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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo Review

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is a combined oral contraceptive containing a low dose of female hormones. This drug is oriented on the ovulation suppression as a method of pregnancy prevention.


Indications for Use

  • It is used to prevent pregnancy;
  • It is used to treat acne;
  • This medication can also be used for other indications. In this case, consult with your doctor.

Mechanism of action

The decrease in serum concentration of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is observed. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo provides a direct suppression of LH especially in the middle of the cycle. The main mechanism of action of this birth control pill is a suppression of ovulation adding an impossibility for spermatozoa to attach to the uterine cavity. It is also observed the formation of dense viscous mucus with the cervical gland. As a result, it becomes difficult for sperm to penetrate through the genital tract.

Mode of application and dosage

Apply Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo as prescribed by your doctor. The recommended daily dosage is 1 pill taken at one and the same time.

  • Follow the directions of the doctor or follow the instructions inside the package.
    Take this medication at about the same time of day.
  • Take regardless of food intake. Take with food if the medicine causes nausea.
  • Do not skip the drug, even if you rarely have sexual intercourses.
  • When vomiting or diarrhea is present, this drug’s effectiveness can be decreased. Use other contraceptives, such as a condom, until you consult with your doctor.
  • If you have not had menstruation for 2 menstrual cycles, do a pregnancy test before starting a new course of taking the drug.


  • If you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol, norgestimate or some other component of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to similar drugs, any other medications, foods or other substances. Tell your doctor if you have allergies and symptoms such as rash, hives, itching, short breathing, wheezing, coughing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, or any other symptoms.
  • If you have any of the following health problems: predisposition to thrombosis or blood clotting, hemorrhages of different nature, breast cancer or another form of cancer in which tumor growth depends on the hormone content, damage of bran or cardiac blood vessels, impaired cardiac valve function, cardiac dysfunctions, chest pain caused by angina pectoris, heart attack, blood stroke, hypertension, liver disorders or tumor, very severe headache or migraine, or diabetes, affecting the blood flow.
  • If you have had any of the following diseases: endometrial, cervical or vaginal cancer, or vaginal bleeding of unknown etiology.
  • If you have had an operation which requires a bed rest.
  • When there is a skin yellowing during pregnancy or taking an estrogen or hormonal contraceptive.
  • If you are pregnant or can become pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
  • If you are taking Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir and Ritonavir.

Smoking cigarettes during the use of this drug increase the risk of very serious side effects relating to the heart and blood condition. This risk increases with age (especially for women over 35 years of age). Also, the risk is increased during the number of cigarettes smoked. It is highly recommended to refrain from smoking. Do not use this medication if you smoke and you are over 35 years old.

Side effects

In rare cases, in some patients, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo may cause serious, and sometimes deadly, side effects. Immediately visit your doctor or medical establishment if you have the following symptoms that may belong to the severe side effects:

  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, urticaria, pruritus, red and swollen skin, fever, wheezing, chest or throat tenderness, short breathing, speech impairement, uncommon hoarseness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue.
  • Symptoms of liver dysfunctions, such as urine darkening, feeling tired, lack of appetite, upset stomach or abdominal pain, pale stools, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes.
  • Signs of high blood pressure, such as a very severe headache, or dizziness, or loss of consciousness, or visual impairment.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • A weakness of one side of the body, difficulty with speaking or thinking, problems with maintaining balance, swelling one side of the face or blurred vision.
  • Depression.
  • Mood swings.
  • Feeling extreme fatigue or weakness.
  • Severe pain in the abdomen.
  • Inflammation.
  • A difficulty with urination or change in the amount of urine released.
  • Tenderness in the mammary gland increased the sensitivity of the breast or discharge from the nipples.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Spotting or strong vaginal bleeding, which does not stop.
  • Exophthalmos.
  • Change of vision.
  • Loss of vision.
  • Change in contact lenses’ tolerability.

Immediately contact your doctor if you have symptoms of thrombosis, such as pain or a feeling of tightness in your chest; coughing with blood clots; dyspnea; swelling, a sensation of heat, numbness, discoloration, or pain in the legs or arms; difficulty with speaking or swallowing.


Drugs that have an influence on the induction of enzymes that metabolize estrogens, reduce the contraceptive effectiveness of hormonal drugs. There is a chance that these same isozymes can lead to a decrease in progestogen component in the blood concentration. Clinically relevant in this respect are drugs and herbal remedies that affect the enzymes involved in the biological transformation of contraceptive steroid hormones such as:

  • St. John’s Wort;
  • barbiturates;
  • carbamazepine;
  • phenytoin;
  • sulfonamides;
  • pyrazolone derivatives;
  • rifampicin.

It has been explored that some protease inhibitors and some antiretroviral drugs increase (for example, indinavir) or reduce (for example, ritonavir) the concentration of combined hormonal contraceptives.

Another type of interaction includes the violation of intrahepatic circulation of estrogens, as a result of which the excretion is accelerated and the concentration of ethinyl estradiol is decreased.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo you have to take it within 12 hours. It belongs to the aspect when you take active pills. If you skip taking a “reminder” pill you may not worry about it. If you hesitate how to act in the way you skip a dose you are welcome to visit a gynecologist. But it is better to control these birth control pills application and follow all doctors’ recommendations.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and pregnancy

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is contraindicated in pregnant women.

The epidemiological studies conducted have not explored the risk of birth damages in infants whose mothers have applied this drug before the pregnancy. Most up-today trials have also not discovered teratogenic effects, in particular, cardiac impairments in children born after the oral contraceptives’ application.

It is required to withdraw the hormonal contraceptives intake because it may have an influence on the breast milk. It may penetrate into it supplying an infant body with non-recommended hormone dose.

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