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Norethindrone oral
NORETHINDRONE - ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

NORETHINDRONE - ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE

(nor-ETH-in-drone)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Micronor, Nor-Q-D

Uses

This medication is used as an oral contraceptive (birth control pill). This medication prevents pregnancy by changing the body's hormone balance.

How To Use

Take the first pill on day 1 of menstruation. Take it with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset. This medication should be taken daily at the same time each day. Use a supplemental form of birth control during the first two months of taking this medication since it takes a while to be effective.

Side Effects

This medication may cause weight gain, depression, fatigue, acne, oily scalp, hair loss, decrease in breast size and may increase susceptibility to yeast infections. If these effects persist or become intolerable, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop any of the following effects while taking this medication: dizziness or fainting, sudden severe headache, changes in vision, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, swelling of the hands or feet, chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the lower legs with swelling/warmth or redness, symptoms of jaundice (dark urine, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the eyes or skin), changes in vaginal bleeding (e.g., spotting, breakthrough, prolonged, or lack of bleeding). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before you take this medication, tell your doctor your entire medical history, including family medical history, especially of: asthma, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, heart disease, history of jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), unusual weight gain or swelling during your menstrual cycle, strokes, blood clots, seizures, migraine headaches, breast cancer, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, depression. It may take a long time for you to become pregnant after you stop taking birth control pills, especially if you have never had a baby or if you had irregular, infrequent, or complete absence of menstrual periods before taking birth control pills. This problem does not seem to be related to the duration of use of birth control pills. Discuss this with your doctor. Do not smoke cigarettes. Birth-control pills slightly increase your risk of strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attacks, gallbladder disease, vision problems, and liver tumors. Cigarette smoking (especially 15 or more cigarettes daily) and age (women older than 35 or 40 years of age) further increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the patient labeling which explains these risks in more detail. Before having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor that you take birth control pills. This drug may increase skin sensitivity to the sun or cause a patchy darkening of the skin (melasma). Sunlight may intensify this darkening. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and do not use sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposed to the sun. Norethindrone must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you are pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This drug passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effect on a nursing infant (if you are not a well-nourished mother). Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Oral contraceptives should be stopped at least three months before becoming pregnant. Use another method of birth control during those three months.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially: aminoglutethimide, certain seizure drugs (e.g., phenytoin, barbiturates, primidone, carbamazepine), rifamycins (e.g., rifampin), thyroid, nevirapine, theophylline, antibiotics such as penicillins and tetracyclines, griseofulvin, certain HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., amprenavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir), acitretin, troglitazone, modafinil, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone). This product can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and dizziness.

Notes

To improve effectiveness, use another method of contraception at mid-cycle each month (4 days before and 4 days after ovulation). Do not allow anyone else to take this medication. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have a complete physical examination, including blood pressure measurements, breast and pelvic examinations, and a PAP test (for vaginal cancer), at least once a year. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your own breasts, and report any lumps immediately. An information sheet about this medication should be dispensed with each prescription. Read the information carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have. Some women may have as few as two menstrual periods per year while taking this medication. If no period occurs within 45 days or more, you should get a pregnancy test.

Missed Dose

Use a back-up method of birth control for 2 days if you are more than 3 hours late taking this medicine. If you forget to take one dose, take the dose as soon as you remember, and take the next dose at your regular time. Use a back- up method of birth control until your next menstrual period. If you forget to take 2 doses, take 2 doses when you remember, and 2 the next day. Then use a back-up method of birth control until your next period. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on a reliable back-up method of birth control as well as more missed dose details.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.