control ineffective?

05-24-16, 10:15 PM
I've recently been diagnosed with ADHD, which came as a great relief as I wanted help to get my life on track. The only problem is, the specialist I saw recommended Concerta but when he found out I'm on the combined pill, he said it (and every available alternative ADHD medication) will make the pill less effective and he said this applied to all hormonal birth control.

He also said that the Sertraline I was given in 2011 will have reduced my pill's effectiveness and when I asked my my GP never mentioned this at the time, he simply smiled, leaned back in his chair and said smugly "That's why you see a specialist". He also told me I will definitely "grow out of" ADHD at one point, another "fact" I'd never heard of. To say I'm suspicious of his judgement is an understatement.

I'm frightened. Neither me nor my partner want to rely on condoms and I had extremely heavy and painful periods before I went on the pill at 15 (30 now) so given the copper IUD/coils side effects, I don't really want to go down that road either.

For those of you using hormonal birth control, have you had any problems with your birth control not working/accidental pregnancy? I absolutely do not want kids at this point in life (don't know if I ever will but don't want to do anything permanent).

tl;dr: Specialist warned me taking ADHD medication with any hormonal birth control will increase the risk of pregnancy. Is this BS like I suspect it is?

Thank you so much~ I'm extremely anxious so any life experience of BC and ADHD meds will be welcome!

05-25-16, 01:54 AM
I personally have never had any issue with this, nor have I heard of this either. I take adderall for my ADHD and also have a combo type birth control.... If you know the name of your birth control and/or hormone medications. I would do a search for it specifically, and see what comes up with any known interactions.

For me, I always Google any new medication before I even pick up any Perscriptions. I also do this with generic brands along with the current medication list I am on....Many times If able to I will do the Google search during the doctor's office visit or right after when I'm making follow up or checking out if I can,.. It has helped me to save me time and back and forth from a phone call if any know interactions do exist, plus it helps that I discuss interactions I've googled with the doctors' at the time of the new perscription...

I do this search each and every time with every new and all perscribed/vitamins/ Otc medications.

I had an issue once where the pharmacist didn't see an interaction on their screen for tramadol and an antibiotic. I had a horrible interaction and googled it and found there was a major but rare interaction. Even the pharmacist didn't find it on first view and had to dig for it, so it's always best to research it before you put it in your body.

05-25-16, 06:19 AM
Thanks Socaljaxs, I always forget to include something when I make posts! I've already checked for drug interactions on the medications I currently take + Methylphenidate, it doesn't list any~,1303-0,1606-0

I also plan on phoning the local pharamicists to ask them for their thoughts and if/when I get the prescription (need some preliminary tests to make sure my heart is ok firse) I'll contact the manufacturer too. I also read the leaflet that comes with my combined pill (Microgynon).

Thanks so much for replying~ <3

05-25-16, 09:56 AM
After doing a quick Google search, found nothing about less effectiveness either.. But the doctor that said grow out of ADHD already in my opinion is not a specialist. If so he would know how inaccurate that actually is especially at our age( I'm 32 same age range).

My advice either seek new doctor or follow up with thanks but after doing my own research, I'm comfortable with having both medication in my system

05-25-16, 04:12 PM
Pretty much agree regarding him being a specialist.... but at least he gave me the diagnosis/prescription offer etc that I want so I'll just be like "uh huh... yeah ok" *nods*... or tell him I out-researched him in a polite fashion, if my anxiety lets me of course.

I called a bunch of local pharmacies today and asked the pharmacist if they interact, everyone said no, except one who went a little more in-depth and said that a larger lady might need a higher dosage of the BC pill when taken in conjunction with methylphenidate.

Thanks again for your replies and help, Socaljaxs! <3

05-29-16, 03:19 PM
If I understand correctly, it's well-established that antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. (It's less established which antibiotics cause this, why it happens, and what the risk level is. I'm not sure it applies at all to hormonal contraception that's not taken orally.)

I think the doctor is just extrapolating from that fact. :doh:

05-29-16, 07:26 PM
From my experience, antibiotics do affect the pill's effectiveness, yes. While I've been reading up on this issue actually, I noticed only one or two types of antibiotic can affect the pill but they tend to apply to caution to all antibiotics.

It seems I neglected to mention it in my original post, but when I asked him, my specialist mentioned it having something to do with "Cytochrome P450", a liver enzyme. He also told me that many other medications can have this effect, due to an interaction with the aforementioned liver enzyme.