Medically reviewed on December 15, 2017
What are estradiol and norethindrone?
Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone that regulates many processes in the body.
Norethindrone is a form of progesterone, a female hormone important for regulating ovulation and menstruation.
Estradiol and norethindrone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you have had a hysterectomy, or if you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a bleeding disorder, if you have major surgery, or if you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, a blood clot, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.
Do not use if you are pregnant.
Estradiol and norethindrone may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Estradiol and norethindrone should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia. Long-term use may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to estradiol or norethindrone, if you have had a hysterectomy, or if you have:
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
a bleeding disorder;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; or
a history of hormone-related cancer, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.
Do not use estradiol and norethindrone if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are overweight, or if you smoke.
Estradiol and norethindrone should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
hereditary angioedema (an immune system disorder);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
endometriosis or uterine fibroid tumors;
a thyroid disorder; or
high levels of calcium in your blood.
Long-term use of estradiol may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
Estradiol lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk and can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How should I take estradiol and norethindrone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Call your doctor at once if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding while using this medicine.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If you need major surgery with long-term bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using estradiol and norethindrone.
Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis and have a mammogram every year while using estradiol and norethindrone.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using estradiol and norethindrone?
Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while using estradiol and norethindrone.
Estradiol and norethindrone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
signs of a blood clot--sudden vision loss, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood, pain or warmth in one or both legs;
swelling or tenderness in your stomach;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
memory problems, confusion, unusual behavior;
unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain;
a lump in your breast; or
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
fluid retention (swelling, rapid weight gain);
thinning scalp hair; or
vaginal itching or discharge, changes in your menstrual periods, breakthrough bleeding.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect estradiol and norethindrone?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Many drugs can interact with estradiol and norethindrone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02.
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- Drug class: sex hormone combinations