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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: Almost died
Date: 3/21/2006
Ortho Tricyclen could have literally killed me. I know that this sounds intense, but it's true. About 3 months after I started taking it, I woke up one morning with the WORST stomach pain. It was actually located right under my left rib. I had a bout with vomiting and almost went into shock. For the following year I would have bouts like this almost every three months. In between these horrific bouts I would feel nauseous and just not right. Well, almost exactly a year to the date of my first episode with stomach pain, I was rushed to the ER due to another episode. After doing extensive testing on me, they found out that I was having acute pancreatitis. Since I'm not a drinker and am not overweight, they had no idea why my pancreas would be acting up.

After doing my own research and talking to my doctor, I found out that estrogen (from the pill) cause this problem. The pharmaceutical company would never want us women to know this because that would mean an end to their industry, but I really encourage as many of you as can to get off the pill. It does nothing but destroy your body. I have been off of it for about 4 months now and have had NO problems. I can't even believe how great I feel. So, if any of you are having a problem with the pill, please get off of it!

AskDocWeb: For those not familiar with pancreatitis, it is a swelling of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is often a result of a damaged gallbladder. The symptoms are severe abdominal pain moving to the back, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. The skin may also become jaundiced (yellowing). Acute pancreatitis is often fatal.

Subj: Spotting
Date: 3/22/2006
I have been on tri-sprintec for this month only, I started spotting about midway through the cycle of pills, what does this mean, is it normal?

AskDocWeb:Yes, this may occur for the first three months while your body is getting used to these new pills. If the breakthrough bleeding or spotting does not stop after that, consult with your physician. There is no need for this to be happening longer than the 90 days.

Subj: Went off the pill
Date: 3/22/2006
Two months ago I quit taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and haven't taken a pill since. I had somewhat unprotected sex 29 days ago, and am worried that I might be pregnant. Last month, my period came regularly, and a friend suggested that I might just have my period late due to the fact that my body's adjusting to not being on birth control. I took an OTC pregnancy test two days ago and it came back negative. Still, I'm very scared that I'm pregnant because I'm now a day late. What are your thoughts?

AskDocWeb: It does take about 90 days for your body to regulate itself after going off the birth control pill but yes you could be pregnant. Do another pregnancy test in a week to make sure. Some couples use two condoms at the same time just in case one happens to break.

Subj: Constant discharge
Date: 3/23/2006
I was taking Mircette for the past couple of years but I started getting painful cramps, headaches, and bad PMS acne. My new ob-gyn just switched me onto the Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo instead. It hasn't even been a full month yet but my face has been constantly broken out since I started this new pill. With the Mircette at least my face only broke out the week before my period but cleared up once my period started. Also I have been experiencing a constant clear discharge, but it's not like an infection. I'm just dreading what my next period will be like. Will my body adjust to this new pill where these side effects clear up or should I call my Dr and have her switch me back to the Mircette or maybe to another pill?

AskDocWeb: Others have noted that Ortho Lo does not help with their acne. They have had to use over the counter acne products for it. The constant discharge you are talking about isn't supposed to be happening. It's nothing bad of course, but why bother with it if you don't have to. Your doctor will likely tell you to wait out the 3 months time that it takes for your body to adjust to the new pill before changing to another or back to the Mircette.

Subj: Lower sex drive
Date: 3/24/2006
I started taking the ortho tricyclen lo pill about 2 months ago. I am still experiencing bleeding in between my regular cycles, and I have absolutely no sex drive. I have not had any problems with past pills as far as bleeding, but I have had continuous problems with the pills and low libido. Now, I feel as though I am experiencing some depression. Is there a birth control pill out there that doesn't lower sex drive?

AskDocWeb: Different pills affect people differently, talk with your doctor about which one may work better for you. Ortho Lo is one of the lowest, being at 0.025 compared to ortho tri-cyclen at 0.035 mg of hormone.

