Norethindrone: Progesterone Only Birth Control Pill

Norethindrone: Progesterone Only Birth Control Pill

The name Norethindrone, aka, the "mini pill," may not ring a bell in your head, but that doesn't mean you don't use it, like millions of others. Well, you are about to learn some interesting facts about one of the most prescribed, progesterone only, birth control pills.


What is its use?

Norethindrone is a drug primarily used as a contraceptive. As a progestin hormone, it prevents ovulation and pregnancy by stopping the full development of a woman's eggs each month. Fertilization (pregnancy) is no longer possible because the egg can no longer accept sperm.

Where is its origin?


In 1951, Carl Djerassi derived norethindrone at Syntex SA Laboratories in Mexico City, and on May 1, 1956, he received a patent. That same year, Syntex SA Laboratories was initially extracted to treat irregular menstruation and endometriosis. In 1957 was its first introduction for medical use on its own.

Norethindrone was one of the two types of progestin used as birth control pills in the 1950s. Then in 1963, in combination with estrogen was introduced as an oral contraceptive pill.

Brand Names:

Norethindrone is under the brand names: Jencycla, Norlyda, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel, Deblitane, Nora-BE, Errin, Jolivette, Norlyroc, Lyza, amongst a few other brands.

When and how should it be taken?

Norethindrone is most effective if you take it on the first day of your menstrual period. It is a medication that must be taken daily at a specific time, 24 hours apart, regardless of your dosing schedule. Also, it is not as effective as the combination hormone pill (estrogen/progestin) because it doesn't consistently prevent ovulation.


What happens when you come off its 5mg dose?

When treating abnormal bleeding from the uterus and stopping menstrual periods, take norethindrone directed by your doctor or for 5-10 days once daily during the second half of the planned menstrual cycle. The withdrawal period usually occurs within 3-7 days after stopping norethindrone. There is no scientific evidence indicating it affects the normal menstrual flow after that or the person's fertility over time.

Why would a doctor prescribe it?

A doctor might prescribe it for a host of medical reasons. The reasons can include taking the tablet for treating or managing:
• Heavy periods
• Painful periods
• Menstrual periods that are irregular or abnormal frequency
• Premenstrual tension (PMT)
• Endometriosis (where tissue from your womb is outside your womb)
• Breast cancer.


Who shouldn't take it?

Pregnant women or those who may become pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, as well as undiagnosed cases of those experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding, shouldn't take Norethindrone 5mg tablet.


Side Effects:

  • irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting.
  • changes in menstrual flow.
  • enlarged or tender breasts.
  • nausea.
  • vomiting.
  • bloating.
  • weight changes.
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • acne
  • brown patches on the face
  • hair loss
  • growth of hair on face

Norethindrone is a manufactured form of progesterone, a naturally occurring female sex hormone. It is used at low doses as a contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in combination with other drugs.

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