Halloween-Themed Black Cocktails May Affect Your Birth Control

Many seasonal cocktails use activated charcoal to achieve a black appearance, but the ingredient also messes with many medications.

Many seasonal cocktails use activated charcoal to achieve a black appearance. - Instagram / mydigitalkitchen
Instagram / mydigitalkitchen
Many seasonal cocktails use activated charcoal to achieve a black appearance.

As Halloween parties shift into full swing, it's worth noting that seasonally spooky black cocktails may render your oral birth control ineffective.

Scary, indeed! Especially in the wake of restrictive abortion bans around the country.

Many Halloween-themed cocktails are given their inky appearance via the addition of activated charcoal, or charcoal treated with oxygen at high temperatures to make it more porous. Beyond its culinary applications, the substance is administered in emergency rooms to prevent poisoning because it absorbs toxins.

That means activated charcoal — in addition to making for a visually arresting tipple — can compromise oral contraceptives, since the hormones in birth control pills enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, Women's Health reports.

Most companies that sell activated charcoal as a supplement recommend waiting at least two hours between taking it and other prescription drugs. However, those taking hormonal contraceptive pills might consider avoiding the ingredient altogether — or stocking up on condoms.
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