Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, which is generically available as Sprintec and Tri-Sprintec, is a commercially available oral contraceptive. It is available by prescription only at your local pharmacy. As with all prescription drugs, side effects are possible. Before taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, you should be well informed about the benefits as well as the risks.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo is most often prescribed as a form of birth control, but is also used to treat severe acne, lessen menstrual pains, regulate menstrual cycles and lessen menstrual bleeding. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and changing cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Ask your doctor if you should use another form of birth control, like condoms, during the first month of starting Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo should be taken exactly as it was prescribed for you by your doctor. You should not take this medication in larger amounts, or for a longer period of time than instructed by your physician. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo may be taken with or without food; if it causes nausea, try taking it with food. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo should be taken at the exact same time daily. The 28-day birth control pack contains seven placebo pills to keep you on your regular cycle, and your period should normally come during this seven-day time span.
Before taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, speak with your doctor if you suffer from any of the following conditions: a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer; abnormal vaginal bleeding; a history of stroke, blood clot or circulation problems; liver disease or liver cancer; a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills; or severe migraine headaches. If you do suffer from any of these conditions, you may not be able to take Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, or you could require careful monitoring while on this medication.
While on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, it is advised that you do not smoke cigarettes, especially if you are over age 35. Smoking while on this medication, or any birth control pill, can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke or heart attack. Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo does not protect you from HIV or any other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from STDs.
Contact your doctor and stop taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo immediately if you experience any of the following side effects: sudden headache; confusion; problems with vision, speech, or balance; sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches; chest pain or heavy feeling; pain spreading to the arm or shoulder; nausea; sweating; general ill feeling; swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; stomach pain; low fever; loss of appetite; dark urine; clay-coloured stools; jaundice; or symptoms of depression.