"What are birth control pills and how do they work?
Birth control pills are also known as oral contraceptives (OCs) or, simply, “the pill.” They offer protection against pregnancy by blocking the union of sperm and egg, thereby prevent"...
Ortho Tri-Cyclen / Ortho-Cyclen
ORTHO-CYCLEN® and ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® Tablets are indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women who elect to use oral contraceptives as a method of contraception.
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN is indicated for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris in females at least 15 years of age, who have no known contraindications to oral contraceptive therapy and have achieved menarche. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN should be used for the treatment of acne only if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control.
Oral contraceptives are highly effective for pregnancy prevention. Table II lists the typical accidental pregnancy rates for users of combination oral contraceptives and other methods of contraception. The efficacy of these contraceptive methods, except sterilization, the IUD, and the Norplant System, depends upon the reliability with which they are used. Correct and consistent use of methods can result in lower failure rates.
TABLE II : Percentage of Women Experiencing an Unintended
Pregnancy During the First Year of Typical Use and the First Year of Perfect
Use of Contraception and the Percentage Continuing Use at the End of the First
Year. United States.
|% of Women Experiencing an Unintended Pregnancy within the First Year of Use||% of Women Continuing
Useat One Year3
|Norplant and Norplant-2||0.05||0.05||88|
|Hatcher et al, 1998, Ref. # 1.
Emergency Contraceptive Pills: Treatment initiated within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse reduces the risk of pregnancy by at least 75%.9
Lactational Amenorrhea Method: LAM is highly effective, temporary method of contraception10
Source: Trussell J, Contraceptive efficacy. In Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Stewart F, Cates W, Stewart GK, Kowal D, Guest F, Contraceptive Technology: Seventeenth Revised Edition. New York NY: Irvington Publishers, 1998.
1 Among typical couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason.
2Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time) and who use it perfectly (both consistently and correctly), the percentage who experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason.
3Among couples attempting to avoid pregnancy, the percentage who continue to use a method for one year.
4The percents becoming pregnant in columns (2) and (3) are based on data from populations where contraception is not used and from women who cease using contraception in order to become pregnant. Among such populations, about 89% become pregnant within one year. This estimate was lowered slightly (to 85%) to represent the percent who would become pregnant within one year among women now relying on reversible methods of contraception if they abandoned contraception altogether.
5Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, and vaginal film.
6Cervical mucus (ovulation) method supplemented by calendar in the pre-ovulatory and basal body temperature in the post-ovulatory phases.
7With spermicidal cream or jelly.
9The treatment schedule is one dose within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, and a second dose 12 hours after the first dose. The Food and Drug Administration has declared the following brands of oral contraceptives to be safe and effective for emergency contraception: Ovral® (1 dose is 2 white pills), Alesse® (1 dose is 5 pink pills), Nordette® or Levlen® (1 dose is 2 light-orange pills), Lo/Ovral® (1 dose is 4 white pills), Triphasil® or Tri-Levlen® (1 dose is 4 yellow pills).
10However, to maintain effective protection against pregnancy, another method of contraception must be used as soon as menstruation resumes, the frequency or duration of breastfeeds is reduced, bottle feeds are introduced, or the baby reaches six months of age.
ORTHO-CYCLEN and ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN have not been studied for and are not indicated for use in emergency contraception.
In clinical trials with ORTHO-CYCLEN, 1,651 subjects completed 24,272 cycles and the overall use-efficacy (typical user efficacy) pregnancy rate was approximately 1 pregnancy per 100 women-years. This rate includes patients who did not take the drug correctly.
In four clinical trials with ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN, a total of 4,756 subjects completed 45,244 cycles, and the use-efficacy pregnancy rate was approximately 1 pregnancy per 100 women-years.
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN was evaluated for the treatment of acne vulgaris in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, Phase 3, six (28 day) cycle studies. 221 patients received ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and 234 patients received placebo. Mean age at enrollment for both groups was 28 years. At the end of 6 months, the mean total lesion count changes from 55 to 31 (42% reduction) in patients treated with ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and from 54 to 38 (27% reduction) in patients similarly treated with placebo. Table III summarizes the changes in lesion count for each type of lesion in the ITT population. Based on the investigator's global assessment conducted at the final visit, patients treated with ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN showed a statistically significant improvement in total lesions compared to those treated with placebo.
Table III : Acne Vulgaris Indication. Combined Results:
Two Multicenter, Placebo-Controlled Trials. Observed Means at Six Months (LOCF)*
and at Baseline. Intent-to-Treat Population.
|ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN (N=221)||Placebo (N=234)||Difference in Counts between ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and Placebo at 6 Months|
|# of Lesions||Counts||% Reduction||Counts||% Reduction|
|Sixth Month Mean||10||48%||13||30%||3 (95% CI: -1.2, 5.1)|
|Sixth Month Mean||22||34%||25||21%||3 (95% CI: -0.2, 7.8)|
|Sixth Month Mean||31||42%||38||27%||7 (95% CI: 2.0, 11.9)|
|*LOCF: Last Observation Carried Forward|
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® Tablets and ORTHO-CYCLEN® Tablets must be taken exactly as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours. The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered. ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN are available in the DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser which is preset for a Sunday Start. Day 1 Start is also provided.
When taking ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® and ORTHO-CYCLEN® the first tablet should be taken on the first Sunday after menstruation begins. If period begins on Sunday, the first tablet should be taken that day. Take one active tablet daily for 21 days followed by one dark green inactive tablet daily for 7 days. After 28 tablets have been taken, a new course is started the next day (Sunday). For the first cycle of a Sunday Start regimen, another method of contraception should be used until after the first 7 consecutive days of administration.
