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Medications for Endometriosis

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside of the uterine cavity (such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic structures). This tissue responds to the hormones that trigger the menstrual cycle so thickens and sheds like the cells found in the uterus.

This causes symptoms such as:

  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Heavy bleeding (having to change a pad or tampon every one to two hours)
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bladder issues
  • Pain associated with sexual intercourse
  • Infertility.

Pain may also occur at other times of the month or around the time of ovulation.

The exact prevalence of endometriosis is difficult to determine because many women do not realize they have endometriosis. There is often a time lag of several years between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis (average time eight or more years). It tends to run in families and most women will have a female relative with endometriosis, although they may not realize this because of a reluctance by some women to disclose menstruation-related problems.

Endometriosis Diagnosis

If you suspect you may have endometriosis make an appointment with a doctor with good clinical knowledge of the condition.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle. Before making a diagnosis of endometriosis it is important to rule out other conditions such as:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • ovarian cysts
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • fibroids (leiomyomas)
  • adenomyosis
  • interstitial cystitis.

A transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) may be performed; however, to definitively diagnose endometriosis, a laparoscopy must be performed. This is a thin scope that is inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall (often around the belly button area) to view the pelvic area. It allows the surgeon to see misplaced endometrial tissue and allows staging of the disease (location, extent, depth of tissue growths). Abnormal tissue may be removed for biopsy during the procedure.
Other procedures for diagnosis may include computed tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Endometriosis Treatment

Treatment for endometriosis depends on the severity but may include:

  • Hormonal contraceptives (cyclic or continuous, usually oral, such as birth control pills; also patches and vaginal rings)
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen for pain, which can be used with contraceptives for more moderate pain
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) analogs
  • Progestins, like medroxyprogesterone or norethindrone.

Drugs Used to Treat Endometriosis

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
norethindrone X N X 62 reviews
5.4

Generic name: norethindrone systemic

Brand names:  Aygestin, Errin, Camila, Nora-Be, Heather, Jolivette, Deblitane, Jencycla, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel, Incassia, Lyza, Norlyda, Norlyroc …show all

Drug class: contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Depo-Provera X N 72 reviews
5.6

Generic name: medroxyprogesterone systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Lupron Depot X N 109 reviews
5.5

Generic name: leuprolide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

medroxyprogesterone X N 81 reviews
5.6

Generic name: medroxyprogesterone systemic

Brand names:  Depo-Provera, Provera, Depo-Provera Contraceptive, depo-subQ provera 104 …show all

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Zoladex X N 41 reviews
6.8

Generic name: goserelin systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

progesterone Off Label B N 2 reviews
4.0

Generic name: progesterone systemic

Drug class: progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Natural Product Monographs, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Provera X N 3 reviews
6.7

Generic name: medroxyprogesterone systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Lutera Off Label X N X 6 reviews
7.0

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Aviane Off Label X N X 9 reviews
6.9

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Aygestin X N X 3 reviews
7.7

Generic name: norethindrone systemic

Drug class: contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Seasonique Off Label X N X 31 reviews
5.1

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

danazol X N 3 reviews
6.7

Generic name: danazol systemic

Brand name:  Danocrine

Drug class: antigonadotropic agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Sprintec X N X 20 reviews
5.4

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / norgestimate systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Orilissa N 35 reviews
5.5

Generic name: elagolix systemic

Drug class: sex hormone combinations, gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel Off Label X N X 102 reviews
5.7

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Brand names:  Lutera, Aviane, Seasonique, Seasonale, Jolessa, Levlen, Levora, LoSeasonique, Orsythia, CamreseLo, Enpresse, Falmina, Kurvelo, Amethia Lo, Chateal, Lessina, Myzilra, Portia, Sronyx, Trivora …show all

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Depo-Provera Contraceptive X N Add review
0.0

Generic name: medroxyprogesterone systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

leuprolide X N 144 reviews
5.4

Generic name: leuprolide systemic

Brand name:  Lupron Depot

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Seasonale Off Label X N X 2 reviews
7.0

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Cryselle Off Label X N X 8 reviews
5.9

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / norgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Errin X N X 7 reviews
4.7

Generic name: norethindrone systemic

Drug class: contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

ethinyl estradiol / norethindrone X N X 74 reviews
6.4

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / norethindrone systemic

Drug class: contraceptives, sex hormone combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Camila X N X 5 reviews
1.8

Generic name: norethindrone systemic

Drug class: contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

desogestrel / ethinyl estradiol Off Label X N X 3 reviews
8.3

Generic name: desogestrel / ethinyl estradiol systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Jolessa Off Label X N X 3 reviews
8.3

Generic name: ethinyl estradiol / levonorgestrel systemic

Drug class: contraceptives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Nora-Be X N X 4 reviews
4.8

Generic name: norethindrone systemic

Drug class: contraceptives, progestins

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Learn more about Endometriosis

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

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