Feedback on Ortho Tri-Cyclen, page 160

About Ortho Tri-cyclen®

If you’ve used Ortho Tri-cyclen®, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. 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: Rash and extremely sleepy
Date: 3/7/2011
My wife recently started getting a light, itchy rash on her body. She first noticed it around her belly button along with a few tiny hive-like (sometimes scab-like) spots. Today her upper back was very itchy with a light rash there too. We’ve been trying to figure out what it could be. We haven’t changed anything (such as detergents or bedding type) and she’s tried lotions and aloe vera and other products to relieve the itching and rash (with only a little bit of success). She’s also been extremely sleepy lately. This last weekend she slept all day long and when she got up she felt lazy and kind of hazy throughout the evening (most days are like this as well). The only thing we can figure that’s different is she is now on the pill (Ortho-Tri-Cyclen) for the last month.

On the positive, her period was a lot lighter and shorter and her complexion has been improving (to her delight), but she is not thrilled about the itchy rashes and sleepiness. Could these be serious reactions or are they likely just typical body adjustments to the drug? She doesn’t normally take drugs of any kind, except vitamins and she eats heathy. Other than the rashes and sleepiness she hasn’t had any other serious side-effects that we are aware of.


AskDocWeb: Although rare it is possible to develop an allergic reaction resulting in hives from Ortho Tri-Cyclen so check with your doctor.

Subj: Does Cephalexin effect Tri-Sprintec?
Date: 3/8/2011
Does Cephalexin 500 mg effect Tri-Sprintec Birth Control pills?


AskDocWeb: The latest information we could find still says that antibiotic agents such as Cephalexin MAY impair the effectiveness of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives like Tri-Sprintec (ethinyl estradiol/norgestimate). However, the risk appears to be small and most of the supportive data comes from anecdotal evidence out of case reports and findings from uncontrolled or poorly controlled studies.

Until further data are available, women using oral contraceptives are being advised to use alternative or additional methods of birth control for at least one week beyond the last dose of short-term antibiotic use, and for at least the initial weeks of long-term antibiotic use.

Subj: I could skip my period
Date: 3/21/2011
I’ve been on Tri-Sprintec for a month. I decided to take one white pill then stopped taking it and started taking my next pack of pills so I could skip my period for the month as I had an event I didn’t want my period interrupting. I am on my third day of the new pack and I have had severe stomach cramps since I skipped the remaining white pills. I also haven’t been able to orgasm and I just had sex for the first time since being on the pills. Sex for me really hurt and it never had before. Is this normal and will it clear up? Would skipping the white pills affect this in any way? Will I eventually orgasm? Am I protected from getting pregnant since I had sex unprotected? Thank you.


AskDocWeb: While it is possible to skip a period by skipping the sugar pills, there is always a risk of unwanted and unpredictable spotting, cramps, and other problems if you do. Unpleasant side effects are one reason why skipping pills is not recommended. Another reason is that unintended pregnancy has resulted from attempting to skip a period by skipping the sugar pills. It is not normal to experience pain during sex so check with your doctor about that. And thank you for sharing your experience with trying to skip a period. Hopefully it will convince others that skipping a period is a bad idea.

Subj: Heat of the moment thing
Date: 3/23/2011
I just switched from the depo to the pill. i been on it for 6 days now and i’ve had unprotected sex 3 or 4 times. what are the chances of me geting pregnant? please help! my hubby and i couldn’t help it, was a heat of the moment thing. scared


AskDocWeb: If you didn’t use a back-up form of birth control then there is a chance of becoming pregnant. You may want to make use of a home pregnancy test kit.

Subj: Leg cramps and bright red toes
Date: 3/25/2011
I’ve been on Ortho for about two years now, and overall I’m really happy with it. I’ve always had pretty severe periods, (cramps etc) but after I started this it was 100 times better! I’ve really not had any major side effects, other than I gained a little weight. I don’t know if this would be related or not but I did notice when I started taking it that my toes would often be bright red/purpleish and my legs would sometimes cramp. I associated it with the pill because I’d always heard it could cause blood clots in the leg. That was about a year ago, and I don’t seem to have the problem anymore.


Subj: When do I start my second pack?
Date: 3/25/2011
Hello, I was on the depo shot for years, but I have decided to try Ortho tri cyclen pills. My question is the following: When do I start my second pack? The first sunday of my period like the first pack?? or it is different?


AskDocWeb: It is important to take the pills EXACTLY as it is prescribed or you can run into trouble. The package insert that comes with the pill has directions, which say to take one pill each day until the pack is done. The very next day the first pill of the second pack is taken so that you are still taking one pill each day and no days are skipped between packs.

