Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive reviews

3.5/5 - 794 reviews
5 star
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4 star
280 reviews
3 star
172 reviews
2 star
102 reviews
1 star
62 reviews

Brand: Ortho


White Tablet
Active Ingredients:
0.180 mg of the progestational compound, norgestimate (18,19-Dinor-17-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one,17-(acetyloxy)-13-ethyl-, oxime,(17α)-(+)-) and 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol (19-nor-17α-pregna,1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol).

Inactive ingredients:
Carnauba wax, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, purified water and titanium dioxide.

Light blue tablet
Active Ingredients:
0.215 mg of the Progestational Compound norgestimate (18,19-Dinor-17-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one,17-(acetyloxy)-13-ethyl-,oxime,(17α)-(+)-) and 0.035 mg of the estrogenic compound, ethinyl estradiol (19-nor-17α-pregna,1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol).

Inactive Ingredients:
FD & C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, carnauba wax, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, purified water and titanium dioxide.

Dark Green Tablet
Contains only Inert Ingredients:
FD & C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, ferric oxide, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized corn starch, purified water, talc and titanium dioxide.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.

Where to buy

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Cleared up my skin and grew boobs!
Reviewed on September 12, 2014

I am sixteen years old and I have suffered from acne since I started puberty around 11 years old. In the past couple of years, my acne has become more severe across my cheeks, forehead, and every where in between. I had tried many types of acne treatments including seeing a dermatologist and buying perscription medications. Nothing seemed to be clearing up my acne like I wanted it to.

I realized that not matter how much I cleaned my face and used different treatments, the acne would not go away because it was directly related to my hormones. I talked to my parents and we decided to try the pill. The first couple of cycles on this pill were hard on me. My acne had become so severe the first couple of months on the pill that I was embarressed to go to school. After a few more months, I noticed a big difference in my skin. The pimples were getting a lot smaller and there were not as many. My acne was being healed. Now, I am on my fifth cycle and I only break out a little around my period. I am so glad I decided to take this birth control. My skin looks so much better and I am more confident.

For me, some other advantages to taking this pill were my cramps and migraines around my period are completely gone. My boobs have also gone from an A to C cup.. so that's pretty cool too.

I would recommend this pill to anyone who has hormonal acne. The results are different for everyone but I can assure you that it has worked for me.

Good for Acne
Reviewed on August 31, 2014

I took Ortho Tri-Cyclen since I was 15 until I was 21 for acne and birth control. It worked pretty well. I had mild/moderate acne while on it, but without it I likely would have had severe acne. This past year (20 years old), I stopped taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen and I had a major breakout--the worst breakout of my life! Really painful cystic acne covered my whole face. It got so bad that after a few months of being miserable with severe acne I got back on Ortho Tri-Cyclen and started taking Minocycline. After a month I ended up on Accutane and I'm still on Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Anyway, I think this has really helped my acne, but talk to your doctor or dermatologist before getting off of it because it may make your hormones go crazy and make you breakout majorly!

NO acne, regular cycles and NO babies ;)
Reviewed on August 11, 2014

I am married with a 4 year old. I neeeeeed contraception. Haha I decided to go with Nexplanon ("Implanon" at the time) simply for the fact that I was scared I would miss pills (I am scatter brained and never in the same place every day). After getting my second one (not sure why, but the first implant did not break my skin out) implanted in late July 2013, my acne kept getting worse and worse. I have "normal" skin. I'm not dry or oily, but I was getting some MAJOR breakouts. In March I was fed up with it and paid the $300 to get it removed because I had not had a good skin day in a straight 3 months (my upper back being worse than my face) and I was getting super self conscious about my skin. It was just a nightmare and I didn't care about anything other than getting my skin cleared up! It is now August 2014 and my skin is PERFECT (it did take some time. Probably 3 cycles of the ortho for my skin to heal and I did experience breakouts during the transition) I don't take my clear skin for granted now, and it is even better than it was before I had my son. The estrogen makes your skin clear up, but I have also COMPLETELY stopped picking at my bumps. That is hard to do, but your skin really needs to heal. I also use Dr. Bronner's liquid soap after exfoliating back, chest and face once a day with a soft bristle brush I got at Wal-Mart (it's like a Clarisonic with a long handle to reach my back). The Ortho has cleared my cysts and the exfoliation and awesome soap has cleared whiteheads and blackheads! It's awesome and I am absolutely loving a predictable period. As for keeping on track with taking the pills, I always keep them in my purse (just in case I'm not home) and my alarm goes off at 9 every nignt. If I'm home, I just get the package out of my purse and take it. Also I'm only allowed to silence the alarm AFTER the pill has went down my throat haha. ;) hope this is helpful and gives some hope to someone!

