September 3, 2014
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Tri-Cyclen

(norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02028700 TRI-CYCLEN TABLETS (21 DAY)
02029421 TRI-CYCLEN TABLETS (28 DAY)

How does Tri-Cyclen work? What will it do for me?

Norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol belongs to the class of medications called oral contraceptives (birth control pills). It is an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (norgestimate) combination pill used to prevent pregnancy.

Norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and by causing changes in the mucus of the cervix which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate and for an egg to implant in the wall of the uterus. It may also be used to treat acne for women.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Tri-Cyclen?

21-day pack: Take one tablet daily for 21 days, then take no pills for 7 days.

28-day pack: Take one tablet daily for 21 days, then one "reminder" pill daily for 7 days.

See the package insert for information on when to start and what to do if you forget to take a pill.

Talk with your doctor about the best time to start your pills. The first day of your menstrual period (bleeding) is known as "Day 1." Your doctor may have you start your pills on the first Sunday after your period starts or on Day 1 of your period. The pills should be taken approximately the same time every day.

It may be advisable to use a second method of birth control (e.g., latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel) for the first 7 days of the first cycle of pill use.

Many women have spotting or light bleeding or may feel sick to their stomach during the first 3 months taking the pill. If you do feel sick, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will usually go away. If it does not go away, check with your doctor or clinic.

If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, or if you take certain medications (such as antibiotics), your pills may not work as well. If your doctor prescribes other medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether these medications could reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Until you can check with your doctor or clinic to make certain that these things will not reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pills, use a backup method, such as latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is very important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss pills at any time, the risk of becoming pregnant increases.

If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember, and take the next pill at the usual time. This means that you might take two pills in one day.

If you miss 2 pills in a row during the first 2 weeks of your cycle, take two pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day, then take one pill a day until you finish the pack. Use a second method of birth control if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss the pills.

If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills in a row anytime in your cycle and you start your pills on Sunday, keep taking one pill a day until Sunday. On Sunday, safely discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day. You may not have a period this month. If you miss 2 periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.

If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills at anytime during your cycle and you start your pills on Day 1, safely dispose of the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day. Use another method of birth control if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss the pills. You may not have a period this month. If you miss 2 periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.

If you are not sure what to do after missing pills, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Tri-Cyclen come in?

Each white tablet, unscored with "C 180" engraved on each side, contains norgestimate 0.18 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, and starch.

Each light blue tablet, unscored with "C 215" engraved on each side, contains norgestimate 0.215 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, starch, and FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake.

Each blue tablet, unscored with "C 250" engraved on each side, contains norgestimate 0.25 mg and ethinyl estradiol 0.035 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, starch, and FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake.

In the 28-day regimen, the green tablets, engraved on each side with "C-C" within a diamond shape, do not contain any active ingredients. Nonmedicinal ingredients: D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and starch.

Who should NOT take Tri-Cyclen?

Do not take norgestimate - ethinyl estradiol if you:

  • are allergic to norgestimate, to ethinyl estradiol, or to any ingredients of the medication
  • are over age 35 and smoke
  • are going to be unable to move around for a lengthy period of time (e.g., surgery)
  • have or have had thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders (blood clotting problems)
  • have a condition that increases the risk of blood clotting
  • have or have had cerebrovascular disorders (e.g., stroke)
  • have had a heart attack or coronary artery disease
  • have or have had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) as a result of high triglycerides
  • have liver disease
  • have or have had benign or malignant liver tumours
  • have, have had, or may have breast cancer
  • have or may have a tumour dependent on estrogen
  • have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • have eye damage resulting from blood vessel disease of the eye, such as a partial or complete loss of vision
  • are or may be pregnant
  • have heart valve disease
  • have severe high blood pressure (blood pressure of 160/100 or higher)
  • have diabetes with blood vessel damage
  • have jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin caused by liver problems) or had jaundice during pregnancy
  • have migraine headaches with an aura
  • have had or are going to have major surgery that increases the risk of blood clotting

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