Modafinil can affect hormonal birth control methods
Modafinil’s popularity is greatest among young adults in university. Coincidentally, this is also the group that uses hormonal birth control the most. However, there are fears that modafinil can adversely affect the effectiveness of birth control pills. Since these two groups overlap considerably, modafinil could put thousands of young people at risk of an unwanted pregnancy, which could be detrimental to the lives of students.
Hull University, in Kingston upon Hull England, even went as far as to send a message to its students warning them about the potential pregnancy risk.
What birth control methods are affected?
Modafinil stimulates the production of a common enzyme in the body. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down many different compounds, including medicines. If you have more of the enzyme, your body will break down the compounds faster, removing them from the bloodstream.
There are many forms of birth control, and not all of them employ hormones. For instance, there are many IUDs that are hormone-free. Only certain types of hormonal pills are at risk.
So far there is only one clear study on the subject which tested 41 women who were taking two types of hormonal birth control, estradiol and triazolam.
The results showed that the amount of triazolam in the bloodstream was reduced significantly by modafinil, but that estradiol was unaffected. If the amount of the drug goes below a certain threshold, then its effects may not work and you could be at risk for an unwanted pregnancy. The makers of Provigil recommend avoiding modafinil if you are taking any kind of hormonal birth control, just to be safe.
How to avoid birth control complications
Keep in mind that modafinil can only reduce the effectiveness of birth control when both are taken at the same time. If you take modafinil on Monday and your birth control every single day, then it’s possible that your birth control will not be as effective on that Monday and even the following Tuesday.
Most modafinil users don’t take it every day, so first you should be more mindful of when you take it.
Second, if you have taken modafinil and decide to have sex, you should use a second contraceptive method, preferably a condom for those situations.
Finally, the most important thing to do would be to talk to your doctor, especially your OB/GYN, who can recommend different birth control methods that don’t interact with modafinil, or let you know whether your method is safe to use with modafinil.
As so many people order modafinil online, they rarely consider how it may interact with other medicines. This is one of the dangers of modafinil. Pharmaceutical compounds are complex and can have a litany of bizarre interactions with other drugs, many of them go unnoticed and seem harmless. But as this case shows, it’s important to make sure that anything you take will not be affected by modafinil, or vice versa.