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Sprintec and Azithromycin and Methylpred
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amandarbloom posted:
My ob/gyn prescribed azithromycin and methylpred to treat an infection and cough along with my Sprintec birth control. Should I use back up birth control while on these two and if so, for how long after using them should I continue using backup?
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear amandarbloom: The easy question first, OK? According to an FDA website, the half life of azithromycin is 68 hours. That means that it takes 68 x 2= 136 hours to be out of your body (about 5.6 days). The steroid has a much shorter half life.

The hard question is, would the antibiotic interfere with the effectiveness of your Sprintec birth control pills (BCPs)? According to the American College of OB/GYN, estrogens can increase the actions of corticosteroids (methylpred). That means that the effects of the steroid could last longer. Macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin) can increase estrogen levels. Thus neither of your new meds show decrease Sprintec effectiveness.

Having said that many GYNs uniformly recommend that women consider using a back up method during antibiotic use. I would urge you to ask your own GYN what they suggest for you. Here is an excellent overview of the drugs known to interact with Sprintec:

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-64195-Sprintec 28 Oral.aspx?drugid=64195&drugname=Sprintec %2828%29 Oral

Yours,
Jane


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