Feedback on Ortho Tri-Cyclen, page 158

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: Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo Leg cramps and insomnia
Date: 12/29/2010
I’ve only been taking OTCL for 3 days, but within the first day I started getting cramps in my calves and insomnia. I have High Blood Pressure but it is controlled with my meds. Last doctor apt. it was 100/69. I always get leg cramps and insomnia anyways with my monthly period so I’m not sure if this is just my normal reaction or if this is something that I need to worry about. Many sites say the cramping is severe but I get those even without BC. Thoughts?


AskDocWeb: Although many side effects are considered harmless, leg cramps may indicate a blood clot in the leg so be sure to check with your doctor. Of course there are many other causes of leg cramps: potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, diabetes, and peripheral artery disease so it is important to find out what is causing the cramps.

Subj: Completely overwhelmed by emotions
Date: 1/1/2011
I have been on OTL for 6 months now and have never felt worse in my life. I’m depressed and moody. I cry all the time. I’m irritable and angry and pick fights for no reason. I’m restless and volatile and feel like I have no control over my feelings. I feel completely overwhelmed by my emotions. I haven’t felt like myself and just feel completely anxious and trapped in my own skin. I stopped taking it a few days ago because of all this and still feel the same. How long does it take for these side effects to go away once I stop taking it?


AskDocWeb: Some women start feeling better right away but it could take up to three months for your hormones to return to normal once the pill is out of your system. Many women have found that taking a vitamin B complex supplement helps stabilize their mood.

Subj: Missed 4 pills
Date: 1/2/2011
Hi, I am currently on tricyclen-lo and I use the Sunday start method. I have been on this pill for many years, possibly 6+. I can’t really remember. I missed 4 pills from the 2nd week. I missed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then remembered Saturday evening so I took 2 pills Saturday, and I was thinking to just keep taking 2 pills a day until I catch back up to regular routine. Now, I am getting pain in my lower stomach. It feels exactly like period cramps. I had sex Tuesday night, I think, and then Friday night (early Saturday morning). Please help me as I am very worried and I don’t know what is going on with these cramps I’m getting…


AskDocWeb: Whenever you miss 2 or more pills in a row, there is a possibility of conception and use of a back-up form of birth control is recommended. You COULD BECOME PREGNANT if you have sex in the seven days following missing pills. Please talk to your doctor about this in order to correct your understanding of what to do when missing so many pills.

Subj: Plan B morning after pill
Date: 1/4/2011
Can taking a plan B “morning after pill” cause any false positive results on a 13 panel drug test?

Morning after pill

AskDocWeb: No birth control pill has been reported to cause any false positives on a urine drug test that tests for drugs of abuse. However, over 200 substances have been identified that may cause a false positive on a drug test. See the list here.

Subj: No period yet
Date: 1/7/2011
I stopped taking Ortho Tri Cyclo after taking it for 6 years. I did stopped taking it for a month or so within those 6 years but never experience what I’m experiencing now. I finished all the pills as I suppose to and got my period on November 8, 2010 as it should come and did not continue the pills. I haven’t gotten my period yet and its almost January 8, 2011, 2 months and nothing. I have been sexually active but all urine test come out negative for pregnancy. I’ve been off the pill before but still had my period. Could I be pregnant?


AskDocWeb: While it is typical to get a period soon after stopping the pills, that doesn’t always happen. There are several reasons for missing a period (amenorrhea), even if you aren’t pregnant. Here is a partial list:

  • Acute illness involving fever
  • Anemia and malnourishment
  • Hormonal imbalance: variations in estrogen and progesterone levels
  • Overdoing a diet
  • Perimenopause and menopause
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Rigorous sports activity, which is beyond vigorous
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Sometimes periods are missed for no apparent reason
  • Stress
  • Switching to other birth control pill

If you miss two periods in a row then it is recommended that you see your doctor.

Subj: Missed 3 light blue pills
Date: 1/8/2011
I have been taking ortho tri cyclen for about 10 days I’ve missed three light blue pills and I had unprotected sex I started bleeding alot. I’m taking birth control to get rid of my cyst but I can seem to get it right could I be pregnant what are the light blue pills for.


AskDocWeb: The white and the light blue or blue pills are “active” pills, which means that they are providing the drugs that prevent conception. If you miss 3 or more of the active pills, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the seven days after you miss those pills. Hopefully you read the instructions about what to do if you miss 3 or more pills. If not then you need to talk to your doctor.

