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Ortho TriCyclen LO

Classification: Birth Control
Generic Name: Ethinyl Estradiol and Norgestimate
Typical Brand Names: Ortho TriCyclen LO

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is a "triphasic" birth control pill. A triphasic birth control pill delivers a constant level of estrogen and three different levels of progestin throughout your cycle. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo delivers a lower amount of estrogen - 25 mcg compared to 35 mcg. This low level of estrogen was developed to help minimize the occurrence of nuisance side effects, such as breakthrough bleeding and spotting.

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Ortho TriCyclen Lo Directions To Use

Take Ortho Tri-Cyclen pills by mouth. Before you start taking these pills decide what is a suitable time of day and always take them at the same time of day and in the order directed. Swallow the pills with a drink of water. Take with food to reduce stomach upset. Do not take more often than directed.

Most products contain a 21-day supply of pills containing the active ingredients. Some products contain an additional 7 pills containing iron or inactive ingredients to be taken during the week of menstruation; this reduces the chance of missing the first day of the next cycle. Most products are to be started on the first Sunday after you start your period or on the first day of your period. You may need to ask your health care provider which day you should start your packet.

Before starting this medication, read the paper on your prescription provided by your pharmacist. This paper will tell you about the specific product you are taking. Make certain you understand the instructions.

Keep an extra month's supply of your pills available to ensure that you will not miss the first day of the next cycle.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Ortho TriCyclen Lo Warnings and Side Effects

Smoking cigarettes while using Ortho Tri-Cyclen may increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, high blood pressure, or other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. If you have vomiting or diarrhea for any reason, your medicine may not work as well. Taking certain antibiotics or anticonvulsants while you are using Ortho Tri-Cyclen may decrease the effectiveness of Ortho Tri-Cyclen. To prevent pregnancy, use an additional form of birth control until your next period. If you have any questions, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

If you wear contact lenses and you develop problems with them, contact your doctor. Before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Ortho Tri-Cyclen may cause dark skin patches on your face. Exposure to the sun may make these patches darker. If patches develop, use a sunscreen or protective clothing when exposed to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths. Use of Ortho Tri-Cyclen will not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Do not use Ortho Tri-Cyclen if you are pregnant. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. Ortho Tri-Cyclen is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Ortho Tri-Cyclen, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Severe side effects are relatively rare in women who are healthy and do not smoke while they are taking oral contraceptives. On average, more women have problems due to complications from getting pregnant than have problems with oral contraceptives. Many of the minor side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, the potential for severe side effects does exist and you may want to discuss these with your health care provider.

The following symptoms or side effects may be related to blood clots and require immediate medical or emergency help: chest pain, coughing up blood, dizziness or fainting spells, leg, arm or groin pain, severe or sudden headaches, stomach pain (severe), sudden shortness of breath, sudden loss of coordination, especially on one side of the body, swelling of the hands, feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain, vision or speech problems, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, especially on one side of the body.

Other serious side effects are rare. Contact your health care provider as soon as you can if the following side effects occur: breast tissue changes or discharge, changes in vaginal bleeding during your period or between your periods, headaches or migraines, increases in blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes, increases in blood pressure, especially if you are known to have high blood pressure, symptoms of vaginal infection (itching, irritation or unusual discharge), tenderness in the upper abdomen, vomiting, yellowing of the eyes or skin.

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your health care provider if they continue or are bothersome): breakthrough bleeding and spotting that continues beyond the 3 initial cycles of pills, breast tenderness, mild stomach upset, mood changes, anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, or emotional outbursts, increased or decreased appetite, increased sensitivity to sun or ultraviolet light, nausea, skin rash, acne, or brown spots on the skin, tiredness, weight gain.
Ortho TriCyclen Lo Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Ortho TriCyclen Lo Missed Dose

If you miss one dose, take the dose as soon as you remember or take two pills at the time of your next regularly scheduled dose. There is little likelihood that ovulation will occur. You may, however, want to use a second method of birth control such as a condom or a spermicidal cream, jelly, or foam for at least 7 consecutive days following the missed tablet to ensure protection from pregnancy. If you miss two tablets in a row, take the two missed tablets as soon as you remember or with your next regularly scheduled dose (three total). Or, you may take two tablets each for the next two regularly scheduled doses (one missed tablet plus one regularly scheduled tablet for 2 days in a row).

Chances are much greater that you may ovulate so you must use another form of birth control for at least 7 days following the missed tablets. It is even better to use a second method of birth control until your next period. If you miss three tablets in a row, throw away the package and start a new package on the 7th day after the last day you took a pill. Use another method of birth control until you have taken a pill for 7 days in a row. Your period should occur during the 7 days without pills. If it doesn't, have a pregnancy test before beginning a new package of pills.

Ortho TriCyclen Lo Overdose

Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of oral contraceptives by young children. Over dosage may cause nausea and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females.

Ortho TriCyclen Lo More Information

Your health care professional will take a medical and family history before prescribing oral contraceptives and will examine you. The physical examination may be delayed to another time if you request it and the health care professional believes that it is a good medical practice to postpone it. You should be reexamined at least once a year. Be sure to inform your health care professional if there is a family history of any of the conditions listed previously in this leaflet. Be sure to keep all appointments with your health care professional, because this is a time to determine if there are early signs of side effects of oral contraceptive use. Do not use the drug for any condition other than the one for which it was prescribed. This drug has been prescribed specifically for you; do not give it to others who may want birth control pills.

Ortho TriCyclen Lo Disclaimer

This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.