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What is norethindrone? Norethindrone is a form of progesterone, a female hormone important for regulating ovulation and menstruation. Norethindrone is used for birth control (contraception) to prevent pregnancy. Norethindrone is also used to treat menstrual disorders, endometriosis, or abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by a hormone imbalance. Not all brands of norethindrone are for the same uses. Some brands are for use only as contraception. Others are for use in treating endometriosis or vaginal bleeding disorders. Avoid medication errors by using only the brand, form, and strength your doctor prescribes. Norethindrone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide. Warnings You should not use this medicine if you you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, breast cancer, liver disease, or a liver tumor. You may not be able to take norethindrone if you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, or blood clot. Do not use if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. In some cases, you should not take norethindrone if you are nursing. Before taking this medicine You should not use norethindrone if you are allergic to it, or if you have: unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor; liver disease or a liver tumor; breast cancer; or a history of blood clots in your brain, eyes, lungs, or legs. Do not use norethindrone if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Stop taking the medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Ask your doctor about using norethindrone while you are breast-feeding. In some cases, you should not take norethindrone if you are nursing. Tell your doctor if you have ever had: heart disease, high blood pressure; liver disease; depression; migraine headaches; diabetes; high cholesterol or triglycerides; uterine fibroid tumors; epilepsy; kidney disease; asthma; or if you smoke. Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. How should I take norethindrone? Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Carefully follow your doctor's dosing instructions about when to start taking norethindrone for contraception if you are switching from a combination birth control pill (estrogen and progestin). If you take norethindrone for contraception: Take one pill every day, no more than 24 hours apart. You may get pregnant if you do not take one pill daily. You may need to use back-up birth control (such as condoms with spermicide) if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are 3 or more hours late in taking your daily dose. If you take norethindrone for menstrual disorders or abnormal vaginal bleeding: You will most likely take the medicine for only 5 to 10 days. Vaginal bleeding will occur 3 to 7 days after your last dose. If you take norethindrone for endometriosis: Norethindrone is usually taken daily long-term for several months. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis, and have regular mammograms. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away. Norethindrone can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using norethindrone. Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. What happens if I miss a dose? Call your doctor for instructions, or follow the patient instructions provided with your medicine. Missing a birth control pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant. If you are more than 3 hours late for your dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember and use back-up birth control for at least 48 hours. Take your next pill at the regularly scheduled time and continue on your regular dosing schedule. If you miss a period for two months in a row, call your doctor because you might be pregnant. What happens if I overdose? Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of norethindrone is not expected to be dangerous. What should I avoid while taking norethindrone? Do not use estrogen medication unless your doctor tells you to. Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while taking norethindrone for contraception. Norethindrone will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases. 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: sudden vision loss, bulging eyes, or severe headache; swelling, rapid weight gain; unusual vaginal bleeding; missed menstrual periods; pelvic pain (especially on one side); a breast lump; a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; increased thirst, increased urination; liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or signs of a blood clot--sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision or speech, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling or redness in an arm or leg. Common side effects may include: irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting; headache; breast pain or swelling; stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting; hair loss; depressed mood, trouble sleeping; weight gain; or vaginal itching or discharge. 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. Norethindrone dosing information Usual Adult Dose for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: 2.5 to 10 mg orally once a day Duration of therapy: 5 to 10 days Comments: -This drug should be used when the endometrium is adequately primed with endogenous/exogenous estrogen. -Withdrawal bleeding typically occurs within 3 to 7 days of treatment discontinuation. Use: Treatment of secondary amenorrhea and abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance without organic pathology (e.g., submucous fibroids, uterine cancer) Usual Adult Dose for Amenorrhea: 2.5 to 10 mg orally once a day Duration of therapy: 5 to 10 days Comments: -This drug should be used when the endometrium is adequately primed with endogenous/exogenous estrogen. -Withdrawal bleeding typically occurs within 3 to 7 days of treatment discontinuation. Use: Treatment of secondary amenorrhea and abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance without organic pathology (e.g., submucous fibroids, uterine cancer) Usual Adult Dose for Contraception: 0.35 mg orally once a day Comment: -This drug should be taken at the same time each day. Use: Prevention of pregnancy Usual Adult Dose for Endometriosis: Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day for 2 weeks -Maximum dose: 15 mg/day Comments: -The dose should be increased by 2.5 mg/day every 2 weeks until 15 mg is reached. -Treatment may continue for 6 to 9 months OR until annoying breakthrough bleeding demands temporary termination. Uses: Treatment of endometriosis Usual Pediatric Dose for Contraception: Postpubertal adolescents (under 16 years): 0.35 mg orally once a day Comments: -This drug should be used after menarche occurs. -The dose should be taken at the same time each day. Use: Prevention of pregnancy What other drugs will affect norethindrone? Some drugs can make norethindrone less effective, which may result in unintended pregnancy if you use norethindrone for contraception. Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially: St. John's wort; medicine to treat an infection (antibiotics or antifungal medicine); medicine to treat tuberculosis; medicine to treat HIV or AIDS; or seizure medication. This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect norethindrone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
What is progesterone? Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. Progesterone is produced in high amounts in females by the ovaries. It is also produced in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands both males and females. Progesterone is used to cause menstrual periods in women who have not yet reached menopause but are not having periods due to a lack of progesterone in the body. It is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy. Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Warnings Do not use progesterone without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. You should not use progesterone if you have: abnormal vaginal bleeding, a history of breast cancer, liver disease, or if you have recently had a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer. Some forms of this medication may contain peanut oil. Do not use this medicine without telling your doctor if you have a peanut allergy. Before taking this medicine You should not use progesterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have: abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked; a history of breast cancer; liver disease; a peanut allergy; if you are pregnant; if you have had a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot within the past year; or if you have recently had an incomplete miscarriage or "missed" abortion. Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer. To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have: heart disease, circulation problems; migraines; asthma; kidney disease; seizures or epilepsy; a history of depression; or risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, high cholesterol, family history of coronary artery disease, smoking, being overweight). Do not use progesterone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Progesterone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. How should I use progesterone? Use progesterone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Take the capsule with a full glass of water. It is best to take the medicine at night because this medicine can make you dizzy or drowsy. Apply progesterone cream to the skin as directed by your doctor. Progesterone is sometimes used for only a short time, such as 10 to 12 days during each menstrual cycle. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully. Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using progesterone. If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on 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 this medicine. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. What happens if I miss a dose? Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Call your doctor if you miss more than one dose of this medication. 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 progesterone? Progesterone may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Progesterone side effects Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to progesterone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have: unusual vaginal bleeding; pain or burning when you urinate; a breast lump; sudden vision problems, severe headache or pain behind your eyes; symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes); severe dizziness or drowsiness, spinning sensation, confusion, shortness of breath; heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating; liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with speech or balance; signs of a blood clot in the lung - chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; or signs of a blood clot in your leg - pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs. Common progesterone side effects may include: drowsiness, dizziness; breast pain; mood changes; headache; constipation, diarrhea, heartburn; bloating, swelling in your hands or feet; joint pain; hot flashes; or vaginal discharge. 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 progesterone? There may be other drugs that can interact with progesterone. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.