Research Article

Interaction between anticoagulants and contraceptives: an unsuspected finding.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 17 November 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:1260
  1. E de Teresa,
  2. A Vera,
  3. J Ortigosa,
  4. L A Pulpon,
  5. A P Arus,
  6. M de Artaza


    To assess the effects of oral contraceptives on anticoagulant treatment the prothrombin times of 12 patients were measured while they were taking both drugs simultaneously and while they were taking only anticoagulants. The mean prothrombin time ratio was significantly higher when patients were taking both drugs than when they were taking only anticoagulants and their doses of anticoagulant were significantly lower. During both periods most of the prothrombin values remained in the therapeutic range. These findings suggest that, contrary to the common belief that oral contraceptives diminish the effects of anticoagulants, contraceptives in fact potentiate the action of the anticoagulants.