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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: Gained 25lbs
Date: 6/1/2004
I have been using ortho tri-cyclen for about 1yr and 5 months. After a year of using it I gained 25lbs, the doctor said that the pill wasn't the cause of it, but ever since I started I have gained a lot of weight. I've never had a problem with my skin, but my periods are much more regular now. Also I never sat and thought about how emotional I got sometimes, for no reason at all. There came a point that I would get furious at my boyfriend for the dumbest reasons. After reading these comments I think I'm going to try getting off of the pill and see if I loose weight or see what changes my body has. Good luck to u all.

Subj: Not recommended
Date: 6/3/2004
I have been taking bc since I was 17 (now 22) first I started with Ortho, I was on it for 4 yrs. I kept getting headaches, so I switched to yasmin, which gave made me moody and I have been taking ortho-lo for 4 mos. now and I hate it. It makes me feel sick, I noticed that I am bloated all the time, and I have no energy at all. I really do not suggest Lo at all.

Subj: Period cramps and painful breasts
Date: 6/6/2004
I had been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen for years, and now about 5 months ago, was switched to Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. My periods have been different since the switch. I have had a very dark brown/black discharge with clots nearly every month, which lasts for a few days, and that is it. Only once have I had a regular red blood 4-5 day period. Now this month, I feel like I am getting my period-cramps and very painful breasts, but the 4th week in the cycle is over and it has never come. Today is Sunday, and I guess I will start a new pack, and call my doctor tomorrow. Anyone have an opinion on this?

Subj: Diarrhea and stomach cramps
Date: 6/9/2004
I've been on the pill (Ortho) for 4 days now and I have had mild diarrhea today.. is this a side effect of the pill or something? also- I have some mild cramping in my stomach, which might be associated with the diarrhea. Is it normal to feel a weird, sort of hungry feeling in your stomach when taking the pills? It's not a "normal" hunger feeling, but it's similar.

AskDocWeb: Diarrhea and stomach cramps are an indication of overdose. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage.

Subj: Shrinking
Date: 6/10/2004
I've been on Ortho-tri-cyclen for five years, and it was great for my skin and everything else. I went off it because I was in an accident and the doctor wanted to decrease my estrogen. Alesse caused high blood pressure and shrunken breasts (with purple stretch marks). So I switched to Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo. In one month I've had two yeast infections, brown discharge, and have gained two sizes in my breasts (up to an E) and now that the cycle is over they are shrinking and dropping to a DD - for the first time in five years. The sag is not good. What I'm worried about is that any cyclical pill will do the same with my breasts - and did even Ortho-tri-cyclen do this? My breasts hurt like hell and they look worse than they did two months ago. Any suggestions?

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 6/10/2004
I have been on ortho for about one and a half years. About 8 month ago I noticed that I was losing more hair then normal. I did read that this could be a side effect and was just wondering how bad it could get? Does anyone else have problems with hair loss? Other then that ortho has been great I actually lost weight and my acne cleared up completely.

Subj: Lost sex drive
Date: 6/13/2004
I recently took ortho tri-cyclen for a month. I stopped taking it because I noticed that I lost my sex drive and the desire to do anything. I felt empty and unlike my usual myself. I am glad I noticed these side effects so quickly. I have realized that my hormonal cycle is an important part of who I am, and do not plan on taking hormonal contraceptives again. I am considering an IUD -- I think that a more "localized" method of birth control makes more sense.

Subj: Scared
Date: 6/13/2004
hello..I have been on tri-cyclen for about a year and a half now and me and BF just had sex during my first week or tri-cyclen. We used a condom but it broke, but he didn't cum...I know there's such thing a pre-cum but I don't know if I am now at a high risk of pregnancy because I take the pill at 10:30 pm everyday and I had sex on my 6th pill @ 5:30pm or so and the condom broke so am I at a high risk now of being pregnant!?!?, I'm scared and I'm very young!

AskDocWeb: From your description it sounds like your risk of pregnancy is very low. Please talk to your doctor to make sure you understand when to use a condom. It sounds like you may be using them more than is necessary.

