Download PDFPDF
Primary care
Analysis of reports of unintended pregnancies associated with the combined use of non-enzyme-inducing antibiotics and hormonal contraceptives
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • Responses are moderated before posting and publication is at the absolute discretion of BMJ, however they are not peer-reviewed
  • Once published, you will not have the right to remove or edit your response. Removal or editing of responses is at BMJ's absolute discretion
  • If patients could recognise themselves, or anyone else could recognise a patient from your description, please obtain the patient's written consent to publication and send them to the editorial office before submitting your response [Patient consent forms]
  • By submitting this response you are agreeing to our full [Response terms and requirements]

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

  • Published on:
    Letter to the editor in response to “Analysis of reports of unintended pregnancies associated with the combined use of non-enzyme-inducing antibiotics and hormonal contraceptives”
    • Cara E Clure, Family Planning Fellow, Ob/Gyn University of Colorado
    • Other Contributors:
      • Aaron Lazorwitz, Assistant Professor, Ob/Gyn-Family Planning

    First available online on August 18, 2020 in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, Aronson and Ferner (1) concluded that women using hormonal contraceptives cannot rely on their contraceptive method if they take a short course of non-enzyme inducing antibiotics based on Yellow Card reports to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
    We believe that there are fundamental scientific issues and limitations with this study not adequately addressed by the authors. First, Yellow Card reports require provider reporting of an unintended pregnancy, which the authors acknowledge are subject to reporting bias. As the authors also acknowledge, many healthcare providers suspect there are drug-drug interactions between hormonal contraception and all antibiotics, despite the lack of definitive evidence (1). Therefore, there already exists a bias among providers that they would suspect and report an unintended pregnancy attributed to a drug-drug interaction among women taking antibiotics. The medications in each group are also not equivalent and bias the sample. For example, in the antibiotic group, metronidazole and nitrofurantoin are more commonly used in younger reproductive-aged and sexually active women (2,3), the population at highest risk of unintended pregnancies (4). In comparison, the control group includes such medications as propranolol and theophylline, which are used for treatment of cardiac and respiratory conditions more common among older women (5,6), wi...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:

    Might it be helpful to clarify in the title or abstract that the paper relates solely to estrogen containing contraceptives, and essentially the oral versions?

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.