Women all over the world rely on birth control pills to avoid getting pregnant. They provide an efficient and convenient way of keeping your reproductive choices in your own hands, and give you a sense of control and security that other methods of contraception, like condoms and withdrawal, don’t provide. But if you take medicine for anxiety, you might be concerned about their interactions with oral contraceptives. You may want to know, does birth control interfere with my anti-anxiety medications?
In an interview with Romper, Bineesh Moyeed, Pharm.D says that there is no definitive evidence that birth control interferes with anti-anxiety medications, just minor suspected interactions that haven’t been proven beyond a doubt. She says that birth control pills are safe to take with most anti-anxiety medications, but it’s important to know how your birth control affects your hormones. “Oral contraceptives may have an effect on your moods, which can affect how anti-anxiety medications work for you," she says. So if birth control pills tend to make you feel depressed, like they do for me, they might add to the anxiety you already have.
OB-GYN Elizabeth Reynoso, M.D told Shape Magazine that for some women, especially those with a history of anxiety and depression, oral contraceptives can make their anxiety worse. She explained that birth control pills can cause your ovaries to produce less estrogen — which can imbalance the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good — and can cause a dip in progesterone, which can make you feel more anxious.
“In most cases, birth control will not affect other medications,” says Moyeed, “but other medications may affect your birth control and its effectiveness.” She adds that it’s crucial to consult your doctor and pharmacist when taking any medications so they can evaluate and minimize drug interactions and health risks. Medications are just one step, but knowing your body, and how it reacts to those medications, can make a world of difference.