Ortho Tri-Cyclen Uses and Side Effects

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Uses and Side Effects

Are you looking for a new birth control pill? You have various options but might be unsure about which one is right for you. It’s been nearly 60 years since the United States approved the world’s first commercial birth control pill: Enovid-10. You might have heard of the product orthotricyclen and wondered how it’s used and what possible side-effects it causes.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a brand name of a well-known contraceptive known as norgestimate. The medication has been around since 1965 so it’s been established for birth control and hormone therapy. How about side-effects? Let’s be honest. All prescription meds have them and you should be aware of some of the main ones for these meds. The good news is the pills are quite safe when used properly. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty!


What is Orthotricyclen?

This is a type of oral contraceptive that contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. Various generic versions of ortho tri-cyclen are available on the market. It can also produce various side effects including weakness, headaches, and rashes. In this article, we’ll take up issues like the main uses and side-effects of this pharmaceutical product.

This oral contraceptive is a blend of two female hormones. Firstly, ethinyl estradiol is a synthetic type of estrogen that’s primarily used in different types of hormonal contraceptives. The second female hormone contained in Ortho Tri-Cyclen is norgestimate, which is a progestin medication used for menopausal hormone therapy and birth control pills.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is the brand name of a contraceptive that is no longer produced in the United States. Various generic versions are available including:

  • TriNessa
  • Tri-Previfem
  • Tri-Sprintec

However, it’s important to verify if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a particular generic version.

This contraceptive functions by preventing pregnancy mainly by preventing ovulation. This is the ovary’s release of one egg.


Main Uses

As with other prescription drugs, it’s critical to know the main uses of ortho tri-cyclen. Here are the various functionalities of this product:

Pregnancy Prevention

The main function is to prevent pregnancy. This is done by preventing ovulation during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

This contraceptive also causes vaginal fluid to become thicker. That, in turn, helps to prevent fertilization or the sperm from getting to the egg.

The third function of orthotricyclen is to change the uterus’ lining. This, in turn, prevents a fertilized egg from attaching. When the egg fails to attach to a uterus it then passes outside the woman’s body.

Secondary Functions

These birth control pills also have some secondary functions. For example, they might decrease blood loss, make menstrual periods more regular, and lower the user’s risk of ovarian cysts. The pharmaceutical can also help to treat acne like pimples.

Non-STD Protection

It’s important to note that ortho tri-cyclen won’t protect the user or her partner from getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These include gonorrhea, HIV, and so on.


How to Use Orthotricyclen

Each pack of birth control pills contains 21 tablets with hormones. It might also contain 7 reminder pills that contain no hormones. The pills are usually taken once daily for 21 days in a row then the inactive pills one time daily for 7 straight days.

Your pharmacist will provide a Patient Information Leaflet about this medication. It’s critical to read it before you use this product and every time you get an Rx refill. This paper provides info such as when you should take the pills, as well as what to do if you miss a dose.

As always you should consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. It’s always best to be on the safe side if you’re not 100% sure about anything related to this contraceptive.

Your doctor will give you directions about how to take ortho tri-cyclen. The usual dosage is once daily. It’s important to take the pill at the same time daily to reduce your chance of forgetting to do that.

Make sure to also follow the package instructions to a tee. The reason is it’s critical to take the pills in the correct order. That’s because in this case, the quantity of estrogen and progestin contained in an active tablet will differ during the various times of the menstrual cycle.

In particular, you should also avoid certain practices when taking orthotricyclen. They include skipping doses, taking pills at a new time of the day, or beginning a new pack of tablets late.


What Are the Main Side-effects?

Common side-effects you might experience after taking ortho tri-cyclen include:

  • headache
  • stomach cramps
  • bloating
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • freckles
  • hair loss
  • faster hair growth
  • rash
  • breast tenderness/swelling
  • nipple discharge
  • vaginal itching
  • changes in weight/appetite
  • changes in menstrual periods
  • lower sex drive
  • depression

Due to the many possible side effects, this highlights the importance of consulting your doctor about the best contraceptive for you. For example, sometimes it’s recommended that people with certain conditions like diabetes or heart disease avoid using certain kinds of birth control.

It’s also important to note that birth control is safe for most women. That said, all prescription medications have certain risks and side-effects.


Branded vs. Generic

A Chicago Tribute blog reports that patients sometimes experience more side-effects from generic versions of birth control pills like ortho tri-cyclen. This is sometimes the case when women switch from name brand to generic versions of contraceptives.

In fact, some experts argue the FDA’s methodology should change the way it establishes how brand name and generic birth control products are deemed interchangeable. However, others counter that this isn’t an issue.

If you start taking ortho tri-cyclen and begin experiencing side-effects it’s important to stop your doses immediately. The next step is to consult your physician immediately. There’s a chance the new physical/mental symptoms could be caused by something else but it’s always important to be on the safe side.


Effects on Breast Feeding

When taking combination pills you might observe a reduction in the quantity and quality of breast milk during the first 3 weeks. After giving birth it’s critical to wait 3+ weeks before you start taking combo contraceptives.

On the other hand, if you’re breastfeeding then it’s safe to use progestin-only pills like orthotricyclen. They shouldn’t affect the quantity of milk your body produces or your newborn baby.

Mom Pamper

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