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Norethindrone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: norethindrone (nor-ETH-in-drone)
Brand Name: Aygestin

Norethindrone is used for:

Treating certain menstrual problems or uterine problems (eg, abnormal bleeding, endometriosis). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Norethindrone is a progestin hormone. It works by altering the lining of the uterus.

Do NOT use norethindrone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in norethindrone
  • you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • you have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding or are postmenopausal
  • you have a history of blood clotting problems, severe blood clots (eg, in the lungs, legs, eyes), certain blood vessel problems (eg, bleeding in the brain, heart attack, stroke), or breast cancer
  • you have decreased liver function or active liver disease

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using norethindrone:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have seizures (eg, epilepsy), migraines, heart problems, kidney problems, or a history of depression
  • if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, lupus, or blood clots, or if a member of your family has had these problems
  • if you smoke or are very overweight

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with norethindrone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Aprepitant, carbamazepine, felbamate, griseofulvin, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), modafinil, nevirapine, rifampin, St. John's wort, or tetracyclines because they may decrease norethindrone's effectiveness
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), theophylline, or troleandomycin because the risk of their side effects may be increased by norethindrone
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers (eg, propranolol), lamotrigine, or thyroid medicines because their effectiveness may be decreased by norethindrone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if norethindrone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use norethindrone:

Use norethindrone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with norethindrone. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take norethindrone by mouth with or without food.
  • Take norethindrone at the same time every day, with doses not more than 24 hours apart.
  • If you miss a dose of norethindrone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use norethindrone.

Important safety information:

  • Norethindrone may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use norethindrone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Norethindrone may cause dark skin patches on your face. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to norethindrone. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Norethindrone may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking norethindrone.
  • Diabetes patients - Norethindrone may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Norethindrone should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use norethindrone if you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Norethindrone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use norethindrone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of norethindrone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Acne; changes in menstrual flow, including breakthrough bleeding, spotting, or missed periods; dizziness; drowsiness; fever; headache; hot flashes; nausea; nervousness; pain; rash; stomach pain; trouble sleeping; weakness; weight gain or loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; depression; lumps in the breast or under the armpits; migraine headache; partial or complete loss of vision or changes in vision; shortness of breath; slurred speech; sudden loss of coordination; sudden or severe headache; sudden severe headache, dizziness, vomiting, or fainting; swelling of fingers or ankles; tenderness, pain, or swelling of the calf; weakness, numbness, or pain in the arms or legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of norethindrone:

Store norethindrone in a tightly closed container at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep norethindrone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about norethindrone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Norethindrone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take norethindrone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about norethindrone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to norethindrone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using norethindrone.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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