Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for birth control

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is a brand of combination birth control pills . This is a three-phase contraceptive pill ; this means that Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo contains three different doses of hormones within three weeks of taking the active pill in each pack.

Triphasic tablets are different from traditional monophasic tablets, which are made up of the same doses of estrogen and progestin.

Get Medical Information / Cindy Chang

Dosage and schedule

Each Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo monthly pack contains 28 tablets. The active tablets are made up of ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called norgestimate.

The amount of norgestimate in Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo increases slowly during the first three weeks of the tablet pack from 0.180 milligrams (mg) to 0.215 mg and 0.250 mg. The amount of estrogen remains the same at 0.025 mg.

These three-phase birth control pills are designed to more closely mimic the hormonal changes in your natural menstrual cycle. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo comes with a DIALPAK pill dispenser preset for Sunday start . However, you can also use it from the start of day 1.

Side effects

As with any type of hormonal contraceptive , you may experience some side effects from Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, but they usually go away within the first 3 months. The most common side effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo birth control pills are:

  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Bloody discharge or irregular bleeding
  • Problems wearing contact lenses.
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain and / or changes in appetite.
  • An uneven darkening of the skin (usually the face)
  • High blood pressure
  • Tender breasts
  • Headache and / or dizziness
  • Depression and / or nervousness.
  • Hair loss

According to the US National Library of Medicine, research shows that the combination of hormones in Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is generally well tolerated by most users. In a study of 1,723 women who took this contraceptive pill, only 4% (69 women) stopped using it due to side effects .

Another study published in 2009 looked at bleeding rates in healthy, sexually active Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo users across North America. Results showed that women using Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo had less unplanned bleeding / spotting during the first six cycles of use .

Non-contrast benefits

In general, combination birth control pills have been found to help regulate cycles, reduce painful menstrual cramps , help with menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) , and reduce the risk of colon, ovarian, and endometrial cancer .

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is believed to be particularly helpful in reducing devastating bloody bleeding and breakthrough bleeding that tends to be a typical side effect of birth control pills during the first three months of use.

A national study published in 2003 compared women taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo for 13 cycles to women taking Loestrin Fe (a birth control pill with lower hormone levels). Participants using Ortho Tri-Cyclen reported it :

  • Less breakthrough bleeding per cycle
  • Less breakthrough spotting / bleeding in the first 3 months
  • Lower rate of discontinuation due to irregular bleeding

Some combination birth control pills can also help treat acne . In 1997, Ortho Tri-Cyclen ( NOT Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo) received FDA approval for the treatment of moderate acne in biological women at least 15 years of age .

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is not FDA approved for acne, but studies published in 2017 show that low-estrogen pills (such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo) are effective in treating acne .

Efficiency

Combination birth control pills are a very effective and convenient form of contraception. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo birth control pills are 91% to 99.7% effective.

This means that with normal use, nine out of 100 users will become pregnant within the first year of taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. When used correctly, less than one person will get pregnant .

The type and amount of hormones in the combined contraceptive pill does not affect its effectiveness. All combination pills prevent pregnancy in the same way .

Research confirms that Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo continues to be an extremely effective form of birth control, despite having lower hormone levels than some pills.

Expenses

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo prices range from $ 45 to $ 140 per pack of tablets. A versatile alternative called Tri-Lo Sprintec is also available. You must be able to get the generic version of these birth control pills for free under the Affordable Care Act .

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is covered in more than 80% of most health plans. But if you are looking to buy Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (instead of its generic alternative), you will probably have a copay when buying this brand of birth control pill.

What to do if you miss a pill

Since hormone levels differ for each week you take the Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo pill pack, the instructions on how to forget one or two pills depend on which week they are in.

The following is a good rule of thumb to follow ( but you should always check the pill prescribing information that comes with each monthly pack).

A forgotten tablet – 1st, 2nd or 3rd week

If you miss ONE white , light blue or dark blue tablet:

  • Take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember
  • Take the next pill at the usual time.
  • You can take two tablets in one day.
  • No additional contraceptives are required.

Two missed pills: week one or two

If you miss TWO tablets in a row, white or blue :

  • Take two tablets on the day you remember
  • Take two tablets the next day.
  • Then resume taking one tablet every day until you finish taking the pack.
  • Use backup birth control for the next seven days or you could get pregnant.

Two missed tablets – 3 weeks

If you miss TWO dark blue tablets in a row AND it starts on Sunday :

  • Continue taking one tablet every day until Sunday.
  • Throw the rest of the package on Sunday
  • Start a new pack of pills the same day
  • You may not have a withdrawal period this month
  • Use backup birth control for the next seven days or you could get pregnant.

If you miss TWO dark blue tablets in a row AND you start on day 1 :

  • Throw away your current pack of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo tablets
  • Start a new package the same day
  • You may not have a withdrawal period this month
  • Use backup birth control for the next seven days or you could get pregnant.

Three missed pills: weeks 1, 2 and 3

If you miss THREE or more consecutive white , blue or dark blue tablets AND Sunday starter :

  • Continue taking one tablet every day until Sunday.
  • Throw away the rest of the package on Sunday.
  • Start new
  • You may not have a withdrawal period this month
  • Use backup birth control for the next seven days or you could get pregnant.

If you miss THREE or more consecutive white , blue or dark blue tablets AND Start day 1 :

  • Throw away the rest of the pill pack
  • Start a new package the same day
  • You may not have a withdrawal period this month
  • Use backup birth control for the next seven days or you could get pregnant.

Any Missed Pill – Week 4

If you forget one of the seven dark green "reminder pills":

  • Throw away forgotten pills
  • Keep taking the green pills every day until the pack is gone.
  • You do not need a backup method of birth control
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