If the patient misses one (1) active tablet in Weeks 1, 2, or 3, the tablet should be taken as soon as she remembers. If the patient misses two (2) active tablets in Week 1 or Week 2, the patient should take two (2) tablets the day she remembers and two (2) tablets the next day; and then continue taking one (1) tablet a day until she finishes the pack. The patient should be instructed to use a back-up method of birth control such as condoms or spermicide if she has sex in the seven (7) days after missing pills. If the patient misses two (2) active tablets in the third week or misses three (3) or more active tablets in a row, the patient should continue taking one tablet every day until Sunday. On Sunday the patient should throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day. The patient should be instructed to use a back-up method of birth control if she has sex in the seven (7) days after missing pills.
Complete instructions to facilitate patient counseling on proper pill usage may be found in the Detailed Patient Labeling (“How to Take the Pill” section).
Day 1 Start
The dosage of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® and ORTHO-CYCLEN®, for the initial cycle of therapy is one active tablet administered daily from the 1st day through the 21st day of the menstrual cycle, counting the first day of menstrual flow as “Day 1” followed by one dark green inactive tablet daily for 7 days. Tablets are taken without interruption for 28 days. After 28 tablets have been taken, a new course is started the next day.
If the patient misses one (1) active tablet in Weeks 1, 2, or 3, the tablet should be taken as soon as she remembers. If the patient misses two (2) active tablets in Week 1 or Week 2, the patient should take two (2) tablets the day she remembers and two (2) tablets the next day; and then continue taking one (1) tablet a day until she finishes the pack. The patient should be instructed to use a back-up method of birth control such as condoms or spermicide if she has sex in the seven (7) days after missing pills. If the patient misses two (2) active tablets in the third week or misses three (3) or more active tablets in a row, the patient should throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that same day. The patient should be instructed to use a back-up method of birth control if she has sex in the seven (7) days after missing pills.
Complete instructions to facilitate patient counseling on proper pill usage may be found in the Detailed Patient Labeling (“How to Take the Pill” section).
The use of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN and ORTHO-CYCLEN for contraception may be initiated 4 weeks postpartum in women who elect not to breast feed. When the tablets are administered during the postpartum period, the increased risk of thromboembolic disease associated with the postpartum period must be considered. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS concerning thromboembolic disease. See also PRECAUTIONS for “Nursing Mothers.”) The possibility of ovulation and conception prior to initiation of medication should be considered.
(See Discussion of Dose-Related Risk of Vascular Disease from Oral Contraceptives.)
Breakthrough bleeding, spotting, and amenorrhea are frequent reasons for patients discontinuing oral contraceptives. In breakthrough bleeding, as in all cases of irregular bleeding from the vagina, nonfunctional causes should be borne in mind. In undiagnosed persistent or recurrent abnormal bleeding from the vagina, adequate diagnostic measures are indicated to rule out pregnancy or malignancy. If pathology has been excluded, time or a change to another formulation may solve the problem. Changing to an oral contraceptive with a higher estrogen content, while potentially useful in minimizing menstrual irregularity, should be done only if necessary since this may increase the risk of thromboembolic disease.
Use of oral contraceptives in the event of a missed menstrual period:
- If the patient has not adhered to the prescribed schedule, the possibility of pregnancy should be considered at the time of the first missed period and oral contraceptive use should be discontinued if pregnancy is confirmed.
- If the patient has adhered to the prescribed regimen and misses two consecutive periods, pregnancy should be ruled out.
The timing of initiation of dosing with ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® for acne should follow the guidelines for use of ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN as an oral contraceptive. Consult the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section for oral contraceptives. The dosage regimen for ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN for treatment of facial acne, as available in a DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser, utilizes a 21-day active and a 7-day placebo schedule. Take one active tablet daily for 21 days followed by one dark green inactive tablet for 7 days. After 28 tablets have been taken, a new course is started the next day.
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® Tablets are available in a DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser (NDC 0062-1910-15) containing 28 tablets. Each white tablet contains 0.180 mg of the progestational compound, norgestimate, together with 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol. Each light blue tablet contains 0.215 mg of the progestational compound, norgestimate, together with 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol. Each blue tablet contains 0.250 mg of the progestational compound, norgestimate, together with 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol. Each dark green tablet contains inert ingredients.
0.180/0.035 mg tablets - White, round, biconvex, coated tablet imprinted “O 180” on one side and “35” on the other side of the tablet.
0.215/0.035 mg tablets - Light blue, round, biconvex, coated tablet imprinted “O 215” on one side and “35” on the other side of the tablet.
0.250/0.035 mg tablets - Blue, round, biconvex, coated tablet imprinted “O 250” on one side and “35” on the other side of the tablet.
Each dark green reminder pill is a round, biconvex, coated tablet imprinted “O-M” on one side and “P” on the other side.
ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN® Tablets are available for clinic usage in a VERIDATE® Tablet Dispenser (unfilled) and VERIDATE Refills (NDC 0062-1910-20).
ORTHO-CYCLEN® Tablets are available in a DIALPAK® Tablet Dispenser (NDC 0062-1907-15) containing 28 tablets as follows: 21 blue tablets containing 0.250 mg of the progestational compound, norgestimate, together with 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol, and 7 dark green tablets containing inert ingredients.
ORTHO-CYCLEN® Tablets are available for clinic usage in a VERIDATE® Tablet Dispenser (unfilled) and VERIDATE Refills (NDC 0062-1907-20).
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15–30°C (59–86°F). Protect from light.
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Mfd. for: Ortho Women's Health & Urology. Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Raritan, New Jersey 08869. Mfd. by: Janssen Ortho, LLC Manati, Puerto Rico 00674. Revised August 2008.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/15/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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