Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol (Ortho Tri-Cyclen)


  • Hormone


  • Triphasic oral contraceptive

    • Phase 1: noregestimate 0.18mg, ethinyl estradiol 35mcg

    • Phase 2: noregestimate 0.215mg, ethinyl estradiol 35mcg

    • Phase 3: noregestimate 0.25mg, ethinyl estradiol 35mcg


  • Contraceptive


  • Pregnancy

  • Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding

  • Known or suspected benign or malignant liver tumors while on oral contraceptive use

  • Breast carcinoma or estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Current or history of thromboembolic disorders, cerebral vascular or cardiovascular disease.


  • Pregnancy category X

  • Take as directed at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.  Effectiveness is dependent upon strict compliance.

  • OCPs are 99.9% effective after the 1st month, if taken according to the prescribed schedule. 

  • During the first month, effectiveness depends on how many OCPs have been taken, but overall are about 95% effective, comparable to condoms or a diaphragm.

  • Breakthrough bleeding (“spotting”) may occur during initiation of therapy.

  • Instructions for missed doses:

    • One missed dose: Take as soon as possible or two tablets the next day and continue

    • Two missed doses: Take two tablets daily for two days, then continue normal schedule

    • Three missed doses: Discontinue therapy and begin new packet 7 days following last dose

  • May cause mental depression, fluid retention and depressed folate levels

  • Twenty-eight day packs contain seven days of inert ingredients to maintain regimen

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • Abdominal cramping, anorexia, nausea, vomiting

  • Acne (Usually makes it better)

  • Breast tenderness

  • Edema, weight gain

  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

  • Cardiovascular disorders (hypertension)

  • Thromboembolic disorders


  • Administered orally

  • One tablet daily for 21 or 28 days beginning on the:

    • Fifth day of the cycle, or

    • First Sunday after the beginning of flow

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