Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
These products have been used by teenagers and have not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than they do in adults. However, some younger users may need extra counseling and information on the importance of using spermicides exactly as they are supposed to be used so they will work properly.
Many studies have shown that the use of vaginal spermicides does not increase the risk of birth defects or miscarriage.
It is not known if vaginal spermicides pass into breast milk in humans. However, their use has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergies, irritations, or infections of the genitals—Using vaginal spermicides may cause moderate to severe irritation in these conditions. Also, benzalkonium suppositories may be less effective in women with vaginal infections.
- Conditions or medical problems where it is important that pregnancy does not occur—Vaginal spermicides, when used alone, are much less effective than birth control pills, an intrauterine device (IUD), or spermicides used together with another form of birth control, such as cervical caps, condoms, or diaphragms. Discuss with your doctor what your options are for birth control and the risks and benefits of each method.
- Recent childbirth or abortion or
- Toxic shock syndrome, history of—Cervical caps or diaphragms should not be used in these cases because there is an increased chance of developing toxic shock syndrome.
- Sores on the genitals (sex organs) or
- Irritation of the vagina or rectum—Do not use this medicine if you or your sex partner have HIV or AIDS. This medicine can irritate the vagina and rectum, which may increase the risk of getting HIV or AIDS. Discuss this with your doctor if you have any questions.
If you develop any medical problem or begin using any new medicine (prescription or nonprescription) while you are using this medicine, you may want to check with your doctor.