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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: Scared
Date: 8/10/2006
I've been taking ortho tri-cyclen lo for about 2 years now and I just recently took antibiotics because I was sick about 2 weeks ago but I didn't have sex when I was taking them because I know it messes up birth control but I just started a new pack and my boyfriend put it inside me without a condom but he didn't go. I'm scared because I was only on the first pill of the month.

AskDocWeb: Since you took the birth control pills continuously and you were off the antibiotic at the time, you'll be fine. If you had stopped the birth control pill at any time while on or off the antibiotic then you would have something to worry about and would be taking chances. So relax, you are okay.

Subj: After quitting
Date: 8/10/2006
I recently stopped taking Tri-nessa after taking it and Ortho for over a year. I want to know how long it will take for my periods to become normal because I think I am a little late on my period.

AskDocWeb: Your period should be regular within 3 months.

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 8/11/2006
I just started taking ortho tricyclen a month ago and have noticed my hair seems to be falling out (I notice it more in the shower) I used to be on this pill a couple of years ago and then they switched me to orthonovum about 4 years and about 6 months ago I stopped taking the pill and now I am back on it. I had this same reaction when I got the depo shot a couple years and decided to discontinue that. What could be causing this? Should I stop taking this pill? Or will that make it worse?

AskDocWeb: Hair loss seems to be common with many birth control pills. Discontinuing the pill will stop the hairloss, not make it worse.

Subj: Acne
Date: 8/11/2006
This is my first month on Ortho lo and I was told by my doctor that this bcp was proven to help acne. A week into taking the product I broke out and it doesn't seem to be letting up. With each cycle on the dial a pac (increasing hormones with each cycle) I seem to have another break out. I've done some research and I know that acne is causing by the skin's inability to slough off dead skin cells. This information seemed logical to me seeing as though aside from the skin on my face breaking out, my arms and legs seem to be peeling in the shower. I believe the Ortho lo may be inhibiting my skin to slough off dead skin cells and that may be what's causing the break outs. I also read that Ortho lo is not yet proven to help acne. My acne has never been bad in the past but it has worsened and is very depressing. Please help.

AskDocWeb: Several readers have reported that Ortho-Lo has caused acne, increased their acne or made it worse. The Physician's Desk Reference lists acne for Ortho lo under Adverse Reactions.

Subj: Experience with Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
Date: 8/12/2006
I've been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for about nine months. I've never missed a pill and try to take it around the same time every day. For about the first three months on the pill, I would get extremely depressed and tired on the third week of the active pills (Dark Blue). Also, I had decreased lubrication with, oddly, an increased libido. During the third month on the "dark blue week," I had *very* sore breasts. So sore that I couldn't do anything comfortably. After the first three months, though, the pill seems to be working wonderfully. No decreased libido, my lubrication is back up, my skin is clearer than it was before the pill (Although the week before my fake period, I still breakout.), and my periods are finally regular. I still have cramps, but not too horrible. Unfortunately, I do think that it's harder to lose weight now that I'm on Ortho Tri-Cylen Lo. Even with diet and exercise, pounds just don't come off as I'd like them to. I haven't really gained an abnormal amount of weight, but I also can't lose anything. All-in-all, I'm happy with Lo. I just wish I could safely skip periods, though, like my friends on monophasic pills do. But, they're also moodier than I am and have gained a lot more weight.... I guess it's a trade-off.

Subj: Early menstruation
Date: 8/13/2006
My first period was when I was nine years and ten months - is it possible I will go through menopause early since I started early? What caused me to menstruate so early? I am Catholic (probably why I abstained/waited to see a gynecologist so long), but I am 29 and not a virgin. I haven't had sex since I was 16. I have irregular periods but I am morbidly obese. I had psychosis from ages 12-13, and have seen therapists on and off from age 12 through college. I use Retin-A and doxycycline for severe acne (the best). I have never had a pap smear and will go to the gynecologist for the first time on Friday. Rarely do I have severe cramps, but the one or two times I did, it knocked me out of commission for two days of bed rest (pain mostly in my back, as opposed to my stomach as a preteen). Can I try Ortho Tri-Cyclen? What other pill would you recommend?
M. C.

AskDocWeb: You can take any birth control pill your doctor recommends. Just because your period started earlier than most, that doesn't mean you will start menopause any earlier. The manufacturer says you can expect a 10-20 lb. weight gain.

