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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive
3.5/5 - 819 reviews
5 star
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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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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 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.

by laurmo on 11/16/2014 23:25
Hi, I'm not sure if you will see this since you posted back in May, but I went on Ortho Tri Cyclen 2 months ago and am praying that by the end of my 3rd month I will start seeing improvement, because so far I don't see much of a difference, maybe even a little worse. Did it take you the full 3 months before you started clearing up completely? Did you have an initial breakout or anything? Thanks!
Reviewed on May 5, 2014

On currently on my second round if accutane. My dr to put me on sprintec to help get better results saying it will normalize my hormones. My first week on accutane my face cleared up and then I started sprintec (ortho cycline generic) the next day I woke up with white heads. As days went on taking sprintec at night I started to wake up with 6 cysts everymorning. I decided to skip 2 days of sprintec and I didnt get no new acne. Then I tried it again and more acne cyst appeared and they hurt. So I decided to stop and wait for a few months and try starting again to see what happens. But I believe thw sprintec is causing the acne not the accutane.

by Frenchgirl10 on 12/28/2014 16:43
I got very bad Cysts Acne also with in the first month. I'm using Pro active and it has truly worked. I'm not going for a 3rd month. I used Yasmin for 7 years and it works wonders on the face!!! if that helps
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(:

Nothing special
Reviewed on March 24, 2014

I went on this BC after having acne, and there was no topical treatments left. I can honestly say it didn't do anything really. Been on it for 3 years and still get decently bad acne. I have less oily skin, and I only stay on this to prevent pregnancy. I have More regular periods, but that's it. There are probably better birth controls.

BEFORE YOU TAKE ORTHO TRI CYCLEN! You may want to consider this!!
Reviewed on February 18, 2014

I have tried many, many many acne products for my cystic acne. I have gotten these deep, lingering "undergrounders" for as long as I can recall. After trying an array of different antibiotics, creams, lotions, etc, my doctor recommended birth control. I have tried lo-estrin (worst mistake of my life) and yaz (which helped, but made me crazy) and wanted to make the switch to ortho TRI cyclen. My doctor warned me that it may not be a good idea. If you get acne when your hormones fluctate, the tri cyclen will ruin you. It has three waves of hormones that peak and dip through the month (hence TRI-cyclen) rather than one steady dose. He put me on ortho-cyclen (generic is Previfem) and while I cannot say that my acne is ENTIRELY gone, it has decreased by about 85%. Ortho cyclen is very effective at what it does and out of all hormonal birth controls has made me the least crazy. Ask your doctor, but I highly recommend it. After struggling with acne for over eight years, I've found a solution and I am at peace!!! Plus, the generic is FREE!

by Tnorm on 04/15/2015 15:06
How long until you started clearing??
Worst Initial Breakout EVER! Best skin after 6 months.
Reviewed on December 24, 2013

I switched to OTC after Yaz stopped working as well. I experienced the WORST initial break out of my life in the first two months. I never thought my skin could get that bad, but it did! I even took pictures of the acne to chart how bad it was. Slowly over 6 months I started to clear up and, now, I have probably the best skin I have had in a year. Everything is clear, save one or two small spots a month. I'll take those small spots over the cystic acne I had even before the OTC. I still have a lot of red marks left over from the initial breakout, which are clearing slowly. One good thing, the tone and texture of my skin has improved greatly. So has the firmness.

I never thought I would have skin this bad, but I do and the OTC has helped.


I am still on this BC and my acne is pretty much non-existent now. I have the best skin of my adulthood. This stuff is great!

Not to sure...
Reviewed on January 23, 2014

This was my first birth control. I'm 23 years old now, I was 18 when i started and stopped after a year or half a year. I can't remember. But I do remember this birth control was good because it stopped my acne on my face right away from starting it, it didn't get me pregnant. Great right? Wrong. In the summer time, I started to get acne all over my back and chest, even my face. but very very small pimples and only when I was in direct sunlight. (Swimming, even with or without sunscreen. walking outside.) It was like my skin couldn't breathe! so all these mini pimples would scatter all over my chest and back. my face had larger ones and I would have horrible headaches and cramps when my period came. I also was very bitchy. so angry about nothing, then emotional when my period was about to start.(for example. i'll be pissed off and rage and then about an hour later i'll start to cry. then the next day my period would start) it didn't make my vagina dry though. so In the winter time I didn't get acne (the mini ones that would scatter all over my chest and back like in the summer time). I recommending because it helped only in the winter times because the sun didn't affect me as badly as it did in the summer times. I guess because my skin wasn't exposed.