Ortho Deadly?

I keep seeing these commercials for Ortho Tri-Cyclene (a new birth control pill that also aids in acne elimination). The commercials always have a little disclaimer at the end that says something along the lines of “use of this product as with any oral contraceptive can lead to heart disease or possible stroke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases these risks, especially in women over 35.”
WHAT?!? I know I’ve heard this before, but how much does it increase your risk? I take birth control pills AND smoke (luckily, I’m way below 35). Am I going to keel over tomorrow?

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true” -Albert Einstein

Best go right to the horse’s mouth.
Here is Ortho - Macneil’s product information page for Tri-Cyclen:


It has full prescription information for physicians, and a toll-free number for anything not covered on this comprehensive site.

As always, the best advice for personal medical questions or problems comes from your doctor. During the search for this product, I found many sites offering highly questionable advice and opinions about Tri-Cyclen.

My wife’s Ortho-novum 7-7-7 has a little warning label stuck on it by the pharmacy saying essentially the same thing – that smoking while taking this greatly increases your risks of yadda yadda yadda.

I think the obvious answer is: Quit Smoking.


Alias, my pills say that too and they’re not the Ortho kind. As far as I know, all birth control pills have this disclaimer on them, due to the increased level of estrogen (or whatever hormone is predominate) you are putting into your body. But, as Nickrz says, if you’re concerned, definately talk with your physician. They can explain the risks and benefits to you more knowledgebly than most of the SD’ers can.

…it has never been my way to bother much about things which you can’t cure.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-Mark Twain

the pamphlet that comes with your pills should have some information. I am extremely surprised that someone prescribed you these pills without explaining the higher risk to smokers. God, I got an hour-long speech about – and I don’t smoke!

Basically, from what my Ortho-novum 1/35 says, there is higher risk of blood clots when you smoke. if you feel pains in your legs, consult doctor immediatly.

Please talk to your doctor so that you can fully understand the risks!

I seem to have misspoken. I didn’t mean that I wasn’t sure if this was true, I meant that I wonder how GREAT the risk is. I know many girls who take the pill and smoke at the same time. Does it depend on how much you smoke? What exactly is it about cigarettes that increases risks?

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true” -Albert Einstein