Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Reproductive System Medications
The FDA approved the use of Ortho Tri-Cycle in women aged 15 years and above in 1997 (Hampton et al., 2001). Ortho Tri-Cycle is a contraceptive drug used to collect hormonal imbalance especially in women. Additionally, it prevent the production of excess sweat and oil. Its mechanism of action is the combination of effects of two hormones namelyNorgestimate and Ethinyl estradiol.
Ortho Tri-Cycle causes changes in the uterine lining, as well as cervical mucus, thus preventing the sperm from reaching the oviduct as well as preventing the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus. The drug can be in active or inactive form, where the active pills are taken for 21 days(Ahire et al., 2017) while the inactive pill or inert are taken for the last seven days or the fourth week. It is possible to experience a headache in the 4th week because of the lack of the hormone in the inert pill.
The Ortho Tri-Cyclenpossible side effects include dizziness, stomach cramping or bloating, headache, vomiting, nausea, virginal discharge among others(German et al., 2014). Emily may be experiencing these side effects(Reddy, 2017). Importantly, the effects of the female’s hormones in the contraceptive pills have enabled her irregular menstrual cycle to balance. The gaining of weight is possible because of the retention of the fluid. Avoidance of the excess use of salt, alcohol, caffeine among others can help combat most of the unwanted side effects. (Ahire et al., 2017). Also, employing exercise program and use of healthy diets aid in dealing with the weight gain problem.
The reason why Emily is experiencing headache is that the last or inert pill contain no hormones. A headache is the most common side effects especially after the use of the pills containing the hormones. Emily should get used to these side effects or visit the doctor for further advice. Importantly, Emily can control a headache with the use of painkillers recommended by the physician.
Ahire, D., Sinha, S., Brock, B., Iyer, R., Mandlekar, S., & Subramanian, M. (2017). Metabolite Identification, Reaction Phenotyping and Retrospective Drug-Drug Interaction Predictions of 17-deacetylnorgestimate, the Active Component of the Oral Contraceptive Norgestimate. Drug Metabolism and Disposition, dmd-116.
German, P., Moorehead, L., Pang, P., Vimal, M., & Mathias, A. (2014). Lack of a clinically important pharmacokinetic interaction between sofosbuvir or ledipasvir and hormonal oral contraceptives norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol in HCV‐Uninfected female subjects. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 54(11), 1290-1298.
Hampton, R. M., Short, M., Bieber, E., Bouchard, C., Ayotte, N., Shangold, G., …& Creasy, G. W. (2001). Comparison of a novel norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol oral contraceptive (Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo) with the oral contraceptive Loestrin Fe 1/20. Contraception, 63(6), 289-295. (Hampton et al., 2001)
Reddy, D. S. (2017). Do oral contraceptives increase epileptic seizures?. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 17(2), 129-134.