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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. You can use the form below to add your comments, feedback or Ortho Tri-cyclen review.

Subj: Went off the pill
Date: 4/26/2004
I have been taking the pill for about 7 months and about a month ago I went off of it. I have had sex since then and used condoms - none of them broke. Now I'm having my period or what I think is my period its more of a brownish discharge. I've had it for about 4 days and normally I start my period 3 days from now while being on the pill. Are my periods not normal because I'm off the pill or could this be something else?

AskDocWeb: Both. It take time for your natural cycle to return and condoms are not 100 percent effective. We've seen failure rate ranges from 1% to 29%. And that was when the condoms were used correctly to be effective. One study reported that 44 percent of the heterosexual couples wait too long to apply condoms, and 59 percent wait until after first penetration to apply the condom. That is too late.

Subj: Changing back
Date: 4/27/2004
I took ortho for 4 years and loved it, no problems, no weight gain and less cramps. I just starting taking ortho lo and am switching back after my second period on the pill. Ortho lo has caused severe bloating to the point where my boyfriend can "see" the water retention and it is everyday, not just before the period. I also felt pregnant after the first month and my abdomen looked it! I highly recommend regular ortho and will write again upon my changing back....

Subj: 7 months on ortho lo
Date: 4/28/2004
I have been taking ortho lo for about seven months now and I hate it. My periods last for two weeks, I have gained ten pounds, and have had major mood swings (depression). I am almost to the point of resorting to condoms.... or abstinance if I don't stop taking these things. My doctor assured me that these side affects are normal and will eventually go away. It's been seven months! How much longer does she expect me to suffer?

Subj: Miscarriage
Date: 4/28/2004
I took ortho-tri-cyclen for about six months, it worked very well for me. I stopped taking it so I could get pregnant and I did one month later. When I went to my doctor I wasn't told I would need to worry about my uterus being thinned out by the pills, I had a miscarriage 6 weeks into the pregnancy because of my uterus being too thin. At this time I was told after birth control to wait 3-4 months before getting pregnant. Ortho worked good for me while I used it, I'd just like to pass on my information about getting pregnant after. I'm sure it won't happen to everyone, but if letting people know about this keeps them from going through a miscarriage if they don't really have to it'd make me feel a little better about what happened to me.

AskDocWeb: Thank you, Krysta, we appreciate your sharing.

Subj: Acne
Date: 4/28/2004
I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen for 5 years (since my sophomore year in high school). I recently got off of it when I broke up with my high school sweetheart and wanted to get back to my old self again physically and hormonally. I went from 123 to 110 lbs in a matter of weeks but my face erupted like never before! It was nice to be skinny again, but so painful to look in the mirror at age 21 and see myself as the acne plagued teenager I never was! I stayed off of the pill for four months and the horrendous breakouts never ceased. I have now been back on Tri Cyclen for a month and haven't seen any changes in my face yet. I know it will take several months, but what happens when I decide to have kids? It seems the longer I stay on the pill the more my body is becoming dependant on it for hormonal stability. The scars on my face make me fear the idea of ever getting off the pill again!

AskDocWeb: In general, the older you get, the less acne is a problem.

Subj: Love it
Date: 4/30/2004
I absolutely LOVE Ortho Tri-Cyclen! I was weary in the beginning because I was extremely depressed the first 2 or three months, and gained 5-8 lbs in a matter of days. When I called my Dr. about it, she said to stick it out at least 3 months to let my body adjust, and it was totally worth it. I rarely experience any side effects, and I lost whatever weight I gained in the beginning, and a little more. I don't know if my weight loss is due to the pill, but I definately have not gained any weight since taking the pill. My skin looks great, and I absolutely love it! My only fear is when I stop taking it. I have been taking ortho for 5 years now, (I'm 25 yrs old) and I'm concerned that if and when I ever stop taking it I will gain weight, my skin will break out and whatnot. I had acne before I started the pill, so will I more than likely have acne again when I stop? Is weight gain possible AFTER someone stops taking the pill?

