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Ortho Tri-Cyclen contains estrogenic compound ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate, a synthetic form of progesterone or a progestin (female hormone) which prevents ovulation and participates in regulation of menstruation. Progesterone is produced in an ovary after an egg matured and was released from it to prevent the release of further eggs. In case of pregnancy levels of progesterone in blood remain high maintaining the womb lining. Thus this hormone 'tricks' the body informing it that ovulation has already occurred and this way it may be used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. Ortho Tri-Cyclen impedes sperm cells to reach the uterus acting on cervical mucus and uterine lining and makes it more difficult for a fertilized egg to adhere to the uterus. It can also be used to treat severe achne.
Dosage and direction
Follow all doctor's instructions regarding take of Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Never take it in larger amounts or take it longer than recommended. Take the first 'active' pill on the first day of your monthlies or on the first Sunday after your menstruation starts. Take one pill every day, desirably at the same time each day. When 'active' pills from the 28-day birth control pack are over take seven "reminder" pills (one tablet each day) to keep you on your regular cycle. Your monthlies usually starts while you are using these 'reminder' tablets.
Avoid smoking cigarettes/using tobacco while using hormonal birth control pills due to increased risk of heart problems and stroke. The risk of heart diseases also aggravates with age (especially in women over 35 y.o.) and in those who smoker more than 15 cigarettes daily. Notify your doctor if you had in your history such conditions as: blood clotting, stroke, problems with circulation, a hormone-related cancer (breast or uterine cancer), unusual vaginal bleeding, liver malfunctions and diseases or malignant or benign liver tumors, jaundice caused by birth control pills. This drug cannot be used in pregnant women. Inform your surgeon if you are taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen as you may need to stop its intake.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is contraindicated in patients who have suffered with thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders (including deep vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic in history), cerebral vascular or coronary artery disease, migraine, carcinoma of the breast, estrogendependent neoplasia, undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding, jaundice caused by cholestasis or a prior pill use, acute or chronic hepatocellular disease with abnormal liver function, adenomas or carcinomas in the liver, or in patients who are pregnant or hypersensitive to Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
Possible side effect
In case of allergic reaction caused by this medication (hives, swelling of face and tongue, rash) contact your doctor immediately. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation, increased vaginal fluids, or breast tenderness/enlargement may occur. Acne may resolve or get worse. Vaginal bleeding between periods or irregular periods may occur, especially during the first months of treatment. This medication may rarely cause serious and in rare cases fatal problems from blood clots. If you noticed any of such symptoms stop taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen and seek for immediate medical attention.
Decrease of contraceptive effect occur if Ortho Tri-Cyclen is concomitantly used with antibiotics, anticonvulsants, and other drugs that increase the metabolism of contraceptive steroids. Interaction is possible between Ortho Tri-Cyclen and phenylbutazone (Azolid, Butazolidin), St. John's wort, seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), topiramate (Topamax), carbamazepine (Tegretol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal); barbiturates such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), amobarbital (Amytal), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), mephobarbital (Mebaral); HIV medicines. Ascorbic acid and acetaminophen also are able to increase plasma ethinyl estradiol levels.
If you missed a pill risk of becoming pregnant increases. If you forgot to take one 'active' pill, take two pills as soon as you remember then return to your schedule. If you miss two 'active' pills in a row in first or second week of treatment, take two pills a day for two days in a row. Then return to your schedule. Use birth control test during seven days if such a 'mistake' occurred. If you miss two 'active' pills in a row during third week, or if you miss three pills in a row during any of the first three weeks, you need to start a new pack of pills as if you are a First Day starter.
If you did not take three 'active' pills in a row during any of the first three weeks, start a new pack on the same day as if you are a First Day starter.
If you skipped intake of two or more pills, you may not have a monthlies during this month. If you miss a period for two months in a row you might be pregnant.
If you miss any reminder pills, throw the missed pills away and return to your schedule.
If you suspect that you took too much of the medication seek for immediate medical attention and drink glass of milk. Possible overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.
Store Ortho Tri-Cyclen in a dry tight container away from sunlight at room temperature between 15-30 C (59-86 F) away from children and pets.
We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information at the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.