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About Ortho Tri-cyclen®

If you've used Ortho Tri-cyclen®, please help others by adding your feedback. 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.

Subj: Tri-Sprintec birth control
Date: 3/15/2006
I am on tri-sprintec birthcontrol and really wanted to skip my menstrual this month (got something planned) and want to know if I can do it. And if not why?

AskDocWeb: Yes it has been done, but not recommended because you may have breakthrough bleeding while you are doing what you are planning to do. And when you go back to regular use of your birth control pill it will take about three months to regulate your period again. Others have reported doing it, and wishing that they hadn't.

Subj: Liked it
Date: 3/15/2006
I only took it for three months but I liked it a lot. I currently stopped taking it because me and my baby's father are trying to have a baby.

Subj: Insurance company won't pay
Date: 3/15/2006
I have ovarian cysts and have to take the pill to control them. I've been on triphasic pills and literally had hallucinations and rage attacks where I could not control myself. An Ortho-Novum I took gave me an allergic reaction with hives all over my body. I took Desogen for about 5 years and it is the best pill I've ever been on; hardly any side effects for me. But now my insurance won't cover it and I'm on Ortho Cept. Been on it for about 6 months: I've gained 15 pounds, my hair is falling out in handfuls and I have acne all over my body. I'm moody and depressed, not to mention decreased sex drive and dryness. My OB-GYN insists Ortho is the same hormones as Desogen. The only thing I can figure is that maybe the hormones are activated in different levels at different times during the month and Desogen more closely matches my natural cycle. Any opinions on this? I definitely prefer Desogen.

AskDocWeb: We think it's terrible to go around being depressed and moody because your insurance company won't pay for what works. For peace of mind (and quality of life) we would go back to Desogen even if it has to cost more, you're worth it.

Subj: Loss of bone density
Date: 3/15/2006
I have been on depo for a long time now, with really no side effects from the medication, except that I do not get a period anymore (which is normal after using depo for awhile). However, my doctor is now suggesting I go in for a bone density test, since bone loss is a risk with the shot. I have been thinking about switching to ortho-low, for this reason. Any suggestions?

AskDocWeb: There are risks with any birth control pill, but addressing the loss of bone density isn't something to put off. Do what your doctor says and ask about taking caltrate plus D for bone health.

Subj: Just curious...
Date: 3/15/2006
I'm about to start Ortho Tri-Cyclen after being on Depo for 5 years. My Dr. said that I'll probably miss a few periods during the adjustment period. After that how long does it take for your period to start after taking the first placebo?

AskDocWeb: Everyone is different with getting off of the Depo injection in starting their periods so we can't really say how long your adjustment period will be, but after it is regular again, you may start your period the second day of the placebo.

Subj: Condom came off
Date: 3/15/2006
I started taking Ortho Tri-cyclen about 2 moths ago. I wasn't sure how exactly it worked, and I didn't have the information booklet when I first started so I took the first month of pills, then when I started my period, I waited to finish before starting the next month. 6 days after starting the pill again, I had sex (with protection) but the condom kinda...came off inside me and we didn't realize it. I'm pretty sure he had ejaculated before the condom came off, but I'm not sure. I'm 4 days into the sugar pills and still haven't had a single spot of blood. What do I do? Could I be pregnant?

AskDocWeb: You should not be pregnant having been on the birth control pill for two months already. You take the placebos, and when they are done, immediately start the new pack. The lack of having your mensis could be due to the stress you are having caused by the worry you are having right now. Also you didn't say whether you missed a pill or not during the pack, if you didn't then don't worry about it.

Subj: Switched without permission
Date: 3/18/2006
I have been taking Ortho-Tri-cyclen for about 3 or 4 years. Just recently I stopped at a more convenient pharmacy to fill my prescription - turned out to be a complete hassle (transferring my info. from my other pharmacy) and then they gave me the generic Tri-nessa without me even knowing it. I couldn't give them back, and my insurance had already been billed, so I couldn't get my regular pills from my main pharmacy. I was ok taking the new pills for about 2 weeks and then I began to spot bleed about a week or 2 before my period. I also experienced about a week of nausea. I did have a pretty normal period and felt better during it. Now about a week later, and on my second Tri-nessa pack, the nausea is back and I'm wondering if it's because of these new pills. I thought that generic would be the same, just cheaper, and am concerned that these symptoms are from the new pills and that I should go back to Ortho as soon as I'm done with this pack. Is nausea normal? - it's the only main symptom I recognize right now, along with the spot bleeding before. Thanks!

