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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Uses

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Uses for Acne

Acne is a common skin condition. Causes of acne can vary, but many cases are caused or worsened by hormones, particularly male hormones (known medically as androgens). Ortho Tri-Cyclen is approved for treating mild to moderate acne in women ages 15 and older who have started their menstrual periods. Ortho Tri-Cyclen is only approved to treat acne in women who also desire to take an oral contraceptive for birth control. If you do not desire contraception, other types of acne treatment may be more appropriate.

How Does Ortho Tri-Cyclen Work?

As mentioned, Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progestin (norgestimate). The hormones in Ortho Tri-Cyclen prevent pregnancy primarily by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, less important ways. Ortho Tri-Cyclen changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, Ortho Tri-Cyclen alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Ortho Tri-Cyclen is a triphasic birth control pill, which means that there are three different "phases" of pills in each pack, plus the last week of tablets with no active ingredients. Each week has a different amount of the progesterone hormone in Ortho Tri-Cyclen. This is why it is important to take the pills in the correct order.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Uses in Children and Teens

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is approved for use in women of reproductive age. This means that it is not approved for use in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual periods. For treating acne, it is approved only for women ages 15 and older who have had their first menstrual periods.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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