Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive reviews

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Ortho Tri-Cyclen Oral Contraceptive
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5 star
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4 star
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2 star
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1 star
70 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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hang in there, it pays off
Reviewed on June 19, 2017

Initially going on it was pretty rough. I went through a rollar coaster of side effects. Nausea, headaches, minor weight gain, 1st month wasn't a good time but I just finished month 3 and my cystic acne has completely cleared up as well as the side effects and I couldn't be happier. Although the adjustment period was rough I think it is worth it in the long run.

The most low-risk option
Reviewed on December 10, 2016

After seeing my dermatologist in Nashville, she continuously recommended Ortho-Tricyclen over other options because it's really the most low-risk option. This is useful to learn more: [link edited out]

Give it time!
Reviewed on November 4, 2016

Even though I am only 20, I have struggled with acne many times. I tried multiple antibitics that worked temporarily, but then either gave me a severe allergic reaction (Minocycline) or stopped working (Bactrim). I even tried Accutane and it was only successful for a couple months following treatment. Anyways after the antibiotics stopped working I felt hopeless. All of a sudden I was plagued with large, painful, cystic acne that covered my chin and cheeks. As many of you know, acne does not really boost your self-esteem. I really struggled to even want to be seen. After doing some research I learned that cystic acne is often a result of hormonal imbalances. This led me to try birth control. In the first couple of months my acne seemed to get worse and I felt as if I was doomed to have bad skin. Seemingly everyday I came back to this site to read reviews about people who said to give the medication time and that after 3 months it really starts working. I sure am glad I stuck with it! My face is now clear. Sure I have a couple pop up now and then, but using topical Retin-A and sulfur ointment really does a good job of zapping them quickly. This medication is well worth the initial struggle. I should also add that in the beginning of taking the medication I did feel very strong mood swings, for me they went away after the initial hormone shock. I wish you the best and hope you find your cure!

Terrible for acne-prone skin
Reviewed on November 1, 2016

Let me preface this by saying I have taken many different kinds of birth control pills throughout my teen and adult years. This was by far the worst bcp for my cystic, hormonal acne. I gave it 6 months in hopes that my body would adjust to the pill, but my acne never got better. It actually got worse! I even tried the monophasic version of this one (Ortho-Cyclen) and the results were no different. The minute I went off of these and switched to Caziant was when things started to clear up. Caziant is by far my favorite bcp for hormonal acne. It's true when they say each pill works differently for each person because I've heard great things about Ortho, but it never worked for me. My acne responds best to desogestrel in a triphasic form. The only positive side effect of Ortho was bigger boobs.

Skin is great and no side effects!
Reviewed on August 1, 2016

I have been on the generic brand (Tri-Previfem) of this pill for almost 6 months now. This was the first birth control I ever tried and I’m happy to say that it completely cleared up my hormonal acne without any side effects! I did feel slightly nauseous the first week and experienced some spotting, but that’s it really. It took about 3.5 months for me to actually see improvement in my skin, and it did get worse around the second month, but it was worth it! By 4 full months I was totally clear and my skin finally felt soft and smooth again! The only reason I am giving it 4 stars is because it has not helped with the oiliness of my skin at all.

Works well for acne - other long term side effects
Reviewed on July 15, 2016

I've been on Ortho Tri-Cyclen for 5 years now. I started it to control hormonal acne that appeared at age 21 - big cysts on my chin and jaw. There was definitely an "adjustment period" (about 3-4 months) where my skin flared up and felt like it was purging everything underneath, but since then, it's hard to remember what living with cystic acne was like. My skin has been mostly clear for the past 4.5 years, and I used to get big chin cysts that would last weeks. (It's also effective in that I've never had a pregnancy scare - I do always take it at the exact same time each day).

However, there are other long-term side effects. Because bc affects your blood pressure, I developed a varicose vein in my leg after about 2 years, and even since having it removed another one has begun to crop up. It makes me worry about the increased risk of blood clots, esp. with such long-term use. However, I'm also scared of what my skin will do once I stop . . .

So far, so good...
Reviewed on May 19, 2016

I was prescribed Yasmin during my first year of college and it worked wonderfully to clear up my acne. Over the years I was switched to Ocella because of my insurance, and finally to the generic. It never made a huge difference until last year when I started randomly breaking out consistently. I went to the dermatologist and she prescribed Spironolactone-- Horrible. She said it would take up to 3 months to take effect, but after two months my face got worse and needless to say I saw no improvement. SO, I decided to ask my OB to change my birth control and she prescribed Ortho Tri Sprintec. I'm only on my second week, but my face has already experienced a significant improvement and it hasn't been this clear in a while. I've had some breakthrough bleeding/cramps after the first two days, but it's been about a week now and it's completely stopped. My biggest concern is the possible weight gain that everyone talks about, although I haven't noticed an increase in appetite so far so I'm hoping I'll be in the clear. Keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to work wonders!