AskDocWeb: Maybe someone would like to share her experience of going off the pill.

Subj: What is wrong?
Date: 5/1/2004
Last week I was really sick- i felt feverish for awhile and now I'm coughing and i have a runny nose- I'm coughing up flem every once and awhile too. I noticed that I was having brown discharge... I'm on Ortho Tricyclen LO and I just started the green sugar pills today. What could be wrong? :-/ or could I just have a cold and will it go away on its own or after my period... Please write back!

AskDocWeb: This website is about user feedback and side effects, not medical advice. Please don't expect a diagnosis from a website, any website. If you think something is wrong, go to your local doctor.

Subj: Discontinuing
Date: 5/3/2004
I have been on the pill for about four months, I liked the results, however I noticed I was getting extremely depressed. It got so bad that I had to go off the pill because it affected me emotionally. I have been off it for a month now and have noticed I've been very irritable. I also noticed that my period came a week late. Is this normal? and What other side affects can I expect after discontinuing dosage?

AskDocWeb: This is something we are asking readers to let us know about.

Subj: Unprotected sex?
Date: 5/12/2004
I have been taking Ortho tri Cyclen for about 4 years and I love it but last Tuesday, when I had only started a new week that Sunday my fiancée and I had unprotected sex. I was wondering if there is a chance I could be pregnant. I was also wondering how long it takes for the pill to be effective when you start a new pack. I heard a week and I also heard 3 days. My fiancée does not see the point in taking the pill if you have to keep using condoms for 2 of the 3 weeks of using the pill. Can you please help me? Thanks.

AskDocWeb: After you have been on the pill for two weeks you can discontinue the use of condoms unless you need to protect yourself from a disease. Because you have been taking Ortho for 4 years, you can have unprotected sex anytime during the month. Using condoms is to protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, but you have been with the same partner for years, so there should be no cause for concern. Hope this lightens the load you have been carrying on your shoulders for such a long time.

Subj: Gaining weight
Date: 5/17/2004
Is it common to gain weight after you get off of the pill? I've maintained a weight of about 119lbs (I'm 5'3") before and during the time I was on the pill. When I got off the pill in November, however, I've noticed I started gaining weight. I peaked at 135lbs in March. I gained 16lbs in 4 months! I started a new job around the same time I got off the pill and I do sit more but this seems like a lot of weight gain for someone my size. Please advise.

AskDocWeb: No, it is not common to gain weight after going off the pill. Sitting more at your new job needs to be balanced with either more exercise or a reduced calorie diet. Otherwise you will continue to add pounds.

Subj: Extreme moodiness, sadness and bloating
Date: 5/19/2004
I was taking Ortho Tri-cyclen for about 5 years. Prior to that I had been on another pill for 5 years. Last month I quit the pill due to slight weight gain, headaches and illness during my first week of the pill pack. The side effects became too much. My question is, I have noticed extreme moodiness, sadness and bloating lately...I am on the week that I would typically be getting my period while on the pill. Is this PMS or side effects from going off the pill? I feel a little crazy and girly here and am worried that I made a big mistake going off the pill. I am not used to being this weepy. Thanks for your help.

AskDocWeb: Users have reported that they have gone through a period of one to three months of various side effects while their body returns to normal - whatever that is for you.

Subj: Horrible
Date: 5/20/2004
I was taking a generic bcp called enpresse for about 7 months and each month my skin would get worse and worse until my face was just continually breaking out. Before I took this pill my face was not bad at all. I would maybe have one or two breakouts at a time. I just finished my first month on ortho try cyclen and my face is even worse. I'm horribly broken out by my chin and mouth and my forehead. I'm not sure if I should wait or just stop taking it.

Subj: Ortho lo
Date: 5/21/2004
I have only been on ortho-lo for a few days. I was switched from a different pill used for women breastfeeding. I have had to go to the bathroom constantly since I began. Also, the fourth day in I felt sad about weird things. The sixth day, I had an out of control temper. Now late at night, I feel anxious. Could the strange moods and overactive bladder be side effects of the ortho-tricylen lo? I remember when I went off of the regular ortho tricyclen, I had a horrible temper.

