Generic Ortho tri-Cyclen Lo, Low-Dose Birth Control (Prescription Product)
Generic Ortho tri-Cyclen Lo (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is also known as Tri-Lo Marzia, Tri-lo Estarylla, Trinessa Lo and Tri-lo Sprintec. It is is a low-dose combination birth control pill that uses three different amounts of hormones in the pills throughout the cycle. This Rx birth control may be prescribed off-label to treat moderate acne vulgaris in adults and girls who are at least 15 years old. Each monthly pack contains 28 tablets. Choose number of packs below, up to a quantity of 6.
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Generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo: A birth control pill favorite
Low-dose birth control may be a better option for women who have had side effects with higher dose hormonal birth control pills. Generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo is also sold under the names Tri-Lo Marzia Tri-lo Estarylla, Trinessa Lo and Tri-lo Sprintec.
What is generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo?
Generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo contains norgestimate-ethinyl estradiol. Norgestimate is a synthetic compound of the sex hormone progestin and ethinyl estradiol is a synthetic compound of estrogen.
It is a low-dose birth control pill belonging to a category of oral contraceptives known as triphasic. This means that generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo, 0.215/0.025mg contains 3 different combinations of the active ingredients. Each week of active pills contains different potencies of the ingredients. The pills are 4 different colors to mark the different potencies in each pill. The last week of the pack includes 7 inactive pills. These are reminder pills.
Low-dose vs progestin-only birth control pills
Any woman who smokes while taking birth control pills increases her risk of blood clots, heart disease and other potentially dangerous medical conditions. Women who are over 35 and smoke are at an even higher risk when they take birth control pills. Progestin-only birth control pills (POP) are usually prescribed for women over 35 who smoke or have a history of certain cancers. Another alternative is to take low-dose or ultra-low-dose birth control pills. A physician determines the best choice for each individual.
What is a low-dose birth control pill?
Low-dose birth control pills contain lower percentages of the sex hormones progestin and estrogen. In particular, in low dose pills, estrogen is 35 micrograms (mcg) or less. Ultra-low-dose birth control pills contain 20 micrograms (mcg) of estrogen or less.
Low-dose birth control pills vs regular dose
To give an idea of how a low-dose pill compares to a regular dose pill, convert milligrams into micrograms or vice versa.
Generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo contains 0.025 milligrams of estrogen. That's 25 micrograms of estrogen, making it a low-dose birth control pill.
How does generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo work?
Like other combination birth control pills, these low-dose combo pills prevent ovulation. If ovulation does occur, changes in cervical mucous caused by norgestimate-ethinyl estradiol should prevent the sperm from reaching the egg and the egg from attaching to the uterus.
Ortho-tri Cyclen may be prescribed off-label to:
- Treat acne in adults and children age 15 and older
- Treat excess uterine bleeding
- Help normalize irregular periods
- Reduce pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Lower risk of developing ovarian cysts
How do I take Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo?
Each pack contains 28 pills so you take one pill daily.
- Your first week of pills each contains .18 mg of norgestimate together with 0.025 mg of ethinyl estradiol.
- Each of the next 7 pills is a combination of 0.215 mg norgestimate and 0.025 mg of ethinyl estradiol.
- In your third week, you will take a daily pill containing 0.25 mg of norgestimate combined with 0.025 mg of ethinyl estradiol.
- Your fourth week consists of "reminder pills." They do not contain active ingredients. You may choose not to take these pills but they can help maintain the habit of taking a pill each day.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss 1 pill in Weeks 1, 2, or 3, follow these steps:
Take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you may take 2 pills in 1 day. Then continue taking 1 pill every day until you finish the pack. You do not need to use a back-up birth control method if you have sex.
If you miss 2 pills in Week 1 or Week 2 of your pack, follow these steps:
Take the 2 missed pills as soon as possible and the next 2 pills the next day. Then continue to take 1 pill every day until you finish the pack. Use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a backup if you have sex during the first 7 days after missing your pills.
If you miss 2 pills in a row in Week 3, or you miss 3 or more pills in a row during Weeks 1, 2, or 3 of the pack, follow these steps:
If you are a Day 1 Starter: Throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day. You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your healthcare provider because you might be pregnant. You could become pregnant if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills. You MUST use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a back-up if you have sex during the first 7 days after you restart your pills.
If you are a Sunday Starter: Keep taking 1 pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack of pills that same day. Use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide) as a backup if you have sex during the first 7 days, you restart your pills.
Although no contraceptive is 100% effective, the pill is considered 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, when taken as instructed.
To ensure that we provide you with the best price, we may substitute one generic for another.
|Is a Prescription Product||Yes|
|Use or Effects||Birth Control|
|Drug Class/Pharmacology||Estrogen, Progestin/Estrogen Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC)|
For a complete list of precautions and warning, refer to the information included with your prescription. Always follow instructions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist.
Generic Ortho-tri Cyclen Lo is also sold under the names Tri-Lo Marzia Tri-lo Estarylla, Trinessa Lo and Tri-lo Sprintec.
This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, talk with your doctor about reliable forms of birth control, and find out when it is safe to start using birth control that contains a form of estrogen, such as this medication.
This medication may decrease breast milk production. A small amount passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise, nutritional supplement program, and/or any prescription or OTC product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.