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About Ortho Tri-cyclen®

If you've used Ortho Tri-cyclen®, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Is this normal?
Date: 9/3/2011
I have been taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen for about 5 months now. The first 3 months my period has come during the sugar pills. Last month my period came a week before I took the sugar pills and this month about a week after I started my new batch of pills I started spotting for about a week and got my period again a week before the sugar pills. Is this normal?

AskDocWeb: There are many reasons for your period to be irregular, even when taking birth control pills. This post gives you a list.

Confused by different packaging
Date: 10/15/2011
Hi. I've been taking tri nessa and/or tri prefirem for the past 6 years. I am always very timely on when I take my medication. Unfortunately this time the pharmacist changed it to ortho tri cyclen and the round package confused me. I started the pack on the 7th white and went clockwise until realizing on day four I was going the wrong way. Luckily, I still started with white, and quickly changed the direction (by starting with "day 1 white." However I had unprotected sex during the first 3 days of the pack. Should I be worried about being pregnant? I know all of the white pills have the same ingredients...I'm just worried that I could be since I took the white ones out of order. Let me know..thank you!

AskDocWeb: Anytime you are not sure what to do, go back and read the directions. Not only does each white pill contain the same ingredients, they contain the same amount of those ingredients so day 1 pill is identical to day 2 pill, etc. As far as protection from conception is concerned the change in order doesn't make any difference as long as they are the same color. You could also return the pack to the pharmacist for advice.

How long does it take Velivet to become effective?
Date: 10/18/2011
I just started Velivet on my Day 1 of my period and I have been taking it consistently every day same time for about 10 days now. Is it effective yet or do I still need to use back up contraceptives because the leaflet wasn't clear about it regarding starting on Day 1 but it was clear for the Sunday start. Thanks!

AskDocWeb: In the directions for Velivet (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol), "DAY 1 START" of the product information number 4 states, "You will not need to use a back-up method of birth control since you are starting the pill at the beginning of your period." That statement is not always included in the directions but it is also true for the following birth control pills:
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  • Aviane?-28 (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Desogen® (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Estrostep Fe
  • Gianvi (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Gildess FE 1/20 (norethindrone acetate, ethinyl estradiol and ferrous fumarate)
  • Junel (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Levora (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Loestrin 24 FE (norethindrone acetate. ethinyl estradiol, ferrous fumarate)
  • Lutera? (Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP)
  • Mircette
  • NECON 777 (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol)
  • ORTHO-CEPT® (desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
  • Sronyx (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Tri-Previfem®
  • Tri-Sprintec (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol)
  • Yaz (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, also sold as Ocella and Yasmin)
While it would seem to be true for all birth control pills it is always a good idea to verify your assumptions. In this case you can take a deep breath and relax.

Could I get pregnant?
Date: 10/29/2011
I been taking lo for two months could I get pregnant after unprotected sex?

AskDocWeb: According to the Physician's Desk Reference, after taking this pill for 7 consecutive days you are receiving the full contraceptive effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. As long as you continue to take it as directed you should be okay.

Period at 2 weeks
Date: 11/3/2011
i have been on orthra tri cylen for 2 wks at the blue pills an i have my period is this normal?

AskDocWeb: Welcome Kim. When first starting Ortho Tri-Cyclen it is normal to have some irregular bleeding, spotting, or breakthrough bleeding during the first 1 to 3 months.

Lost weight on Ortho
Date: 11/5/2011
Ive been on Ortho for about a year and a half and I have lost weight on it and my clothes r Baggie on me and I thought about trying protein shakes to help maybe gain some weight, but other then that I don't know what to do?

AskDocWeb: A good first step might be to ask your doctor if this is a problem or not. What is your current Body Mass Index?

Two condoms?
Date: 11/5/2011
Hi AskDocWeb, i was reading this site and was wondering why you gave advise to someone to use 2 condoms. you do know that using two at once is a no no and can has a higher risk in breakage due to the friction.

AskDocWeb: Yes, we have seen it many times, "Using two condoms at the same time is a bad idea." Theoretically friction between the two condoms increases the likelihood that they would break. That would seem to make sense if the condoms were not lubricated however, that may or may not be true for lubricated condoms. We have been unable to locate any research that would prove that "popular opinion."

Face get hot and weight gain
Date: 11/5/2011
Hello. My face gets very hot when I consume an alcoholic beverage almost immediately. (beer) I'm wondering what's going on. I haven't read anything about not drinking just not smoking. I just started this pill 3 days ago. Is this normal or a concern? Also does the Ortho tri low make u gain weight because one gets cravings or because it alters your body itself. Please let me know. Any feedback would be great.

AskDocWeb: Drinking alcohol increases the blood flow to the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. When the brain detects an increase in temperature it sends a signal to release chemicals that cause the skin's blood vessels to dilate to dissipate the excess heat. Some people are more sensitive to this than others.

Another possibility, depending on your age, is that it may be hot flashes. Alcohol is known to be a trigger for hot flashes as are spicy foods, heat changes, stress, hot drinks, refined Sugar, and caffeine.

And there is yet a third possibility: It may or may not be related to an abnormal version of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde. This enzyme is called Alcohol Dehydrogenase or ADH. Since about 50% of Japanese people have this abnormal enzyme, it has become known Asian Flush. Their ADH enzyme works about five times faster than the regular version, which results in a build-up of acetaldehyde faster than the liver can clear it. However, this enzyme is found in people of all races. The after effects of Asian Flush are so unpleasant that the enzyme was used to develop a treatment for alcoholism (Antibuse).

Changes in appetite have been reported by those taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo but so far the manufacturer neither confirms nor denies an association with this birth control pill.

On the same birth control for too long
Date: 11/12/2011
I have been taking ortho tri cyclen for about 10 years. I am worried that this is too long to be on the same birth control. Please help.

AskDocWeb: Wecome Ashley! It sounds like it is time for a talk with your gynecologist. Most women switch birth control pills because of side effects such as mood swings, weight gain, cramping, changes in menstrual cycle or cost. If you are not having any problems then a switch may not be necessary. However, if you have a specific brand of pills in mind, your gynecologist can tell you if it would be appropriate or not. Many pills have similar formulations and if the pill you are considering has the same formula as your current pill then that would make the switch ineffective. It's important to know how to switch birth-control pills safely and your gyno can help with that. Also if you are taking other medication, your pharmacist can make sure that your new birth-control pill won't interact with any of your present meds.

Not sure if I should switch or just quit
Date: 11/13/2011
I have been on ortho-tri lo for 14 years I'm 44, and I would like to stop taking birth control all together, but I'm afraid to get pregnant and my gyn said that it also helps with symptoms of menopause (when it comes) but this pill is also very expensive and another child would be even more so. I haven't had any adverse reactions with this pill which is why I've stuck with it for so long but now I'm concerned with uncertainty of what to expect at my age if I stop, since my doc said I could stay on it til I'm 60 for the "benefits" i.e. breast cancer, menopause symptoms, regular periods, acne, etc., though he suggested a cheaper lo dose pill for expense purposes, now I'm not sure if I should switch or just quit taking birth control all together???

AskDocWeb: The answer to that question depends on a collection of factors that are unique to each individual. Part of your doctor's job is to help you compare the costs, risks, and benefits of the various options.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2010-2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on birth control and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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