So glad I went on this!!
Reviewed on January 2, 2014

I've been on this pill for almost a week and 80% of my acne has cleared up and I am so glad I decided to go on the pill. I needed birth control anyways because I am in a serious relationship, but a few years ago I went on Accutane and unfortunately after about a year and a half of being off of it, my acne started to return and that's when my dermatologist recommended that I try birth control because it may be hormonal acne. I didn't actually try birth control about until almost two years later and I have to say, it's done wonders for me so far. Only negative effects I've been dealing with are nausea and sore boobs, but either than that, I really think it's worth a try, especially if your acne gets worse around your period which is a good indicator that you have hormonal acne. Of course everyone's different but because this pill is indicated for acne, I think that if you've tried absolutely everything, this is another option.


Alright so I feel like it's time to write an update, I've been on this pill for 8 months now and my rating of 4 stars won't change. So I feel like it has helped with my acne, making it very moderate, a few zits here and there, no miracle though. For me the first row of pills seems to clear me up and then the next two breaks me out a bit, and then the sugar pills are just neutral. So it has helped with my acne, but only slightly. One thing though is that my skin is now pretty soft, tolerant to acne face washed, doesn't dry out anymore, I'm not sure if that's because I don't use anything on my face now and just wash it with a salicylic acid wash, but yep, nothing to really complain about. All those symptoms I've experienced in the first month are now long gone, so that's a plus! So I still recommend this because again, it will most likely help with breakouts, but don't expect a miracle, so any relive you're looking for you might get it with this BC.

Wish I could give it no stars..
Reviewed on July 9, 2014

I promise you when I say this birth control seriously messed up my face, not to mention my self esteem and self confidence. I have never written a review for ANY product, love or hate. This is my first review and I feel it is totally necessary that I warn some of you. I realize this BC might work for some, including my roommate, but it definitely didn't work for me. I started OTC because i was getting a few breakouts here and there and my roomie went on OTC-lo and got cleared up right away, so why not try it? My doc told me OTC-lo isn't the best recommendation, so she suggested OTC.. First month, a few more pimples here and there.. no biggie, researched the product a lot in hopes to find some good reviews saying how in a few more months it will get better... I'll just fast forward to the 4 month mark... O M G... my acne went from bad to worse. I have never had forehead or jaw acne before and it looked like I had been bitten by a million mosquitos. Im not joking when I say I counted 20 zits on my face at once. I stopped going out to the gym when my roomies would ask, I stayed in my room most of the time, I couldn't even run outside in my neighborhood without feeling self conscious. I went into hibernation mode and definitely lost a few friends because of the no contact. After/during those 4 torturous months, I did my research not only online but into my past and when my skin was the clearest. I realized I was the clearest I have ever been on a mono phasic pill called Previfem (generic version of Ortho Cyclen.) I quickly/hesitantly switched back to Previfem and voila... my skin is almost back to the way it was.... but now I have a bunch of scars to remind me of the literal hell I was in for 4 months. I'm telling you people, be careful with this BC... It not only messed up my face but gave me headaches every day and made me extremely lethargic. Save your time and your money... Monophasic pills are the way to go.

I love Ortho Tri-Cyclen for my acne & bad periods
Reviewed on July 2, 2014

I'm a female and I was on Accutane 2 times, then Ortho Tri-Cyclen and then Spironolactone when I no longer needed the birth control component. I decided it was finally time to share my story. There are photos too. My share is a bit long, but I wanted to be comprehensive. All or nothing. I pasted it in the Acne.org blog:


Happy Happy Happy on Ortho Cyclen! :)
Reviewed on June 17, 2014

This is actually a review for ortho cyclen, not ortho tri cyclen. It's the same hormones, it just does vary throughout the month.

I'm so happy being on ortho cyclen. I have been on many other pills, and this is the first to make a difference to my acne.

The first week, I broke out. Big ugly bumps all over my problem areas (chin and between eyebrows). Then, after the initial breakout, for the next two months my acne was the same as it had always been and I didn't notice a big difference. The usual big white heads mixed with lots of closed comedones.

