Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
I am on birth control pills and I was sick so I took sudafed and Tylenol. I had unprotected sex and now I’m worried I might be pregnant. Should I have used a condom because of the medication I was taking?
Cold medication like Sudafed and pain relievers like Tylenol won’t interfere with your birth control pills — so as long as you were taking your birth control correctly, you can feel confident that it was working to protect you from pregnancy.
A lot of people worry that certain medications they’re taking will reduce the effectiveness of the pill. But the only over-the-counter medications that can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills is St. John’s Wort. Antibiotics won’t change the effectiveness of the pill, either, with the exception of the antibiotic rifampin.
There are certain prescription medications that can interact with the pill and decrease its effectiveness. Also, the pill can decrease or increase the effectiveness of some medications. That’s why it’s important to tell your health care provider if you’re on the pill or other hormonal birth control. Always let providers know about all the drugs and medications you take before they prescribe anything new for you.