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Norethindrone (nor ETH in drone)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Aygestin; Camila; Errin; Heather; Jencycla; Jolivette; Lyza; Nor-QD; Nora-BE; Norlyroc; Ortho Micronor

Brand Names: Canada

Micronor®; Norlutate®

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • It is used to treat uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance.
  • It is used to treat endometriosis.
  • It is used to treat women who do not have a monthly period cycle.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to norethindrone or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
  • If you have had any of these health problems: Bleeding disorder; blood clots or risk of having a blood clot; breast cancer; cancer of the uterus, ovary, cervix, or vagina; liver disease; liver tumors; recent heart attack; recent stroke; or vaginal bleeding where the cause is not known.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • This drug may raise your chance of having blood clots, a stroke, or a heart attack. Talk with your doctor.
  • Avoid cigarette smoking. People smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day have more chance for heart disease.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • Do monthly breast self-exams and have a gynecologic exam every year.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab workers know you take this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Birth control:

  • Certain drugs, herbal products, or health problems could cause this drug to not work as well. Be sure your doctor knows about all of your drugs and health problems.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT):

  • This drug is not approved for use in children. Talk with the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Bulging eyes.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Loss of eyesight.
  • A lump in the breast, breast soreness, or nipple discharge.
  • Breast pain.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Mood changes.
  • Swelling in the feet or hands.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Cramps.
  • Bloating.
  • Dizziness.
  • Breast soreness.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Pimples (acne).
  • Weight gain.
  • This drug may cause dark patches of skin on your face. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.

Birth control:

  • Period (menstrual) changes. These include spotting or bleeding between cycles.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT):

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
  • Take tablet with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Take this drug at the same time of day.

Birth control:

  • If you throw up or have diarrhea, this drug may not work as well. Use an extra form of birth control, like condoms, until you check with your doctor.
  • Do not skip doses, even if you are spotting, bleeding, or feel sick to your stomach.
  • If you miss 2 periods in a row, take a pregnancy test before starting a new cycle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Birth control:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
  • Missed dosing facts may be found in the package insert or call your doctor to find out what to do.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT):

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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