Ortho Tri-Cyclen Frequently Asked Questions

The Pill: Facts and Frequently Asked Questions about ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) and ORTHO-CYCLEN (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions related to
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) and
ORTHO-CYCLEN (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) oral contraceptives.

1. Are ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN effective?
2. What makes ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO CYCLEN different from other oral contraceptives?
3. Is it true that ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is proven to help eliminate blemishes and maintain clearer skin?
4. Why do some packages of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN or
ORTHO-CYCLEN have green pills?

5. How do ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN work?
6. In addition to preventing pregnancy, are there other benefits to taking birth control pills?
7. When I take combination birth control pills, will I gain weight?
8. Does the pill cause acne?
9. How long can I stay on the pill?
10. Would I need to take a break every so often from the pill?
11. Will the Pill make me less fertile when I'm ready to get pregnant?
12. What if I want to become pregnant?
13. Is it necessary to take a break from using the pill?
14. What should I do if I take other medications?
15. Are there any risks associated with taking the pill?


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Are ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN effective?

Yes. Oral contraceptives are one of the most effective methods for pregnancy prevention. However, as with all oral contraceptives, your pill must be taken every day - at the same time each day - to be most effective.

What makes ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN different from other oral contraceptives?

ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN contain a progestin called norgestimate. Norgestimate has very little androgenic activity and may be less likely to cause unpleasant side effects among its Pill users. What's more, both ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN, packaged in the ORTHO DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser, or the ORTHO PERSONAL PAK dispenser, helps you take the right pill day after day.

Is it true that ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is proven to help eliminate blemishes and maintain clearer skin?
Yes. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is the #1 prescribed birth control pill and clinically proven to help eliminate blemishes and maintain clearer skin. Studies show that, overall, 9 out of 10 women tested saw improvement in their skin. So, if you are at least 15 years old, desire contraception, have no medical reasons not to use the pill, have menstrual periods, and do not improve on topical anti-acne medications, then ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN may be right for you.

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Why do some packages of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN or ORTHO-CYCLEN have green pills?
A package with green pills is a 28-day regimen. The green pills contain no active ingredient, but are intended to help you take your pills correctly. Take the green pills after all the other pills have been taken, as a reminder to continue onto your next pack of pills.

Your ORTHO DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser is labeled with the days of the week, so you'll know exactly which pill to take each day. If your package contains green pills, be sure you take a pill every day at approximately the same time. Once you have taken the last green pill, begin a new cycle of pills.

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How do ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN work?

Birth control pills, including ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and
ORTHO-CYCLEN, work by preventing ovulation, which means your egg is not released and, therefore, can't be fertilized by sperm. The pill also causes your cervical mucus to become thick, making it difficult for sperm to enter your uterus. You can feel very confident that your pill is working to prevent pregnancy.

In addition to preventing pregnancy, are there other benefits to taking birth control pills?
Taking birth control pills may make your periods become more regular and your flow lighter. A lighter blood flow may may mean that you'll lose less iron. Cramps and other menstrual symptoms are usually less severe when you're on the pill. Women who use the pill are also less likely to develop ovarian cysts or experience an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. Your chances of developing acute pelvic inflammatory disease, (a serious infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and/or ovaries) are also minimized when you're on the pill.

When I take combination birth control pills, will I gain weight?
For most women, the answer is usually "No." An equal number of women tend to lose weight as gain weight while taking a birth control pill. If you are concerned about gaining weight from the Pill, you should talk to your healthcare professional about which combination of hormones is right for you.

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Does the pill cause acne?
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is clinically proven to lower the level of a hormone that is likely to cause acne. Therefore, it helps to maintain clear skin and get rid of moderate acne.

How long can I stay on the pill?
Surveys show an increase in the number of women going on the pill and staying on it longer. In fact, products such as ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN can be prescribed by a doctor, to healthy, non smoking women after age 40, provided that there are no risk factors which may make taking the pill inappropriate. But how long you would like to stay on the pill is something you should discuss with your physician or health care professional.

Would I need to take a break every so often from the pill?
There is no need to take a break from the Pill. Even if you are not sexually active at a particular point, if you keep taking ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN®, you may continue to receive all of the health benefits which this product may provide in addition to preventing pregnancy. In fact, switching to a less effective form of birth control increases your chances for an unplanned pregnancy.

Will the Pill make me less fertile when I'm ready to get pregnant?
There is no evidence of the Pill affecting fertility. When you're ready to have a baby, just stop taking your pills.

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What if I want to become pregnant?
Just stop taking your oral contraceptive. There's usually no problem regaining fertility.

Is it necessary to take a break from using the pill?
No. In fact, switching to a less effective form of birth control increases your chances for an unplanned pregnancy.

What should I do if I take other medications?
Certain drugs may interact with birth control pills to make them less effective in preventing pregnancy or cause an increase in breakthrough bleeding. Such drugs include rifampin, drugs for epilepsy such as barbiturates (for example, phenobarbital), anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine (Tegretol® is one brand of this drug), phenytoin (Dilantin® is one brand of this drug), phenylbutazone, and possibly certain antibiotics. You may need to use additional contraception when you take drugs which can make oral contraceptives less effective.

Are there any risks associated with taking the pill?

Oral contraceptives are not for everybody. Most side effects of the pill are not serious. And those that are, occur infrequently. Serious risks, which can be life threatening, include blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks, and are increased if you smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially if you're over 35. Women who use oral contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke. Some studies have reported an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer among women who use oral contraceptives. However, the majority of studies have found no overall increase in this risk. You should talk to your doctor or health care professional about how this risk relates to your use of the pill. Some women should not use the pill, including women who have blood clots, certain cancers, a history of heart attack or stroke, as well as those who are or may be pregnant.

 

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