Subj: Acne
Date: 6/12/2004
Two years ago, I started taking Ortho-tri-Cyclen for the sole purpose of clearing up my acne. It worked great! However, a year ago I got a red rash around my mouth, which was apparently Perioral Dermatitis. I spent hundreds of dollars going to my dermatologist, but had no luck. Finally, out of desperation, I went off the pill. It worked, my rash cleared up!
However, after a month or two my acne came back. I recently starting taking Orth Tri-cyclin hopes it'll make my acne go away without causing my rash around my mouth.
Does regular Ortho Tri-cyclen work better on acne than Orth Tri-cyclen Lo? Or does it vary from person to person?
In the mean time, I'm taking Tetracyline until the pill has time to start working on the acne. Thank You!

AskDocWeb: Ortho Tri-cyclen has a beneficial effect on most women's acne, although the effect does vary from person to person. Ortho Tri-cyclen LO is NOT the same as Ortho Tri-cyclen and we have seen no evidence that it is effective for acne.

Subj: Weight gain
Date: 6/14/2004
Hi there, I've been on birth control for 6 years now. The first 5 years, ortho tri-cyclen, and it was great! Then exactly a year ago, my DR. prescribed the Lo version. I have gained 20 lbs in the past year and haven't changed anything regarding my diet & exercise! I'm very active and take great care of my body but all of a sudden this weight came out of no where! It really stinks and I just realized that the pill must have done it!! My Dr. put me back on the regular Ortho and I'm hoping to lose weight!

Subj: Sugar pills?
Date: 6/14/2004
I have been on Ortho Tri Cyclin for 2 months and I am on the end of my second pack. I was told that the center pills are the "sugar pills", or "fake pills," but I am confused because that would mean I am only taking 3 weeks of normal pills so it sets my period back a week every month. What's the deal with that?

AskDocWeb: The idea of the sugar pills is to help you maintain your habit of taking birth control pills on a regular basis. It does not set your period back but instead, it maintains your timing.

Subj: Pregnant!
Date: 6/16/2004
I have been married and have been on Ortho Lo for about 2 years now. I have NEVER missed a pill, EVER. I just found out 2 days ago that I am 4-5 weeks PREGNANT!!! How can this happen? I have had NO drug interactions at all. Could it be defective pills? What is the % of a failure rate? My gyno told me 2-3%, is that correct?

AskDocWeb: The pills are not likely to be defective. Unfortunately, it is not 100% effective for everyone.

Subj: The right birth control?
Date: 6/22/2004
Hi, I had just written, but the more feedback I read the more I don't think ortho is the right form of birth control for me. Is heartburn a normal side affect?

AskDocWeb: The right birth control for you is something you really need to talk about with your doctor. We did not see heartburn listed as one of the side effects.

Subj: Tired of being sick?
Date: 6/23/2004
I've been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for just over a year now and I love it. For anyone who is taking Orth Tri-Cylen and are having extreme vomiting and so for, I would recommend trying Ortho Tri-Cylen LO. Most of my friends take the the regular Ortho, while I have been taking the Lo and I have never gotten sick like them. Also I have not gain as much weight as my friends who are taking Otho Tri-Cylen. I hope that Ortho Tri-Cylen LO works for any of you who are tired of being sick :)

Subj: For Acne?
Date: 6/27/2004
Is ortho tri cyclen better or worse to take for acne.

AskDocWeb: Better or worse than what? Ortho Tri-cyclen is the only pill approved in the United States for the improvement of acne.

Subj: Changing pills while on vacation
Date: 6/28/2004
I took a sample pack of Ortho TriCyclen Lo on the advice of my nurse practitioner. Usually I was on regular Ortho, and she advised me how to use the Lo to ward off my period while I was on vacation (starting the Lo when ordinarily would have taken green placebos in old pack). Instead, I not only had the period while on vacation (albeit 5 days late...3 days into vacation...) it has remained ever since - it will be three weeks tomorrow! So take it from me, that trick didn't work here. Instead of having no period, I have had a 21-day and counting one!

Subj: Weight loss
Date: 6/30/2004
I am looking for info on weight loss I have been on ortho lo for 3 months and have lost 4lbs. If anything, I have become less inactive but continue to drop lbs. has anyone else had this happen?

Subj: Freaked out
Date: 7/1/2004
I was on Ortho Evra for a couple of months, with no side effects other than the adhesive allergy I developed. My doctor switched me to Ortho Tri-Cycin (or at least the generic counterpart) and my body went nuts. I was constantly nauseous. Then I started having problems with my vision. I keep getting these blurry spots that eventually go away. My doctor took me off of the pill, and he told me that if it happens again I should go to the emergency room and get a CAT scan. It happened again today, and I'm really freaked out because I don't know what is happening. Any ideas?

