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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive
3.5/5 - 821 reviews
5 star
182 reviews
4 star
291 reviews
3 star
174 reviews
2 star
105 reviews
1 star
69 reviews

Brand: Ortho Tri-Cyclen

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive


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.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive

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Cystic Hormonal Acne-Cleared!
Reviewed on January 10, 2015

Within the first week of taking this medication, my acne cleared up DRAMATICALLY. A little background information: at age 22, I started getting hormonal cystic acne break outs along my left jawline and forehead. Prior to these persistent breakouts, I had no major problems with acne, just the occasional breakout at "that time of the month". After trying Retin-a for a few months with no progress, my dermatologist switched me to a regimen of a Differin and Acanya. Though this helped clear up my forehead acne, my jawline acne was still very persistent. It wasn't until I did a little research that I realize this type of acne was hormone related. Even though I was already taking a generic of Loestrin, I decided it was time to switch my pill. After telling my gynecologist of my troubles, she suggested Ortho tri-cyclen. Within the first week of taking this medication, my existing acne started clearing and no other pimples were appearing. Mind you, these were the persistent ones: painful to the touch with a large white head. I couldn't be happier with the results! A month into taking this medication, I haven't had one cystic pimple appear, it's like a miracle drug! If you have a similar story to me, definitely give it a try!

by lycheestardust on 01/29/2015 07:12
Hi! I wanted to ask if you are still taking Ortho tri-cyclen?
Ortho Tri-Cyclen (Brand Name-- not a fan of generics, when it comes to my acne medications)
Reviewed on January 5, 2015

You have to give it TIME!!! I have been on it for six months after trying every topical cream/gel plus antibiotics (which worked wonders at first but I probably built a tolerance and it stopped working, was on them for probably a year, which was more than what the doctor wanted me to be on them, but was too scared to get off them, once I did, nothing really happened, so yea built a tolerance against them).... broke out really bad at first, to me it seemed like it was probably one of the worst breakouts, had acne everywhere even my back, but after 6 months now, I can truly say, its almost all gone, I still break out during that time of the month, but nothing I cant handle, very very glad I stuck through the initial phase, be patient, it will work hopefully the way it worked for me... btw I have hormonal acne, scared to death of what will happen when i need to get off these, but will take everything one day at a time. Use it along side with retin-A and a good moisturizer (clinique super surge) and that is all you will need.

bad for hormonal acne!
Reviewed on December 10, 2014

I was having the occasional break out on my cheek and chin area. i went to my general doc and she suggested the pill in order to balance my hormones. It threw my body into such an unbalance. My period was all over the place, my acne had gotten 200X's worse then ever. I kept taking it for 3 months hoping it was just my body adjusting to the pill. needless to say i stopped taking it. my acne kept getting worse every month i was on it. after taking it it took me 6 months to come back to where i was before i started it.

I wanted it to work so badly
Reviewed on October 22, 2014

I was on ortho lo which cost 50 dollars a month so after hearing great things about what ortho regular could do for my skin AND it was free i decided to make the switch.

The first month i didnt see much difference in my skin I was breaking out a bit but i heard that there was an initial breakout so i figured thats what must have been happening.

By month two my skin had erupted with small flesh colored bumps all over my skin! The kind that would just sit there no matter what i did but if i squeezed a hard plug would come out. Determined to believe the whole "it gets worse before it gets better" legend i tried to stick it out. I made appointments with estheticians, had glycolic peels, name it. My face was red, bumpy, angry and flat out depressing. After end of month 2 start of month 3 i decided to switch back to Ortho lo...its been about a week and my skin is starting to return to normal. I suffered for 3 months hoping for some kind of miracle skin cure that would never come.

I've heard great things for others but unfortunately they didnt happen for me.

by Alex Falcon on 01/05/2015 15:11
Did the same thing you did, went to the esthetician, had glycolic peels and microderm along with regular acne facials (blue light and just treating the eruptions i had), got to say the glycolic peels made it worse (had 4 treatments) as well as the microderm.. . our skin is just to sensitive, I tried numerous times to do this and every time I break out.. just gotta keep it simple unfortunately, I finally learned that the more i mess with the skin the worse it gets.. the regular facials actually works, she would steam my face, run a blue light over it, and miscellaneous other non invasive procedures, and with time it had helped... it really took 6 months for everything to begin to clear.. I hope everything worked out for you, I know the pain of wanting something to work and it not. Good Luck!
Reviewed on October 2, 2014

I give this bcp a 3 star rating because before taking this pill, I had brutal period cramps and irregular cycle. Now i have a regular cycle and very minimal cramps.

Now speaking skin wise. I am now on my fifth month. My first month, my skin was the same: moderate acne, clogged pores, a zit here and there nothing severe.

At the end of the second pack and beginning of thethird, bad things started happening. My skin would leave horrible red marks when zits would leave. I still to this day 2-3 months later still have these marks and they are exceptionally visible. I broke out horribly. The hyper pigmentation was everywhere. Now, it has died down but I have red marks from zits that left my face more than 3 months ago. This never used to happen before I was on these pills. They will not fade. I don`t know whether to continue taking the pills or stop.

by Alex Falcon on 01/05/2015 15:14
get on retin a.. my red-brown hyperpigmentation began to fade after getting on this. hope it helps.
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.

by Alex Falcon on 01/05/2015 15:16
Try starting out with a D-cup size, the aftermath is not pleasant lol feel like i may topple over!!
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!

made my skin horrible
Reviewed on August 9, 2014

I am starting my second month of Sprintec. I use it to control my periods which is workiing. However acne-wise its not the best. I started breaking out horribly when i first went on it! My skin has never been this bad!! I dont know what to do :/

by Frenchgirl10 on 12/28/2014 16:40
Maybe try another month or 2. Yasmin is great for acne!!! Pro active has helped with my acne i got from this stupid pill. Good luck!!!
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.