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Norethindrone oral

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.




WARNING: You should not use this medication during the first 4 months of pregnancy because birth defects may occur. This medication has not been proven to prevent natural abortions that occur early in the pregnancy. Often, the cause of an early natural abortion is due to a defective female egg. Using this drug does not fix a defective egg and may get in the way of expelling it.


This medication is a female hormone. It is used to treat amenorrhea (lack of menstrual flow), abnormal bleeding from the uterus, or endometriosis (a painful condition where the lining of the uterus is abnormal). It is also used to treat certain types of cancer.

How To Use

May be taken with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset. Take this medication as prescribed. It is usually taken for 5 to 13 days during the later end of the menstrual cycle. A menstrual period should begin within 3 to 10 days of stopping the medication. For treatment of cancer, the medication is usually taken more often. Follow the dosing schedule carefully. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Side Effects

This medication may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, depression, sleeplessness, or irritability. These effects should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or become severe, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor promptly if you experience any of the following 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, acute chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the calves accompanied by swelling, warmth or redness, changes in vaginal bleeding (spotting, breakthrough bleeding, prolonged or complete stoppage of bleeding). If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: high blood pressure, seizures, migraine headaches, diabetes, asthma, heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, cancer of the breast or genitals, high blood level of cholesterol or fats, depression, excessive weight gain or fluid retention during menstrual cycle, jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes). Norethindrone must not be used during the first 4 months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor for more details. This drug is excreted into breast milk. The effect on nursing infants has not been determined. Consult your doctor before you breast-feed. Before having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor that you take this medicine. Do not smoke cigarettes. This medication may increase your risk of strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attacks, gallbladder disease, vision problems, and liver tumors. Cigarette smoking further increases the risk of strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking. Because this drug can interfere with laboratory tests, tell the doctor and laboratory personnel that you take this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


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


It is important to have an annual physical exam and do regular self breast examinations while taking this medication. Patient information should be included with the medication. Read it carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.


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.