Oral contraceptives 355
Oral contraceptives (‘the pill,’ birth control pills)
Interactions of oral contraceptives with other medicines: Some
medicines make combined birth control pills (ones that contain both
estrogen and progestin) work poorly or not at all. Do not use combined
birth control pills if you regularly take:
• carbamazepine (Tegretol)
• phenobarbital (phenobarbitone,
• phenytoin (diphenylhydantoin,
• valproic acid (Depakene)
See page 196 for information about which oral contraceptives (and other
hormonal methods of family planning) should be avoided by women with certain
disabilities. Birth control pills come in different strengths of each hormone and
are sold under many different brand names. We list only a few brands in the chart
Usually, brands that contain a smaller amount of both hormones are the safest and
work best for most women. These ‘low-dose’ pills are found in Groups 1, 2, and 3.
Group 1 - Triphasic pills
These contain low amounts of both estrogen and progestin in a mix that
changes throughout the month. Since the amounts change, it is important to
take the pills in order.
Group 2 - Low dose pills
These contain low amounts of estrogen (35 micrograms of the estrogen ‘ethinyl
estradiol’ or 50 micrograms of the estrogen ‘mestranol’) and progestin in a mix
that stays the same throughout the month.
Brevicon 1 + 35
Noriday 1 + 50
Norinyl 1 + 35, 1 + 50
Ortho-Novum 1/35, 1/50
Group 3 - Low dose pills
These pills are high in progestin and low in estrogen (30 or 35 micrograms of
the estrogen ‘ethinyl estradiol’).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007