Subj: Weight gain with Ortho Lo
Date: 3/24/2006
Since I started taking Ortho Lo 6 months ago, I have noticed a 20lb weight gain. Also, within the first week of taking it I began to get headaches two or more time a week, BAD cramp the week before and the week of my period. my boyfriend also has pointed out to me that since I began taking ortho lo, I have been impossible to get along with I have NO sex drive and I have the WORST mood swings. I'm 18 and have no sex drive, and people ask me if I'm pregnant because one moment I can be laughing the next minute I can be pissed because the wind blew the wrong way. My question is, is the shot worth trying? Is it possible it will help relieve my problems??? Thank you,
PS, I have also noticed an increased amount of hair in my brush, could the pill be causing my hair to fall out?

AskDocWeb: We have a low opinion of the shot, too many say that it isn't worth trying at all. Any birth control pill can cause some hair loss and by the time your 50 you will notice it more after being on the pill 20 years.

Subj: Acne breakouts
Date: 3/26/2006
I have been on the birth control patch for the last 10 months. For the past two months I have been getting regular acne breakouts. When I was on the pill my breakouts would only usually come right before my period. Now that I am on the patch could the different hormone levels be affecting my skin?

AskDocWeb: Yes, it could. Don't depend on birth control by itself to correct an acne problem, it just won't work. Sounds like it is time to get out the over the counter acne products. It takes work to keep on top of an acne problem but it's worth it to have the skin you want.

Subj: Pregnant?
Date: 3/26/2006
I'm on my second month of taking trinessa. I had sex with my boyfriend last week (Thursday) and I started my inactive pills 2 days ago, but I haven't started my period yet. Is this normal for the first few months, or could I be pregnant? We used my birth control pills (I've never missed one), a condom, and spermicide. I would really appreciate the info.

AskDocWeb: Yes this is completely normal for you not to start your period exactly on time for the first three months. You should not be pregnant with all the safety precautions you have used, so don't worry.

Subj: Switched to ortho tricylen lo
Date: 3/26/2006
I was on ortho tricylen for many years (8+ years)...recently switched to ortho tricylen lo to see if it helps with my monthly migraines, which I get every month during the week of my period. Do you think this will help with those? Also, I have been extremely tired/lethargic since I have been on this pill- is this common and do you think it has anything to do with the pill switch?

AskDocWeb: It may be possible to reduce the pain with your migraines, but not get rid of them entirely. Being lethargic sounds a bit extreme but if you are, it may be a good idea to have blood work done to find out if you are vitamin b-12 deficient.

Subj: Control your period?
Date: 3/27/2006
I was wondering if it is possible to control your period because I am going to the beach next week with my boyfriend and it would be HORRIBLE to have my period. Unfortunately I am scheduled to start it in the middle of the week... I take cyclessa... I've been on it about three months... PLEASE HELP!

AskDocWeb: I know a trip to the beach isn't the time to have your period, but how many trips to the beach will you have coming up and how many times will you have your period in that time. Don't change your mensis cycle over this, it causes consequences that are not comfortable. Breakthrough bleeding, bleeding for longer amount of time than a normal cycle, and cramps, it's just not worth it.

Subj: Early period or spotting
Date: 3/29/2006
Hello, this is my second cycle back on Ortho Tri-cyclen since being on Trinessa. Is it possible to get an early period or spotting from doing so? Thank you.

AskDocWeb: Yes, it is a normal thing to happen and should straighten itself out within the next month. If spotting continues past that time, tell your physician about this problem.

Subj: Balancing hormonal levels
Date: 3/29/2006
Hi, I used to take ortho tricyclen to balance my hormonal levels, but since I was on it for years my gyno suggested trying ortho lo and spotting and cramps occurred. Since then I have tried Trinessa (the generic of ortho tricyclen) and the regular ortho cyclen...but since then my skin has been reacting horribly! I'm breaking out a lot now and my cramps are question is, does trinessa clear one's skin like ortho tricyclen does or is tricyclen the only one?

AskDocWeb: Ortho tricyclen seems to be the only one. Every time you change birth control pills your body needs about three months to adjust to the new drug. That's where the spotting and cramps came from so give it time.

Subj: Discontinuing birth control
Date: 3/29/2006
I just stopped taking Ortho Tri-cyclen low after about 10 years. What can I expect to happen to my body, moods and my periods? I haven't had my first "real" period yet. Ortho was great but my hubby is now fixed :) Thanks,

AskDocWeb: It will take about 3 months for your body to become regular again, and you may find that your period will be a little heavier.

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