Ortho Tri-Cyclen: Combination Birth Control Pills
Ortho Tri-Cyclen (ethinyl estradiol + norgestimate) is used as an oral contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
How does it work?
This is a combination oral contraceptive, its action is determined by the central and peripheral mechanisms. By suppressing the release of gonadotropins, it prevents the maturation of eggs in the ovaries and ovulation.
In addition, the drug increases the viscosity of cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, and acts on the endometrial epithelium, reducing the likelihood of implantation.
How long until Ortho Tri-Cyclen clears acne?
If you take these combination birth control pills to treat acne, it may take about 2 weeks to 2 to 3 months before you see an improvement. This is because the hormones need some time to get into your system and reset your levels.
Do you ovulate on Ortho Tri-Cyclen?
This combination birth control pill contains the female hormones ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This means you do not ovulate when on these pills.
What is the generic name for Ortho Tri-Cyclen?
There are generic of this contraceptive: Tri-Sprintec and TriNessa. These pills also contain norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol.
How to take this contraceptive?
The pack may contain 21 pills (all active) or 28 pills (21 active pills and 7 inert pills). The contraceptive should be started on the 1st day of your period. Take one pill daily in the order specified on the blister. If your pack contains 28 pills, take them for 28 days in a row without breaks. You should have your period during week 4 when you are taking inert pills. After you have taken the last inert pill, start a new pack without interruption.
If your pack contains 21 pills, take them for 21 days in a row and then take a 7-day-break. You should have your period during a no-hormone week. After you have taken the last pill with no medication or gone 7 days without taking any tablets, start a new pack without interruption. If you do not get the expected period, consult a gynecologist. After you have gone 7 days without taking any tablets, start a new pack.
You may need to use additional, non-hormonal contraceptives, such as condoms or spermicides when you use Ortho Tri-Cyclen for the first time.
Birth control pills are most effective when taken at the same time of day, for example, in the evening.
After delivery, wait for at least 4 weeks before you start taking birth control pills, provided that you do not breastfeed.
After an abortion or miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy, you can start taking the pills immediately. In these cases, the use of additional contraceptive methods is not required.
After an induced or spontaneous abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, hormonal contraceptives can be used on the 21st day after an abortion or on the first day of your natural period (whichever comes first). In these cases, during the first 7 days of the period, it is recommended to use additional local contraceptives in addition to taking birth control pills. In exceptional cases, the use of the medication can be started 1 week after the abortion. Bear in mind that the risk of thromboembolic complications is increased when the contraceptive is taken during the post-abortion period.
If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, birth control pills may lose their effectiveness since it takes 4 hours for the body to fully absorb the tablet. In this case, it is recommended to continue taking pills, supplementing its action with other contraceptives before you have your next period.
What are the side effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen?
Usually, the drug is tolerated well. In rare cases, the contraceptive can cause menstrual bleeding, spotting from the vagina, increased vaginal secretion, vaginal candidiasis, erosion of the cervix, an increase or decrease in body weight, breast engorgement, discharge from the nipples; nausea, vomiting, migraine, headache, depression, skin rash. If you find the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
Can this contraceptive interact with other drugs?
You should not combine this birth control pill with antibiotics, barbiturates, antiepileptic drugs, griseofulvin or phenylbutazone since such a combination can decrease the contraceptive effect of the drug.
Can I use these pills when pregnant and breastfeeding?
The drug is contraindicated for use in pregnant women.
Epidemiological studies have not revealed an increase in the risk of birth defects in children whose mothers took birth control pills before pregnancy. Most modern studies have also not found teratogenic effects, in particular heart anomalies and shortening of the limbs, in the offspring of women who mistakenly took birth control pills during pregnancy.
Ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate can affect lactation, i.e. reduce the amount and change the composition of breast milk. In addition, a small proportion of contraceptive steroids and / or their metabolites can get into breast milk. In this regard, the medicine is contraindicated for use during breastfeeding.
Does Ortho Tri-Cyclen make you gain weight?
Some women may experience weight gain when taking combination birth control pills. While there’s a chance that the contraceptive can give you extra pounds, it’s mostly water retention (and not actual fat).
What’s the difference between Ortho-Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen?
Ortho-Cyclen active tablets are blue (Day 1- Day 21). Ortho Tri-Cyclen active tablets are white (Day 1 – Day 7), light blue (Day 8 – Day 15) and blue (Day 16 – Day 21). Both contraceptives have dark green inactive tablets (Day 22 – Day 28). The drugs are equally effective.
What are the contraindications?
Do not take these birth control pills if you have:
- bleeding from the genital tract (of unknown cause), malignant tumors of the mammary glands or uterus;
- severe liver dysfunction, benign and malignant liver tumors;
- thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism, antithrombin III deficiency;
- violation of cerebral circulation;
- myocardial infarction;
- sickle cell anemia;
- genital herpes.
Can I overdose on this medicine?
There have been no serious cases of poisoning as a result of an overdose of ethinyl estradiol + norgestimate. In case of overdose, nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding may occur.
There is no specific antidote. In case of overdose, you will need gastric lavage (within the first hour after taking the drug) and symptomatic therapy.
What if I miss a pill?
If you miss an active pill (if the interval between active pills does not exceed 12 hours), you should use additional contraceptives until you get your next period (spermicidal suppositories, creams, condoms, etc.). At the same time, continue taking pills as usual.
If you miss an inert pill, discard it and continue taking pills as usual. You do not need any additional contraceptive methods.
Are there any precautions?
You should consult a doctor before using this contraceptive if you have impaired functions of the cardiovascular system or liver, arterial hypertension, fluid retention in the body, diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, gallbladder diseases, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, depression, epilepsy.
How effective is Ortho Tri-Cyclen at preventing pregnancy?
Research shows that even though this birth control contains a lower amount of hormones as compared to other birth control pills, this contraceptive is still extremely effective at preventing pregnancy.