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What herbal remedies can affect birth control pills?

ANSWER

A number of herbal remedies don't mix well with birth control pills. Some that you should avoid:

  • St. John's wort. Some people use it to treat mild to moderate depression and sleep disorders.
  • Saw palmetto. Some people have tried it for hair loss.
  • Alfalfa. It's used for kidney, bladder, and prostate problems.
  • Garlic pills. Some people take these for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other heart and blood diseases.
  • Flaxseed. This is used for digestion problems like severe constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on December 12, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 12/12/2019

SOURCES:

NAM Aidsmap: "Contraception."

Rodriguez M.D., Maria Isabel "What medications mess with birth control?" Bedsider.com

DeRossi, S.S. Dental Clinics of North America, October 2002.

McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois, "Pill Interactions With Other Drugs"

Weisberg, E. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, May 1999.

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Griseofulvin," "Ketoconazole," "St. John's Wort," "Saw palmetto," "Garlic," "Alfalfa," "Flaxseed."
Doodipala, S. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, March 1, 2010.

Epilepsy Foundation: "Women FAQ."

Robertson P. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, January 2002.

Narcolepsy UK: "All you need to know about modafinil and the pill."

Stanford Medicine: "Psychiatric Medications, Modafinil"

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Questions and Answers: A Trial of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the Treatment of Major Depression."

Hall, S.D. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, December 2003.

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on December 12, 2019

SOURCES:

NAM Aidsmap: "Contraception."

Rodriguez M.D., Maria Isabel "What medications mess with birth control?" Bedsider.com

DeRossi, S.S. Dental Clinics of North America, October 2002.

McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois, "Pill Interactions With Other Drugs"

Weisberg, E. Clinical Pharmacokinetics, May 1999.

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Griseofulvin," "Ketoconazole," "St. John's Wort," "Saw palmetto," "Garlic," "Alfalfa," "Flaxseed."
Doodipala, S. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, March 1, 2010.

Epilepsy Foundation: "Women FAQ."

Robertson P. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, January 2002.

Narcolepsy UK: "All you need to know about modafinil and the pill."

Stanford Medicine: "Psychiatric Medications, Modafinil"

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Questions and Answers: A Trial of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the Treatment of Major Depression."

Hall, S.D. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, December 2003.

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on December 12, 2019

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What type of birth control pill are combination pills?

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