The medi spa I go to sometimes gave me a sample of a benzoyl peroxide cream, and I used it on my problem areas where the skin was really congested. I think this helped to speed up the process. It brought my closed comedones to a head and made my acne flare up horribly!

But then ... magic! I feel as if the benzoyl peroxide helped to speed up the process of the ortho cyclen clearing my skin. Now, my skin is almost completely clear. My acne is so small it is very easily covered with a bit of foundation.

So, although my skin is not yet perfectly clear, the ortho cyclen has minimized my acne so much I feel very comfortable and confident that it will all clear up soon.

Plus, my periods are not heavy or painful. I am not nearly as dizzy and icky feeling on my periods as I used to be.

My skin looks noticeably less congested and is not sore like it used to be.

helped with PMS and cramps but gave me cystic acne
Reviewed on June 4, 2014

I was on OTC for 4 years so I have definitely given it enough time lol. I had very minor acne before the pill. My face was mostly clear throughout high school and college only flaring up a hand full of times (all being super hot sticky summers or on missionary trips where there was no air conditioning!) I decided to go on birth control to help with severe PMS and cramps and also to make my periods lighter. OTC helped all those things however I still have week long periods at least. BUT here is my issue with it. I NEVER had cystic acne before this pill. Never. And I certainly never broke out around my chin. My acne was mostly surface white heads on the forehead and around the nose. I was kind of duped into thinking this worked because it did clear up the minor acne and whiteheads I had BUT every single time I got to the dark blue hormone pills I would get a cystic acne lump around my chin/mouth. For about 2 years I didn't think much of it because hey it's just one pimple a month. But over the last two years it's just gradually getting worse and the cysts are getting more aggressive and red and large and they're happening more often. I kept googling what these things were and I also came across things saying cystic acne along the chin and jawline is hormonal imbalance and I thought "how could that be?!" I mean I eat healthy, I'm tiny for my height, I work out and I'm already on OTC to help regulate hormones and help acne. OCT was just slowly getting my face out of wack. As soon as I stopped taking it the cysts disappeared! Yeah I certainly broke out going off of it but it was shallow acne like what I had before, so clearly this was the thing that was throwing my hormones out of wack. How horrible! I say get off this asap if you never had cysts before this. I can't believe I stayed on this 4 years without realizing it was the cause of these huge pimples. I also never experienced an initial outbreak with this - it just sneakily and very slowly gave me the cysts. So deceptive!

Also started to get regular headaches with this. I know it's helped a lot of ppl but everyone is different. I say if you don't have moderate/severe acne to begin with, just don't mess with bcp.

Ortho Tri Cyclen saved my life
Reviewed on May 24, 2014

I had horrible, and I mean horrible acne that started at 15. It was all over my forehead and all over my jaw/chin areas. I was so embarrased, couldn't cover it well at all. I refused to take pictures of myself much less pose with friends. I literally tried everything topically with a false sense of hope, only to have my face completely dried out and beet red. Murad, ProActiv, various combos of my own from clean and clear, clearasil etc. I even went to the Dermatologist to be diagnosed (of course) with severe acne and be offered Accutane. I didn't like what I heard about the side affects so I chose to not go with that. I then really did some serious research of my own and looked into not only oral birth control but every hormone and its affect on the human body. I then, cam across ortho tri cyclen for acne. I went to my OB-GYN and explained my acne journey and he said, oh well any oral bc will do that and wrote me another one Loestrin. Month later, my acne was worse! I then went back and explained exactly why I wanted and NEEDED the "norgestimate estradiol" aka Ortho Tri Cyclen. He then gave it to me. Literally, 3 months after taking it my face was CLEAR. Now, 4 years I am still on it and clear as can be. Acne is a thing of a past. I struggled with it for 2 years and that was long enough.

Must read...
Reviewed on March 25, 2014

I've been on tri-Cyclen for about a year now and has drastically improved my skin, therefore I rated four stars. I am acne free! However, last month I had no other choice but to switch to a generic brand of BC, tri-Cyclen gave me the worst mood swings possible and constant nausea 10-15 min after taking a pill everyday. I only held on for the purpose of my nice skin completion Now that that I've switched to a genetic brand I am headache,mood swing ,and nausea free! I'm happier then can be! And also beware ladies ANY birthday control pill helps with acne, just make sure you do your research(: