Birth Control For Acne: 1 Year Update
What Is Ortho Tri-Cyclen (Ethinyl Estradiol/Norgestimate)?
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is the brand name for a prescription birth-control pill.
Its generic name is based on the hormones it's made of, ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate.
The combination of female hormones in this contraceptive drug prevents ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is another form of the drug that has a lower dose of the ethinyl estradiol part of the drug.
When taken on schedule and without missing any pills, oral contraceptives that combine two hormones are highly effective, with only 1 in 1,000 women getting pregnant ("failing") in a year, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But pregnancy rates are typically higher with birth-control pills, because many people take don't them correctly. When studying large numbers of women taking pills that combine two hormones, the typical failure rate is closer to 3 percent a year, according to the FDA.
On the company website for Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, it says failure rates are about 5 percent per year.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen was approved by the FDA for birth-control in 1992 (and for acne in 1997). Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo was approved by the FDA in 2002.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The drug also comes in several generic forms.
In 2013, the FDA required companies to include additional warnings for birth-control products that use a combination of hormones, including Ortho Tri-Cyclen. (See Warnings section.)
Acne and Ortho Tri-Cyclen
In 1997, the FDA approved the use of Ortho Tri-Cyclen for acne in women ages 15 and older. It is thought to work by balancing hormones, so the body doesn't produce as much oil and sweat.
In a study of more than 400 women, those who took Ortho Tri-Cyclen had a 42 percent decrease in number of pimples, compared with a 27 percent decrease in people who took a placebo.
However, some people actually report worse acne with oral contraceptives. You should talk to your doctor about this possibility and weigh the risks against the benefits.
Weight Gain and Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Ortho Tri-Cyclen may cause weight gain. Much of the weight gain women experience is due to fluid retention (not fat).
To combat this unwanted effect, you should avoid caffeine, alcohol, and salt (sodium).
Also, a healthy diet and exercise program can minimize weight gain.
Warnings for Ortho Tri-Cyclen
In 2013, the FDA added a black-box warning for Ortho Tri-Cyclen and other birth-control pills that use a combination of hormones.
A black-box warning against smoking was added. You shouldn't use Ortho Tri-Cyclen if you smoke and are over age 35 because it can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.
The FDA also added a warning that if you have high blood pressure, or you develop high blood pressure when taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen, you should work with your doctor to get your blood pressure under control and monitor it closely, or you should use a non-hormonal type of contraception.
If your blood pressure is already often above 160 (systolic) or above 100 (diastolic), you should stop taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen and other birth-control pills.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen may increase your blood pressure. If you have diseases related to high blood pressure or kidney disease, you also should not use a contraceptive pill.
Before using Ortho Tri-Cyclen, you should tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
You might need to use a backup birth-control method when you first start on Ortho Tri-Cyclen or if you miss a dose. You should follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
You may experience breakthrough bleeding, especially during the first three months you use Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
Every doctor or surgeon who treats you should know you are taking this medication. You may need to stop using Ortho Tri-Cyclen for a period of time if you need surgery or other medical procedures that require you to be on bed rest.
After stopping Tri-Cyclen, your increased risk of developing breast cancer and heart disease may continue for a number of years.
Pregnancy and Ortho Tri-Cyclen
You shouldn't use Ortho Tri-Cyclen if you are pregnant. This medication can cause birth defects.
Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or miss two menstrual periods in a row while taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
If you've recently had a baby, you should wait at least four weeks before taking this medicine.
The hormones in Ortho Tri-Cyclen can pass into breast milk and may harm a breastfeeding baby. You shouldn't breastfeed while taking this medicine.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Freckles or darkening of facial skin
- Loss of scalp hair
- Problems with contact lenses
- Irregular menstrual bleeding or spotting
- Vaginal itching or discharge
Serious Side Effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Signs of stroke: sudden weakness or numbness (especially on one side of the body), severe headache, slurred speech, or problems with balance or vision
- Signs of a blood clot in the lung: chest pain, wheezing, sudden cough, rapid breathing, or coughing up blood
- Signs of a heart attack: chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, or sweating
- Signs of liver problems: nausea, itching, fatigue, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or yellowing or graying of your skin or eyes
- Signs of depression: sleep problems, mood changes, weakness, or fatigue
- Swelling, pain, warmth, or redness in one or both legs, ankles, or feet; these may be signs of a blood clot or other serious condition.
- Changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels (your doctor should monitor these while you are taking the medicine)
- Changes in your vision
- A breast lump
- A change in the severity or pattern of migraines
- If you become pregnant while taking the drug, there may be complications in the pregnancy (such as an ectopic and intrauterine pregnancy) and effects on the fetus.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Interactions
You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking while on Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
Some drugs can interfere and make Ortho Tri-Cyclen less effective. These may include:
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Dosage
Talk to your doctor about which type of Ortho Tri-Cyclen drug is best for you.
There are two kinds of dosing schedules you can choose from:
- "Day One starter": Take your first pill on the first day of your period. Then take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart.
- "Sunday starter": Take your first pill on the first Sunday during or after your menstrual period. Then take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart.
When the pills run out, start a new pack the next day.
The 28-day birth control pack contains seven "reminder" pills. The purpose of these pills is to keep you on your regular cycle. Your period will usually begin while you are taking the reminder pills.
You should get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills. Missing a pill could cause pregnancy to occur.
You might need to use a backup birth-control method when you first start on Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Follow your doctor's instructions.
You should take Ortho Tri-Cyclen as prescribed by your doctor. Don't take more or less of the medication than is recommended.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Overdose
If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison control-center or emergency room immediately.
You can get reach a poison-control center at (800) 222-1222.
Missed Dose of Ortho Tri-Cyclen
If you miss one active pill:
- Take two pills on the day you remember. Then, take one pill per day for the rest of the pack.
If you miss two active pills in a row in week 1 or week 2:
- Take two pills per day for two days in a row. Then, take one pill per day for the rest of the pack. Use a back-up birth-control method for at least seven days following the missed pills.
If you miss two active pills in a row in week 3:
- If you are a day one starter: Throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack the same day
- If you are a Sunday starter: Keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. Then, on Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss three active pills in a row in weeks 1, 2, or 3:
- If you are a day one starter: Throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the same day.
- If you are a Sunday starter: Keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day.
If you miss two or more pills, you might not have a period during the month.
If you miss your period for two months in a row, call your doctor. You might be pregnant.
If you miss a reminder pill, throw it away and keep taking one reminder pill each day until the pack is empty.
You don't need to use a backup birth control method if you miss a reminder pill.
Video: Birth Control Questions : How to Start Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
7 Ways To Make Nearly Any Recipe Work In Your Instant Pot
An Authentic Sense of Place: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe by CCS Architecture
Both sites accept returns within 30 days on most products. Overall, Amazon had a lot more to choose from, but Jet was more user-friendly and provided a better shopping experience
The Best iPhone Hacks We Learned in 2015
What Six Outrageous Fast-Food Mashups Look Like in Real Life
Long Space Missions May Harm Astronauts Eyes
13 Most Inspiring Books About Hair of All Time
How This Mom Is Helping Every Baby In Her Community Stay Healthy
Shop all Mens Grooming deals here
How to Read Russian Language Letters