Subj: Lost cup size
Date: 8/22/2006
I have been on many different birth control pills (including the cheapest there is, called "select"), and this is the first pill that I ever noticed to have any side effects. It makes me naucious to the point of throwing up sometimes, and it makes me very vulnerable to bladder infections. I have always been a light bleeder and periods only lasting 4 days, but on this pill I bleed heavily for over a week. I also noticed a huge loss in breast size, a whole cup smaller, which in my case is not a good thing. I am changing my pill to any of the others I have used in the past, I believe this pill is designed more for the promotion of getting rid of acne instead of focusing on the real concern, not getting pregnant. PS. I have never had an acne problem, I don't know why my doctor would put me on such a questionable pill when others in the past have worked perfectly...possibly motivation by the company?
Not feeling so well

Subj: Acne
Date: 8/23/2006
Hello ladies: I am been taking Metformin for PCOS since June 2006, 1000 mg, twice daily. 5 weeks ago my endocrinologist added Ortho Tri Cyclen as I was having periods for 3 weeks non-stop every 2 weeks. I got my period last week, during my 2nd day of green pill. The flow for the first 2 days was very, very heavy with severe cramps. However, my acne went out of control during the green (dummy) pills. I had 20-25 cysts, acne all over my chin & jaw line (no kidding), never had this before. Has anyone had any similar experience with OTC. Is this just for the first month until my body gets used to OTC & will be back to normal or this might happen every time I am on green pills. Ladies, anyone with similar experience? I am leaving on a vacation / honeymoon in 5 weeks & would hate to have acne flare up during that time.

AskDocWeb: Ortho Tri-cyclen has improved acne for many women, but it takes time. We suggest you make an appointment with a dermatologist or buy the best acne care over the counter and get to work. Congratulations on the new life ahead.

Subj: Bad review
Date: 8/24/2006
Ortho tricyclen lo is horrible do not ever use it moodiness, crying all the time and being pissed off...

Subj: Skip period for honeymoon?
Date: 8/26/2006
I have been on tri cyclen for 7 years now I recently go married and I am leaving for my honeymoon in 4 weeks today. I am going to be getting my period the day we leave. Is there a way I can keep taking the pill to stop it or change things up so I don't get my period when I go?

AskDocWeb: You can skip the sugar pills and start a new pack to hold back your period but we really don't suggest doing that. If you do it may cause breakthrough bleeding, cramping and disrupt your cycle.

Subj: Switched to lo and back to regular ortho tri-cyclen
Date: 8/27/2006
I had been taking ortho tri-cyclen for 4 years when my school doc switched me to lo b/c they didn't carry the regular stuff. At first I thought great, bit then decided I didn't like my nipples being so sensitive and sticking out all the time. Pph switched me back to regular ortho, but now in my 2nd week of pills I'm spotting the dark brown colored blood with some clots. I'm not sure if it's from switching back and forth or if I could be pregnant or miscarrying. It's making me really nervous, so much so that I'm afraid to even take a pregnancy test. Any advice?

AskDocWeb: You will be okay, it sounds like your body is confused by switching back and forth. It will take time to adjust to the new birth control pill.

Subj: Can't drink when using ortho tri cylen
Date: 8/27/2006
I have a question. I've been taking ortho tri cylen for a month now and I've noticed since I started taking it I haven't been able to drink any type of alcohol whatsoever. I'm not a big drinker but I noticed once I started taking it if I had one drink id throw it up in 2.5 seconds. I was never like this before and I was wondering if it could be the pill that's doing this to me.

AskDocWeb: There is nothing about this listed in the side effects however, there are a few reports of an increased sensitivity to alcohol in those using Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Let's see if anyone else has the same problem.

Subj: Bad side effects
Date: 8/27/2006
I was on Ortho-tri-cyclen for 6 years. My doctor put me on it when he prescribed Accutane. I did a course of Accutane in 1998 and had to do it again in 2000 because I broke out badly again (while still on Ortho). About 2 years ago, my insurance switched me to tri-sprintec, a generic version. For about as long, I have been experiencing debilitating fatigue, muscle aches, inability to recover from exercise (muscles ache for days after mild to moderate exertion...usually very mild because I'm so tired), ankle swelling, about an 8 pound weight gain that is impossible to take off, very bad mood swings, crying more than usual.

Every doctor I have seen has referred me to a psychiatrist for depression, not one has mentioned the birth control. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist for November. I'd like to go off the tri-sprintec now and see if that helps first. Is it possible it's causing my symptoms? I am so tired it's affecting my whole life, but I'm afraid if I go off the pill I will break out badly and it may not be what's causing my issues.

AskDocWeb: If your symptoms started the same time you started the new birth control it would make sense that this was the cause. It doesn't sound like a psyche problem at all, not with the visual swelling. Weight gain is a normal report from most or all birth control pills. Many women have reported mood swings and crying with some birth control pills. We like your plan to discontinue the pills to find out what happens. Please share your results with others here.

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