Breakthrough bleeding in the middle of birth control pack

Patient

Q: I recently was switch from my regular Sprintec birth control to the name brand version, Ortho-cyclen. I was told there would be no transition period and I would not need a back-up method for the first month. I am half way through my first pack of the Ortho-cyclen and I am having breakthrough bleeding and cramps similar to my normal period.
Why is this happening?
Is the birth control less effective now?
Do I need to use a back-up method?

Symptoms:  Breakthrough bleeding and cramps similar to period in the middle of birth control pack
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for contacting askthedoctor.com

A switch to a different brand for the same generic composition ideally should not cause any break through bleeding , but may sometimes happen and cannot be predicted. The contents of both the brands are the same and and in same hormonal denomination , so its unlikely to make a difference if a switch is prescribed in the middle of the cycle. However it would be a good practice for you to follow the remaining days of the cycle with a back up method like barrier contraception along with the new brand.

If at all any discrepancy is noticed in the bleeding pattern , then you may contact your physician to address the issue and if need be switch back to the previous brand again.

I hope i have answered your queries in detail,
wishing you good health ,
regards

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