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This progestin-only (POP) birth control pill does not contain estrogen. It is an alternative for women who cannot take an estrogen-based hormone due to their health history or issues, sensitivity to estrogen or are advised not to take hormonal contraceptives with estrogen because they are over age 35 and smoke.
What is Norethindrone 0.35mg?
This POP pill, also known as the mini pill, contains .35mg of norethindrone, a synthetic version of the sex hormone progesterone. There are several different progestins used in hormonal birth control. Lab-made progestins are isolated and weakened forms of progesterone.
Norethindrone is a daily birth control pill, which means it is taken every day. Each pack has 28 pills. Seven of the pills are inactive and are used as reminder pills.
Norethindrone has just enough properties of progesterone to prevent the hypothalamus from sensing a need for more progesterone. A a result, the ovaries do not surge production of progesterone that is necessary to create an optimum environment for fertilization and attachment of the egg to the uterine lining.
Progestin-only vs Combined Birth Control Pills
A POP pill contains only a progestin. A Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) contains an estrogen and a progestin.
Why Does it Matter if I Take a POP Pill or a Combo Pill?
Your physician may prescribe a POP pill for you if you meet all or any of the following conditions:
- Are over 35 and Smoke
- Have experienced unpleasant side effects from estrogen
- Are breastfeeding
- Have a history of certain types of cancers such as breast cancer
- Are at risk for heart disease
- Have high blood pressure
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have migraines with aura
How Do I Take Norethindrone?
Take the mini pill norethindrone once daily for 28 consecutive days. It is recommended to take the pill at the exact time each day. During the last week of your cycle, the last 7 pills will contain inactive ingredients. These placebos are included as a reminder to take the pill each day.
How Effective is the POP Mini Pill?
Although no contraceptive is 100% effective, norethindrone .35mg is considered 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when it is taken exactly as instructed. Studies show that near perfect medication use puts the mini pill’s effectiveness at 91%.
What Do I Do if I Miss a Dose of the Mini Pill?
Refer to your patient information package but this is a guideline for one missed dose. If it is within 3 hours of your regularly scheduled time, take the pill ASAP but use a back up non-hormonal contraception for the next 48 hours. If you miss a dose and it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed pill. Just take the regularly scheduled pill.
What Are Off-Label Uses for Norethindrone?
- Help reduce the risk of endometriosis
- Alleviate menstrual migraines
- Treat difficult symptoms of menopause
- Hormone therapy
- Reduce excess uterine bleeding
- Suppress the overgrowth of the uterine lining in women on estrogen replacement therapy
- Reduce pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
What Can I Expect When Taking Norethindrone?
Refer to the patient pamphlet for a full list of possible side effects. A partial list includes:
- Less frequent periods
- Weight change
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Darkening of the skin
- Worsening of acne
- Increased hair growth
To ensure that we provide you with the best price, we may substitute one generic for another.
Norethindrone is a type of birth control pill belonging to the parent drug class progesterone hormones. When taken properly Norethindrone prevents pregnancy with a success rate up to 99%. Common brand names are Aygestin, Camila, Errin, Jolivette, Lyza, Nora-BE, and Ortho Micronor. Norethindrone is the active ingredient in the brand name birth control pills and is the FDA-approved generic.
Norethindrone is also used to treat secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods in women who have previously had a menstrual period who are not pregnant), endometriosis, and irregular menstrual periods caused by hormonal imbalance.
No contraceptive method is 100% effective. Birth control methods such as having surgery to become sterile or not having sex are more effective than birth control pills. Discuss your options for birth control with your doctor.
This medicine does not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases. It will not help as emergency contraception, such as after unprotected sexual contact.
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