On and off and back on...
Reviewed on April 13, 2016

This is a review for ORTHO CYCLEN (not tri-cyclen). A quick back story/description- I have had mild to moderate acne since around 9th or 10th grade. My older brother had insanely severe cystic acne in which he took antibiotics for and that helped him until he got out of puberty and no longer needed them. I always had glowing skin and never thought I'd be bothered with blemishes... ha no I was wrong. I have tried countless home remedies, topical creams leftover from his bout with acne, etc. I got on Ortho Cyclen for contraceptive reasons in January of 2015. My skin was still not great until around late May/early June, in which it was next to flawless. From there on out I had very, VERY, minimal spots - were talking very small ones maybe 3 a week. So around December I had a bad breakup and kept forgetting to take my pill on time, causing breakthrough bleeding. I figured that since my acne was clear even while taking the pill inconsistently and I wasn't sexually active anymore I could get off the pill and my skin would be just fine. NOOO. I got off the pill completely January 1st 2016 (being inconsistent for about a month prior), 2 weeks later I was having the worst breakout I've ever experienced. It was so traumatizing. I tried everything and nothing was helping. I went to the pharmacy and got my script refilled and began taking the pills January 14th. Today is April 13th, and my skin, THANK GOD, has cleared up tremendously. I still have hyperpigmentation and some small bumps but my back is clear again and I'm finally getting comfortable in my own skin. Be aware that going off the pill will cause an imbalance. Oh and I had HORRIBLE mood swings for the first 2 months on the days leading up to my period, that did go away though. Give it 3 months, I know it might seem like forever but it's worth it.

I'll update monthly if anything changes :)

Good luck everyone!

by El4cure on 07/09/2016 08:50
So its been about another 2 months since that post and things have been decent. I need to commit and stick to a gentle skincare regimen because I get upset over the smallest bump and try to dry out my whole face. :( I'm broken out now because I started using Panoxyl 10% all over my face and oooph did it dry me out. So my face and neck have been recovering with a little oil-free lotion and vaseline but we're done with benzoyl peroxide for now. I recently liked using Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, Mario Badescu Glycolic toner, and also his spot treatment. With that routine I never needed a moisturizer and it really helped to calm down my skin. Up the sleep intake and I;m going to limit my dairy intake as well. I'll have a blog going on my page for anyone interested:) peace and love everyone . You're beautiful!
Reviewed on January 20, 2016

Hey guys, I posted some forums about a year ago about my acne and about going on BCP. Short acne background description is I had pretty clear skin up until I turned 22 and all of the sudden started getting cystic acne on my cheeks (which never broke out before, it was always my T zone). I started taking Ortho Tri Cyclen about a year and 3 months ago and I was told that it might take about 3 months for the hormones to regulate and for me to start seeing a difference. It honestly was like a day or two after the three month mark that I started noticing that I wasn't getting any new spots. A year later after my skin started clearing up, my skin has remained clear except for the leftover dark marks, which I can say have continually faded. I still get mild acne, but when I say that I mean a pimple on my chin very few and far between and most of the time they are not cystic, also it 95% of the time is because I start picking/messing with a spot and could've prevented it. I am SO happy that OTC has cleared up my skin. My only fear is when I get off of it, my skin will freak out and that scares me like crazy. But for now, I am thankful!

A super detailed review!
Reviewed on September 10, 2015

This review is for those looking for a super detailed experience on this birth control. I relied heavily on the descriptive review of others before trying this BC and thanks to those people, it helped solidify my decision.

My backstory: I developed hormonal acne about two years ago out of no where (I was 21). My skin had been about 95% clear for years It was all along my lower jawline and it hurt so bad to the point where laying my face on my pillow to sleep hurt. I tried everything to make it go away. Switching topical cleansers, eating more clean. Switching beauty products. Even antibiotics and antibiotic creams from the derm. I felt like a monster and avoided going out. I had traveled out of the country and my acne mysteriously went away. Im talking in about a week and a half I was almost 100% clear. It was so strange. So I knew it was something in my environment that was triggering it. (The USA has so much bad crap in their products compared to other countries such as Sweden). So I decided to go the natural route first.

What helped: Out of all natural methods I tried, I found the most success with green Matcha tea. Green tea in general is good for acne and has so many good reviews! It was the only thing that kept me about 80% clear. I had previously tried spearmint tea, fish oil, vitamin C and sawgrass palmetto berry extract. All of these things block the production somewhat of androgens. However, my recent trip back from Sweden left my matcha tea not as effective and I had consistent acne on my forehead that would not go away and so I was about 65% clear and my back was worse. I caved and decided to try this route because I could not bear to hide any longer. I live in Florida and covering up is torture due to the heat.

Ortho tri cyclen review: I was hestitant about going on BC because of all the synthetic hormones it contains and the side effects but I was desperate. Upon starting this BC, I was a teeny bit nauseous the first week. Nothing unbearable and my boobs did get a little sore (but didnt get much bigger unfortunately). I noticed within a week the acne on my forehead was disappearing. The acne on my back was doing a little better but not significantly. Ive only been on it one month and am starting my second month. I was super worried about my hair falling out so Im still keeping on eye on that. I did get a bit emotional at times, especially as I got farther down the back. At the start of month two (now) my boobs are still sore so that is kind of annoying. What I will say is that it made my period the worst it has been in about 8 years. I thought BC was supposed to lighten your period. Instead, mine lasted NINE days and 7 of those days I had consistent cramping. I usually only cramp the first two days. It was terrible. I tried to refrain from taking painkillers every day for a week but after dealing with cramps for 5-7 hours a day trying to wait them out I would give in.

As for my acne: It hasnt totally disappeared. I still have some on my jawline so Im hoping that month two will bring better results. My forehead is almost clear and I occasionally get them on my neck/chest too. However, I am pleased enough with the improvement so I will continue it. Hope this helps everyone!!