What is the most important information I should know about ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
You should not use this medicine if you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a bleeding disorder, if you will 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.
This medicine 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, heart attack, or cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia.
What is ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
Ethinyl estradiol is a form of estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone necessary for many processes in the body.
Norethindrone is a form of progesterone. Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation.
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is a combination medicine used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation. It is also used to prevent osteoporosis.
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone, or if you have:
- unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
- liver disease;
- 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 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.
Ethinyl 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.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- heart disease;
- liver problems, or jaundice caused by pregnancy or taking hormones;
- kidney disease;
- hereditary angioedema (an immune system disorder);
- bone cancer;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
- gallbladder disease;
- endometriosis or uterine fibroid tumors;
- a thyroid disorder; or
- high or low levels of calcium in your blood.
Using ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
This medicine can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How should I take ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Try to take this medicine at the same time each day.
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone may increase your risk of developing a condition that can lead to uterine cancer. To help lower this risk, your doctor may also want you to take a progestin. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
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 regular mammograms.
If you need major surgery or will be on 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 ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, or vaginal bleeding.
What should I avoid while taking ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while using ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone.
Grapefruit may interact with this medicine and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.
What are the possible side effects of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
heart attack symptoms --chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
increased blood pressure --severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed;
signs of a stroke --sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
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);
- unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain;
- a breast lump;
- memory problems, confusion, unusual behavior; or
high levels of calcium in your blood --nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, lack of energy.
Common side effects may include:
- stomach pain;
- bloating, swelling, weight gain;
- breast pain;
- light vaginal bleeding or spotting;
- thinning scalp hair; or
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.
What other drugs will affect ethinyl 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.
Other drugs may affect ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone.
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.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision date: 9/14/2018.