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you have something going on that may be unrelated to the birth control. Follow your doctor's advice and get that CAT scan.

Subj: Always tired
Date: 7/1/2004
I was taking Triphasil which made me look and feel enormous and my skin was a mess. I switched to Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo and it's been three months. My skin has cleared for the most part and I have not noticed as much weight gain except during the third week of pills but am not feeling like myself. Always tired and just blah. Can't quite explain it but after reading some other postings am thinking it has something to do with the pill. Seriously considering discontinuing and want to be me again. Don't know what to do. Will things improve in a few months if I stick it out?

AskDocWeb: From what we have read, things are not likely to change much from three months to six months.

Subj: Switched back
Date: 7/3/2004
I switched from Yasmin to Ortho Tri Cyclen lo, after a month of bloating, break outs, and weight gain, I have switched back . Yasmin is the only pill I don't feel disgusting from.

Subj: Question for readers
Date: 7/6/2004
I began taking Estrosep when I was 18, but about six months later it was discontinued from the clinic that carried it for financial reasons, so I switched to Ortho Tri-Cyclen. With both pills I experienced weight gain and extreme depression as side effects. Six months after starting Ortho I quit because the side effects were too much. It has been about 8 months that I have been off the pill and realize that I really should be back on it but am afraid the side effects will return. My question is: Is there anyone out there who suffered side effects from normal Ortho and then switched to the Lo form and experienced fewer side effects with Lo? Or are both forms pretty much the same?

Subj: Trying to get pregnant for over two years
Date: 7/6/2004
I was on ortho tri-cyclen for almost 2 years. I stopped taking it in October of 2001 because we wanted to try to get pregnant. Here it is 2 1/2 years later, and I have not had one period on my own since I quit taking the pill, and I haven't got pregnant. My doctor gave me some hormone pill a couple of times to have a period, but it's been over a year since I've even had that. I do not know if my problem is due to taking this pill. I was told it could take up to 6 months for my body to get back to normal, but I'm still waiting. Has this ever been an issue with the pill?

AskDocWeb: This is a new one for us. Has anyone else had this experience?

Subj: Switching
Date: 7/7/2004
I have been on ortho tri-cyclen for the past 7 years with little problems except occasional break-thrus. In march, my obgyn switched me to ortho tri-cyclen lo and I have had nothing but problems. In 6 months, I have gained 12lbs, I am constantly irritable, have terrible headaches, and break-through bleeding almost constantly. I am considering going back on regular ortho tri-cyclen, but I am afraid switching again may cause me to gain more weight. Has anyone made this pattern of switching or does anyone know if I am likely to experience more weight gain? Thanks!

Subj: Nodular pimples
Date: 7/8/2004
Like Jee, I am also having huge red nodular pimples on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo on my cheeks and jaw. You said several women experienced this but not whether it went away or whether the pill should be stopped in such an instance.

AskDocWeb: The large pimples should go away if you discontinue the Ortho Tri-cyclen Lo. Stopping or switching is something you should decide with your doctor's help. That way your medical history and current condition can be considered in the decision.

Subj: Increased sensibility and depression
Date: 7/8/2004
I have been on tri cyclen lo for only about 20 days but I have increased sensibility and depression. Can I go off the pill now...and if I can, will these side effects go away? Thanks, it's really nice to have a website like this.

AskDocWeb: Almost the same answer we just gave Sarah. Talk to your doctor about switching. There is no reason to put up with these kinds of side effects.

Subj: Yeast thing
Date: 7/8/2004
I was wondering if you found any research on the whole yeast happened to me for 2 years and forced me to stop taking the pill. It has been 2 weeks but I have been experiencing weird clear discharge, is this normal?? It's not yeast and it's not irritable.

AskDocWeb: Yes, we put together a page on yeast infections here. Suggest you have your doctor culture that discharge to find out what it is.

Subj: Swithing
Date: 7/8/2004
Recently I asked my doctor to switch me from ortho-lo to regular ortho tri-cyclen because I was experiencing problems with acne. She told me that they are trying to put everyone on ortho-lo, and that in about a year ortho tri-cyclen will not be available. Is this true? :(

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