Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a combination contains a combination of female hormones (ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate) that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Take Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
You will take your first pill on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period begins. You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. When the pills run out, start a new pack the following day. You may get pregnant if you do not take one pill daily. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of pills completely.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden and severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
- a breast lump; or
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes).
Less serious Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen side effects may include:
- mild nausea (especially when you first start taking this medicine), vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- breast tenderness or swelling, nipple discharge;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin, increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- problems with contact lenses;
- vaginal itching or discharge; or
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Some medical conditions may interact with Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you smoke cigarettes
- if you have cancer, diabetes, headaches or migraines, endometriosis, epilepsy, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the blood, high blood pressure, recent surgery, breast nodules or abnormal mammogram, depression, gallbladder or kidney disease, irregular menstrual periods, urinary tract bleeding, or obesity
- if you have heart problems, elevated calcium in the blood, yellowing of the skin or eyes, pancreatitis, or tumors in the uterus
Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.
Some drugs can make Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before using Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- bosentan (Tracleer);
- an antibiotic or tuberculosis medication;
- drugs to treat hepatitis C, HIV, or AIDS;
- phenobarbital (Solfoton) and other barbiturates;
- St. John's wort; or
- seizure medications.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- dantrolene (Dantrium);
- lamotrigine (Lamictal);
- tizanidine (Zanaflex); or
- tranexamic acid (Cyklokapron, Lysteda).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
Follow the patient instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions. Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant.
If you miss one active pill, take two pills on the day that you remember. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack.
If you miss two active pills in a row in Week 1 or 2, take two pills per day for two days in a row. Then take one pill per day for the rest of the pack. Use back-up birth control for at least 7 days following the missed pills.
Store Generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen at room temperature away from moisture and heat.