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Rifampicin and the Pill

Howard D. Cohn, MD
JAMA. 1974;228(7):828. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230320016013.
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To the Editor.—  The Feb 11, 1974, issue of The Journal in a news article (227:608, 1974) headed "Rifampicin, 'Pill' do not go well together," reported on the findings of a German physician, Dr. Dietrich Reimers. Dr. Reimers cautions that women given rifampicin may experience a decrease in the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. He also states that the antituberculosis drug may cause a high incidence of menstrual disorders when given with antifertility agents. He goes on to suggest that this "should move the manufacturers of ovulation inhibitors and of rifampicin to insert appropriate warnings in the package leaflets."The Ciba-Geigy Corporation has been aware of this situation for several months; since August 1973, the package insert for Rimactane, the company's brand of rifampicin (rifampin), has contained the precaution, "It has been reported that the reliability of oral contraceptives may be affected in some patients being treated for tuberculosis with rifampin in


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