AskDocWeb: According to the feedback we receive, yes, many others are going through or have gone through much the same experiences.

Subj: Complaints
Date: 5/22/2004
I have currently been using ortho tri-cylen lo for about a month and a half. I experienced breast swelling and chest acne. The most perplexing "side effect" is since I have been on the pill my throat has been sore and I have been sick. I asked the doctor and he told me he had never heard of such a thing. However my friends doc at the University of Florida research hospital told her that he won't recommend the lo because he has had such complaints. I was put on the pill to help clear up cysts on my ovaries which are now gone and I will be going off the pill at the end of this cycle. I will let everyone know if my sore throat and cold go away.

Subj: Missing a dose
Date: 5/23/2004
I recently began taking Ortho Tri-Cylen (7 days) and the package insert says it's safe to quit using other forms of birth control, however, friends have told me I should wait longer. I've also heard that you have a 3 hour window in which to take the pill or do you need to take it the exact same time every day? I'm freaked out about having another unplanned pregnancy and would like to have the right information.

AskDocWeb: The information on the package insert comes from the manufacturer. They are the authority on the use of their product. Other authorities you could talk to would be your doctor, nurses, and your pharmacist. On the other hand, you don't say what medical training your friends have. They may know something we don't. If so, please let us know.

According to the manufacturer, if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you realize you've missed one, and then take your next dose at the regular time. This may mean taking 2 doses on the same day. If you miss more than 1 dose, read the patient information that came in the package and USE ANOTHER KIND OF BIRTH CONTROL until your next period begins or for 7 days.

Subj: Rash
Date: 5/24/2004
Hi, I've been on Ortho Tri Cyclen for about 3 years. For a few months now I have noticed a rash in my neck. It comes and goes, it's only like one bump, you could say that it looks like acne but it isn't. It's just really itchy. I thought that it was my jewelry that was causing this but even when I stopped wearing jewelry around my neck the rash is still appearing. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I do not take any other medications except for the BCP. Any advice will help. Thanks.

Subj: Not to worry
Date: 5/25/2004
I used to have horrid PMS mood swings. Have been taking ortho tryclen for 4 years now, and an antidepressant and have been FINE. Just switched to ortho tricyclen lo in mid cycle, and spent the last 2 days [sugar pills start tomorrow] more miserable than I have been in YEARS for no other reason. Fortunately a friend pointed out that a change in the pill can do this. Am mentioning this so that others will know not to worry that they will never be normal again, should they have a similar experience. If you have something that works, stick to it.

Subj: Brown spotting
Date: 5/25/2004
Hello, I started Ortho Tri Cyclen 3 months ago. I had really bad skin problems the first 1-2 cycles, but now it is finally improving. Sadly, now on my third pack, I have had brown spotting after my regular period for 2 extra weeks! Does anyone know why this is? I don't want to change brands - should I just wait it out?

Subj: Going off the pill
Date: 5/31/2004
I was on Ortho Tricyclen for 5 years. I did gain about 10 pounds on it and I have had a very hard time going back to my pre-birth control weight while on it. It worked wonderfully for the first couple years... then I began to notice that I was getting depression and irritableness at the same time each month. It got to the point where I would have to warn people because I knew it was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. Then in my 5th year I began to get breakthrough bleeding... every month. I would start a new pack, and have a period one week into it, my period would end one week before the "REAL" period was due - and of course I would have it again. After a couple months of this - I decided to go off the pill because I was told it was no longer working for me and I would no longer be able to use it. Now I am in my first "natural cycle" in 5 years. My emotional level has been wonderful... I have not had any mood swings or depression. BUT I have been having consistent severe cramping now for 5 days... with no menstrual period. I am beginning to get worried. Hopefully it is just my body trying to adjust but I will update you if it is anything serious or a side effect from pill.

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