Ortho Tri-Cyclen

What is Ortho Tri-Cyclen?

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is an oral contraceptive for use by women. The active ingredients in Ortho Tri-Cyclen are norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol which are dispensed as oral tablets.

Drug Uses

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a combination of hormones prescribed as an oral contraceptive that works by preventing ovulation. Ortho Tri-Cyclen is also an effective treatment for severe acne.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is used to treat other medical conditions not listed in this information guide.


Ortho Tri-Cyclen must always be used as directed. Do not make adjustments to the dose before speaking to a doctor. When first using Ortho Tri-Cyclen it is recommended to use a secondary form of contraception for a short period. Discuss this with a doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Warnings and Precautions

Do not use Ortho Tri-Cyclen if you are allergic to norgestimate or ethinyl estradiol.

Do not use Ortho Tri-Cyclen if you have had jaundice caused by oral contraceptives, of if you have suffered with any of the following: blood clot, stroke, circulatory problems, breast or uterine cancer, liver cancer or liver disease, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or severe migraine headaches.

Tell your doctor if you have suffered with any of the following: heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attack, high cholesterol, obesity, depression, diabetes, gall bladder problems, seizures, irregular menstrual cycle, fibrocystic breast disease, abnormal mammogram, or breast lumps.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or blood clots – particularly in women who are over the age of 35 years, and women who smoke.

Before using Ortho Tri-Cyclen, you must give your doctor full details of your medical history and other medications that you use. These include herbal medicines and vitamin supplements. Ortho Tri-Cyclen can react badly with some medications.

Possible Side-effects

Call for emergency assistance if any of the following symptoms of allergy occur: difficulty in breathing, hives, or swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or face.

Contact your doctor if any of the following serious side-effects occur: sudden headache, sudden weakness or numbness (especially on one side), vision problems, speech problems, loss of balance, chest pain, nausea, pain in the arms or shoulders, sweating, severe migraine headache, stomach pain, low fever, dark urine, lack of appetite, jaundice, clay-colored stools, insomnia, depression, swelling of the feet, hands or ankles, or mood swings.

Less serious side-effects include bloating, mild nausea or vomiting, breast pain, stomach cramps, swelling, dark patches on the face (similar to freckles), hair loss, increased hair growth, change in weight, change in appetite, vision problems, vaginal discharge or itching, changes in the menstrual cycle, nervousness, dizziness, headache, or fatigue. These side-effects generally occur in the initial stages of treatment and do not last long.

Contact your doctor if any uncomfortable symptoms occur, or persist.


If overdose is suspected, call for emergency assistance immediately. Symptoms of overdose with Ortho Tri-Cyclen can include vomiting, nausea, or vaginal bleeding.

Storage instructions

Ortho Tri-Cyclen must be kept away from children and stored in a dry, cool place away from sunlight and moisture.