AskDocWeb: The nausea could happen again. Generic does not mean it is the exact same drug but rather a cheaper alternative that is close to the original. But not as close as some may think and the difference seems to be enough to cause problems in some cases. The spot bleeding is likely caused by a change in your birth control pill as your body adjusts. This should stop within three months.

You could have complained very loudly to the pharmacist about them changing your prescription without your permission. Doing that could have resulted in getting the correct pills at no charge. It's something you learn with age, complain loud enough to get things corrected.

Subj: The Patch
Date: 3/18/2006
For the past year or so I have been on the patch. I loved it!!! I didn't have any side effects besides normal PMS issues. I didn't gain any weight and my moods were fine. After a while I started noticing that my legs would change colors and I had horrible circulation. Everyone kept telling me horrible things that they heard about the patch. After little research I found out that it can cause blood clots (legs changing color) and that it was pumping enough hormones into your system to last a week. It made sense that it was not safe especially after the side effects were on the news and in the newspaper. Breast cancer also runs in my family so that was a concern.

Recently, I switched to ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN LO because of the low estrogen level. I have thrown up a few times, I am light headed when I stand up, nauseous after I take it, bloated, no sex drive and worst of all I want to jump out of my own skin! Last night I started crying (not just tears, really crying) for no good reason. The worst side effect is the mood swings and emotions.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have heard bad things about the shot so I really do not want to try that. I am looking for something like the patch without the serious side effects? Is there a pill similar to the patch? Thank you for your time,

AskDocWeb: There is only one patch available right now and I am sorry it didn't work for you. Any birth control pill can cause breast cancer or blood clots. Discuss the breast cancer concerns you have with your doctor and be open, so there are no questions left unanswered.

Subj: Thought I was going crazy
Date: 3/20/2006
About a month ago, I began seeing a new doctor because I moved to a new state. She didn't want to prescribe my current birth control (Yasmin) even though I wasn't having any problems with it. She said that OTCL was cheaper and should help alleviate my cramping completely. I had no reactions to the other birth control, so I said it was fine. After this first month, I have noticed mood changes... I'm very irritable, especially towards my boyfriend, and I have almost no sex drive. I didn't notice these changes in my attitude until I realized how anxious and upset I would get for no reason. I can only contribute these symptoms to the OTCL, as it is the only variable. I'm so glad to hear that other people are having the same problems, now I know that it's not just me. For a minute, I thought I was going crazy.

Subj: Heavy period
Date: 3/20/2006
I've been on Ortho Tri-cyclen for one month, and I recently got my period (a few days ago, right on time). However, the first two days I had heavier bleeding than I've ever had and very bad cramps. The third and fourth day is much lighter, but is it normal to have your first period on the pill to be so heavy?

AskDocWeb: For some people yes, and hopefully your doctor told you that it can take up to 3 months to become regular.

Subj: Insurance dropped Ortho-Tri-Cyclen
Date: 3/20/2006
I'm 29 and have been taking Ortho-Tri-Cyclen for about 5 years or more and have had no problems from it (as far as I can tell). But recently my insurance dropped it and I had to pick up the generic- something called Tri-sementic 28 (sp?) and I noticed a horrible difference. I became instantly depressed and crying uncontrollably as little as 15 minutes after having taken the pill. I felt paranoid and my stomach was in knots. So I ended up flushing the packs down the toilet. So the question I have is, are there any side affects to getting off Ortho-Tri-Cyclen? Also, if I can get Ortho Lo cheaper through Planned Parenthood, is it worth trying for, or should I just forget that since the regular seemed to work? A part of me is curious to see if how I'll react to getting off this pill since it's become unavailable through my insurance, or is it better to just try to stay on it? For the time being, however, I have to be off of it for the short term, but will it screw up my system all that much should I choose to start back up on it again? Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

AskDocWeb: The side effects are only that your periods may be irregular for awhile. Others have said that they were not happy with Ortho-Lo as far as moodiness and other side effects they were having. But as you know, not everyone is the same and it may work just fine for you. Planned Parenthood sounds like it may be worth trying. It seems we are giving insurance companies a lot of power over us when we let them tell us, "This is how life should be." Some of us are quite capable of making our own decisions.

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