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is anyone taking any form of carbamazepine and also taking a birth control that works? i can't seem to find a bc that doesn't cause breakthrough bleeding. i'm lucky and have pretty regular periods without bc, but it's so nice to be able to control them (stop having them for a couple of months) if i want to. any thoughts?

Oral contraceptives are not generally considered to be effective, at least if taken normally, while taking it and breakthrough bleeding is one of the noted side effects.

Prescribing Info

However, there are a few different recommendations for hormonal contraceptives:

Some of the anti-epileptic medication can metabolise (break down) the OCP faster, therefore reducing its effectiveness... If you are taking any of these drugs, you should be on an OCP with a minimum of 50mcg oestrogen content or a combination of the OCP to obtain a minimum dose of 50mcg of oestrogen. Any evidence of breakthrough bleeding would suggest that this method is not effective and should be reported to your GP immediately. A barrier method of contraception is advised until reliability is achieved.
-Contraception for Women With Epilepsy


This site also recommends an oral bc with at least 50 mcg of oestrogen.

Tricycling -3 consecutive packs of high dose COC combined oral contraceptivewith only 4 pill-free days

I would bring these up with your doctors.

But depending on how strong the birthcontrol, the hormonal changes could have strong side effects on your mood.

I take topamax and depo and get the shot more often- 10 weeks, instead of the usual 12- which is generally recommended if on an AC.

Definately talk to your doctors about this. I think if you are having breakthrough bleeding it is an indication that the birth control isn't entirely effective.


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