Our fast-paced lives and competitive school or workplace sometimes necessitate some form of a boost to help us meet all our tasks. Hence, the popularity of wakefulness-promoting smart drugs has escalated due to their memory and alertness enhancement!
One of these fantastic medicines that most students or workers use is modafinil, an FDA-approved drug mainly prescribed for patients with narcolepsy. However, with its top-notch cognitive and alertness boost, it is also used by healthy individuals who want to get more productive and less sleepy.
Taking modafinil is generally safe since you would expect virtually no side effects! But is it still true if you are taking birth control pills?
This article will give answers about what would happen if you took modafinil and birth control pills simultaneously.
What Would Happen If You Took Modafinil With Birth Control Pills?
Birth control is a broad term referring to ways of preventing pregnancy. For women, it can be in the form of skin patches, IUDs, and pills. Birth control pills are the most prescribed form of contraception to women, which is taken orally.
Modafinil and birth control pills taken simultaneously may affect one another. Taking both pills at the same time can lead to some unwanted interactions. Note that most drugs taken in, including birth control pills, are metabolized in your liver. With modafinil, your liver enzyme will have increased activities.
So, how does taking modafinil and birth control pills affect a woman’s probability of getting pregnant? These will be broken down more quickly because of the increased enzyme activities caused by modafinil. Consequently, there will be less time for the pill to work in your body, significantly degrading its effectiveness. You increase your chance of getting pregnant!
On the other hand, let us also know how birth control pills work on the body. Most of the time, these are pills that affect the hormones responsible for helping the body prepare for an incoming pregnancy. The pills’ composition alerts the brain to stop releasing some hormones responsible for it. Therefore, the woman’s body has significantly lesser chances of fertilizing eggs and getting pregnant.
Another concern could be how birth control pills affect the benefits of modafinil. Currently, medical data does not have any conclusions about it. There may or may not be degradation of alertness or cognitive boost from modafinil if you take birth control pills along with it.
Most of the dilemma with this combination is the effects of the smart drug on the pills.
Is It Safe To Take Modafinil With Birth Control Pills?
Current medical data do not show us a large-scale investigation of the intake of modafinil and birth control pills. What we do know, though, is that contraceptives are less effective when taken with other “enzyme-inducing medicines.” So, the woman can have a higher chance of getting pregnant even if she always takes a pill.
Other than the reduced effectiveness of preventing pregnancy, a 2018 report mentioned another risk to keep in mind. Pregnant women who expose their infants to modafinil may give birth to newborns with congenital malformation!
Because of these findings, experts have been hesitant to encourage women to take modafinil and birth control pills. Developing the risks associated with it is more concerning compared to the benefits of taking a smart drug.
Modafinil and Birth Control Pills: Possible Health Problems
Experts have suggested avoiding modafinil and birth control pills together because the possibility of developing health problems is too dangerous. Firstly, women, especially sexually active ones, are more prone to get pregnant due to a less effective birth control method. This itself may not be a health problem.
Reports of exposing an unborn child to modafinil may lead to congenital defects such as heart problems and cleft lip and palate. With this in mind, women must be sure that they are not pregnant before starting any modafinil regimen!
Modafinil and birth control pills are not worth the risk associated with taking them together! With the increased chance of getting pregnant, women must try alternative contraceptive methods if they really want to use modafinil. The barrier method is an alternative to keep in mind. This includes using condoms, caps, or diaphragms during sexual encounters. Moreover, women should get a pregnancy test before beginning their modafinil intake to rule out any possibility of harming an unborn child.