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Heather Side Effects

Generic Name: norethindrone

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of norethindrone. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Heather.

In Summary

Common side effects of Heather include: ectopic pregnancy. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to norethindrone: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by norethindrone (the active ingredient contained in Heather). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking norethindrone:

More common:
  • Frequent and irregular bleeding
  • menstrual changes
Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blindness
  • blue-yellow color blindness
  • blurred vision
  • breast pain
  • changes in menstrual period
  • changes in vision
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • decreased vision
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • discouragement
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • eye pain
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling sad or empty
  • fever
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • headache
  • heavy non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • light-colored stools
  • light vaginal bleeding between regular menstrual periods
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • migraine headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • numbness of the hands
  • pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • swelling
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes and skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with norethindrone may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Breast tenderness
  • increased hair growth, especially on the face
  • pimples
  • weight gain
Incidence not known:
  • Brown, blotchy spots on exposed skin
  • enlarged breasts
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • mood swings
  • nervousness
  • weight changes

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to norethindrone: compounding powder, oral tablet


Genitourinary side effects have included breakthrough bleeding, spotting, change in menstrual flow, amenorrhea, changes in cervical erosion and secretion, and breast tenderness. Changes in the cervical squamocolumnar junction and cervical secretions have also been reported.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included increases in PBI, BEI levels, and a decrease in T3 uptake.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included an increase in prothrombin time and clotting factors VII, VIII, IX, and X.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included hepatic adenomas and cholestatic jaundice.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included acne, melasma, chloasma, and pruritus.[Ref]


General side effects have included weight gain/loss and hirsutism.[Ref]


The psychiatric side effects have included mental depression.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included edema[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included insomnia, headache and dizziness.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Nor-QD (norethindrone)" Watson Laboratories Inc, Corona, CA.

2. "Product Information. Aygestin (norethindrone)." ESI Lederle Generics, Philadelphia, PA.

3. "Product Information. Micronor (norethindrone)" Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Raritan, NJ.

Not all side effects for Heather may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.