(norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol)

Chemical Name - Ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate

Ortho tri cyclen drug is a combination of two hormones estrogen and progestin which acts as a contraceptive measure used to prevent or control unwanted pregnancy. These two hormones present in ortho tri cyclen works by blocking the process of ovulation as well as fertilization as it prevents the attachment of fertilized egg to the uterus by making the vaginal fluid thicker. As a result, the free egg passes out and pregnancy is avoided.

Apart from pregnancy, this medication is used to cure the problem of the irregular menstrual cycle, intolerable pain during menses and the problem of acne in teenagers.

Ortho tri-cyclen pills

Tablet dispenser refill of medicine Ortho tri-cyclen - 28 day oral contraceptive


  • The first tablet of ortho tri cyclen should be taken on the beginning day of the menstrual cycle.
  • One major benefit of using this medication is that no other contraceptive measure is required other than this while using this course.
  • One pill should be taken in a day.
  • The duration between two pills will not be less or more than 24 hours.
  • Do not miss the dose or overdose in order to prevent any adverse effects, if it happens by chance, visit a doctor immediately.
  • Follow each and every direction mentioned in the printed sheet of paper containing information which is provided in the packet of pills.
  • There might be breakthrough bleeding during the first three months of the medicine usage. However if the bleeding continues or is quite heavy, then you need to consult with your physician immediately.
  • If you have vomiting or diarrhea, then use another contraceptive measure like condoms along with the medicine.

While Ortho tri cyclen helps in preventing pregnancy, it will not protect you from STDs like AIDS and HIV. Keep the medicine stored at room temperature away from excess heat, moisture and of course children.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

The dosage is not more than one tablet per day, despite your age, under strict doctor supervision only. In case you have missed taking the pill, then there are more chances of you getting pregnant. When you miss one pill, you can take two pills on the next day and then continue with the same one pill per day for the rest of the pack.

If you happen to miss two pills consecutively, then you can take two pills in the next two days and then continue with the usual dosage for the rest. It is also important that you take other contraceptive measures for the next 7 days when you miss pills.

The dosage has to be modified based on when you miss out on the pills, whether it is in the weeks 1, 2 or 3. Depending on when you miss the pill and how many you miss, you have to either take extra pills or take a new pack starting on that day.

You should remember that missing out pills increases the chances of pregnancy and hence if you miss out on your periods, contact your doctor immediately.


Some preventive measures should be taken before starting this medication. The doctor should be informed if you have one of the following infections or problems

  • Allergic to the female growth hormones.
  • Allergic to some other things as this medication may cause hypersensitivity reactions.
  • History of disorders related to clotting of blood( protein C or protein S deficiency)
  • Uncontrolled and untreated BP/ Elevated BP
  • Breast cancer
  • Elevated cholesterol or triglyceride level
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • History of heart attack
  • Severe migraines
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Jaundice due to birth control pill
  • Edema
  • Thyroid problems
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoker older than 35 years of age

Side effects:

Every medicine like other, Ortho tri-cyclen also has some bad effects along with the good one. Consult a doctor immediately if one or more of the following symptoms were observed without any delay. These are

  • Missed, absent or irregular menstrual cycle
  • vision problem
  • changes in the color of skin
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • chills
  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea
  • a cough
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • a headache
  • welts or hives
  • itching on the skin
  • swelling on the lips, face, tongue, eyelids, legs, throat, hands, feet and sex organs
  • loss of craving for food
  • Heavy bleeding during menses
  • nausea
  • pain in arms, back, neck or jaw
  • pain, tenderness in the foot
  • pains in chest, groin or legs
  • rash
  • Edema
  • irregular heartbeat
  • stomach pain
  • problem in speech
  • troubled breathing
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness
  • vomiting

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. It is important that you observe the changes in your body and report any adverse effects immediately to your doctor.

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptive use.

Can you gain excess weight by taking this medicine?

There is a possibility of you gaining weight when taking Ortho tri cyclen. It is observed that the maximum weight gain women often experience is due to fluid retention rather than fat. If you want to avoid gaining weight when using this medicine, you need to stay away from alcohol, caffeine and of course sodium (salt). You can easily lose your weight thus gained with a diet and exercise routine.

Interaction with other drugs

The Ortho tri cyclen is a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol and there are many drugs that can react with these. From OTC medicines to vitamin and herbal supplements and other nutritional products, there are elements which can react to these drugs and produce an adverse effect. In fact, some of the medication you take can actually hamper the chances of contraception, making the medicine ineffective. It is therefore to your advantage to inform the doctor about all the medications you take and what you need to stop in order for Ortho tri cyclen to be effective.

Product Information

Drug Uses

Ortho Tri–Cyclen is considered one of the best drugs for birth control. The drug contains a combination of progestin and estrogen hormones, which helps in pregnancy control. It is also used for treating irregularities in the menstrual cycle and for treatment of menopause symptoms.

How Taken

Coming in tablet form, Ortho Tri–Cyclen is taken orally. The pills, which is taken one a day, should be taken regularly and at the same time for good results. It is better to take Ortho Tri–Cyclen either in the morning or before going to bed. You should not miss a dosage or start a pack late. While taking the pills, you may experience slight bleeding, spotting and also may feel stomach upset during the first 13 packs.

However, you should not have to stop the drug. Normally these side effects go away. But if it persists, you have to consult the doctor.

Missed Dose

You should have to take the missed pill as soon as you remember it. If more than one pill is missed, you have to see the doctor as he might advice some other precautions.

More Information

You should only take Ortho Tri–Cyclen only with a doctor’s advise. You should also go for regular yearly check up.


Do not smoke while taking Ortho Tri–Cyclen as it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you are taking anticonvulsants or antibiotics, then the drug will be less effective. Diarrhea can also lessen the impact of Ortho Tri–Cyclen. Before undergoing surgery, you have to tell that doctor that you are on Ortho Tri–Cyclen. The drug is also known to cause vision problems if using contact lenses or if you are nearsighted.

Ortho Tri–Cyclen is also known to cause skin darkening of the face. You should have to use sunscreens when going out.

Consult the doctor if you are taking any other medication with Ortho Tri–Cyclen.

Ortho Tri–Cyclen should be avoided when breast-feeding as it passes through the milk and is dangerous to the babe.