Subj: Heart seems to be beating out of my chest
Date: 3/27/2011
Hi, I been on OTC Lo for about a week and I know that there are side effects to be expected for up to 3 months, I’ve had the nausea and vomiting for only the first 2 days and loss of appetite which I’m guessing is probably due to the vomiting, but now my heart seems to be beating out of my chest making me feel like i need to constantly take deep breathes and I feel like I’m getting shakes sometimes or like little twitches in my arms and hands and when I stand up I feel very dizzy, Is this normal? Im 21 years old and I’m about 5’11” and weigh about 145 pounds.


AskDocWeb: Your symptoms are not the normal expected with this drug. They are warning signs that should be reported to your doctor.

Subj: What’s wrong with me?
Date: 3/29/2011
I stop taking birth control the last week of February it’s about to be April and I still dont have a period yet, but I also have been sexually active. I have experienced breast tenderness, stomach cramps but no period. What’s wrong with me?


AskDocWeb: There may not be anything wrong with you but you would have to check with your doctor to be sure. Since you have been sexually active, there is the possibility of pregnancy. Have you used a home pregnancy test?

Subj: Gaining weight
Date: 3/29/2011
I NEED HELP! I have been on ortho tricyclen for about three weeks and my acne is getting better slowly. But I have gained weight! It is so frustrating because I have been excersing too, but not losing any of the weight! Will this continue, or is it just bloating or something? How do I lose this weight?! What do you think I should do and when do you think my acne will be gone by? Thanks you!


AskDocWeb: Many birth control pills can make you gain weight both directly and indirectly. Some pills cause higher insulin levels, which stimulate the appetite leading to indirect weight gain. Other pills may cause weight gain directly because of the estrogen, which can lead to water retention. Deciding what to do is difficult because everyone is just different enough that their response to birth control pills varies. Many women loose weight taking the same pill that may be causing you to gain weight.

Improvements in acne may take up to 8 weeks to show up and should reach maximum results by the sixth month.

Subj: High anxiety plus headaches
Date: 3/30/2011
How long will it take for the anxiety effects from ortho tri cyclen to go away? I was on tri sprintec for 8 years and had no issues. My skin was pretty clear, stopped feeling terribly sick during my period, and never had any unsual emotional fits. My insurance had me switch to ortho cause it ended up being cheaper. I took ortho for 2 months and became a totally different person in the worst way. At first I didn’t see a difference then i started getting cramps two weeks before my period with light spotting. Then in the 2nd month, I got anxiety and depression really bad for no reason. The doctor had me get off of ortho and I’m going to switch back to tri sprintec in a month. I’m still feeling high anxiety plus headaches after 10 days being off of Ortho. How long will these effects last?


AskDocWeb: That varies with the individual. If the symptoms were caused by the birth control they may disappear within a few weeks of discontinuing. Feel free to call your doctor if the anxiety and depression get too bad. Hang in there.

Subj: Gained 20 lbs while on the pill and another 10 after quitting
Date: 4/9/2011
I just came off of tri cyclen after a yr, and was on two diff. types of b/c before that. I gained 20 lbs while on the pill…the rest was okay though. A month ago, i came off the pill and now i am experiencing wierd stomach feelings, mild cramping, frequent urination, some constipation, bloating and gas. I have gained 10 lbs since coming off it and am wondering if i am pregnant or its just from coming off the pill.


AskDocWeb: Many women report losing weight after coming off the pill. Have you used a home pregnancy test?

Subj: Light Creamy Discharge
Date: 4/14/2011
I’m On Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo And I Took One Day 3 Hours Late. It Was After Me And My Boyfriend Had Unprotected Sex But He Didnt Ejaculate. For The Next 2 Day I Had A Litlle Bit Of Very Light Creamy Discharge And Then Stoped Yesterday I Noticed Some On My Panties Please Help And It Doesnt Mean That Im Pregnant 100% Right? Can it just be a pill effecting me?


AskDocWeb: A light, odorless discharge is totally normal. This is the body’s way of keeping things clean down there. If it bothers you, you might wash a little more, and use panty liners to keep it off your underwear. If it get worse, turns yellow, or gets a fishy odor then get it checked.

Subj: Moderate to heavy bleeding
Date: 4/20/2011
Hey there.. I am on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and have been for almost two weeks now. I took regular Tri-Cyclen but I suffered from severe Panic attacks so I thought going on a lower dosage would be better for me. Well I started bleeding and have little tiny clots in there as well which scares me because I recently had an abortion which led to me hemorrhaging from infection from the abortion and the mirena I had in previously being in crooked. I dont know what to do… so please help me so I can put my mind at ease.. the blood is moderate to heavy. I’m scared.


AskDocWeb: Because of the history of hemorrhaging you should check with your doctor. There are numerous reports of bleeding when first starting Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo but if there is a serious problem it is better to catch it in the beginning. Read more feedback

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