Subj: Lactation and Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Date: 1/15/2011
do you know if it is possible to induce lacation using ortho tri cyclen? i tried yaz and had terrible bleeding even w/o the last week of pills (back to back active pills). thx.


AskDocWeb: On the contrary, combined contraceptives (including Ortho Tri-Cyclen) may decrease both the production and quality of breast milk. It is generally recommended that breastfeeding women avoid using Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Research suggests that the hormones in this pill pass through breast milk in low amounts. Although the amount is probably too low to cause significant problems, there have been a few reports of jaundice and breast enlargement in babies whose mothers took other combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.

Subj: Chicken skin
Date: 1/16/2011
I started the pills last month and about maybe a week ago, I noticed that my inner thighs are very dry–it looks like chicken skin and is spreading. Could this be from the pills?


AskDocWeb: It is not listed as one of the possible side effects however, your “chicken skin” may be a disorder called Keratosis Pilaris (KP). The skin may take on a sandpaper like appearance with small, acne-like bumps and rough patches that appear most commonly on the back, upper arms, buttocks, and thighs. KP is a common condition and estimates indicate that as many as 40 to 50% of adults and 50 to 80% of adolescents worldwide have this disorder. Fortunately, KP is typically not a serious condition and it is not contagious. However, the skin is unpleasant to look at and the condition is difficult to treat.

While the exact cause of KP is unknown, it may be a sign of low thyroid activity. Most likely it is related to the overproduction of keratin, a hard protein in skin, nails, and hair. The bumps on the skin result from an excess accumulation of keratin at the opening of hair follicles. It is similar to other conditions like dry skin, ichtyosis vulgaris, allergies, xerosis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis.

Subj: Headaches nausea and boobs hurt
Date: 1/20/2011
So I’ve been on Ortho for about 3 weeks now, and since the first week I’ve had minor headaches. Now I’m in the 3rd week of pills- before the inactive pills, and I’m nauseous, I wake up nauseous sometimes. I don’t eat much anymore, and my boobs hurt. I’ve never had unprotected sex, and I always take my pills at the same time. My upper abdominal region hurts as well. Anyone else experiencing these problems?


Subj: Mood changes
Date: 1/24/2011
I have been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for just short of a year now…I have recently moved up to college and have been very moody and stressed by the whole situation. The past month my prescription ran out and so I was off the pill for about a month (also happened to be when I am at home for the holidays) my mood returned back to normal and I was happy as can be. Even after a week back at school I was still happy with life. I started the pill again yesterday and last night spazzed on my boyfriend for no apparent reason. Today…i feel just as anxious and annoyed with the world. Does this sound like the symptoms of the medication or just the stress of college?


AskDocWeb: As you said, you were happy that first week back at college and your mood didn’t change until after starting the pill so… the feelings you are having could be caused by the Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. If you think the moodiness might damage your relationships then discuss this with your doctor.

Subj: Acne, pimples and Ortho Lo
Date: 1/28/2011
I took Ortho Lo for four months. When I first started, I only noticed mild differences, I had brown discharge and mild yeast infections before I would get my period. However, about 2 weeks into taking the pill, I started to get bad acne. I thought this was due to to the fact that I was stressed because I had been jobless at the time and low on money. The acne got worse, to the point where I started avoiding mirrors and was very self conscious. (Bad time for acne, too because I was going to a lot of interviews.) Anyway, I read that your body needs about three months to acclimate itself to the new hormones. I tried everything to make the acne go away and washed my face with several products. It was soo frustrating, so embarrassing and the whathaveyou. Additionally, I had to start wearing concealer (ew). It sucked. My face looked like hell. Also, the pimples came out of nowhere, and they were like boils. Awful. You couldn’t pop them.

ANYWAY… when I hit month four and the acne was still horrible, I finally decided to go off of it. Within a week, I noticed a difference in my skin. It looked better! It’s been about a month and a half since I got off Ortho Lo and my skin has definitely improved BUT I’m still waiting for the scarring to heal (because it did leave scarring, a lot of it). Aside from the acne, which was the worst aspect about this experience, I also had mood swings (which pissed me off because I’m normally laid back) and I would stress about dumb sh*t. I had to keep myself in check a lot. I would recommend that if your face is so embarrassing looking when on the pill that you can’t even look people in the eyes, get off the pill and tell your boyfried to wear a condom. I mean, afterall, why should us women have to go through all of this when the guy can just wrap his little one with no immediate side effects??? Hmm???


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