This medication is used to treat women with abnormal bleeding from the uterus. It is also used to treat women who have stopped having menstrual periods for several months (amenorrhea) but who are not pregnant or going through menopause. In addition, this medication is used to treat a condition (endometriosis) in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus is found outside the uterus in the abdomen/pelvic area, causing painful/irregular periods. Norethindrone is a type of female hormone (progestin). It is like the hormone progesterone that your body makes naturally. This medication works by stopping the normal growth of the uterus lining during the menstrual cycle and signaling hormone changes in the uterus to restore normal menstrual periods.
This medication must not be used to test for pregnancy.
Progestins are not effective in preventing miscarriages.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this drug and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as prescribed by your doctor. You may take it with food or after a meal to prevent stomach upset. Follow the dosing schedule carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
For the treatment of stopped menstrual periods and abnormal bleeding from the uterus, this drug is usually taken once daily for 5-10 days during the second half of the planned menstrual cycle or as directed by your doctor. Withdrawal bleeding usually occurs within 3-7 days after you stop taking the medication.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, mood swings, trouble sleeping, weight gain/loss, acne, breast swelling/tenderness, change in sexual interest, unwanted hair growth, or hair loss may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: changes in vaginal bleeding (e.g., spotting, breakthrough bleeding, changes in menstrual flow, no menstrual bleeding), change in vaginal discharge, depression, swelling of the hands/feet, frequent/burning/painful urination, yellowing eyes/skin, dark patches on the skin or face (melasma).
This medication may rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) problems from blood clots (e.g., heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the lungs or legs, blindness). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following: chest/jaw/left arm pain, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes (e.g., blurred/double vision, loss of vision, bulging eyes), confusion, sudden severe headache, severe dizziness, fainting, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, pain/redness/swelling/weakness of the arms/legs, calf pain/swelling that is warm to the touch.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking norethindrone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: history of blood clots, history of bleeding in the brain, liver disease, history of cancer of the breast or other female organs, vaginal bleeding of unknown cause, a loss of pregnancy with some tissue remaining in the uterus ("missed abortion"), recent stroke or heart attack (within 1 year).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: family medical history (especially breast lumps/cancer or blood clots), obesity, heart disease (e.g., past heart attacks, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure), high blood pressure, lupus, seizures, migraine headaches, asthma, kidney problems, high blood levels of cholesterol/fats, depression, diabetes, strokes.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Notify your doctor beforehand if you will be having surgery or will be confined to a chair/bed for a long time (e.g., a long plane flight). You may need to stop the medication for a time or take special precautions because of the increased risk for blood clots. Ask your doctor for more details.
Do not smoke. Smoking combined with this medication further increases your risk for strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
This medication may cause blotchy, dark areas on your skin (melasma). Sunlight may worsen this effect. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy because it may harm an unborn baby, especially during the first 4 months of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove norethindrone from your body (such as rifampin, St. John's wort, azole antifungals including itraconazole, certain anti-seizure medicines including carbamazepine/phenobarbital/phenytoin).
This medication can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this medication.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include severe nausea and vomiting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have regular complete physical exams including blood pressure, breast exam, pelvic exam, and screening for cervical cancer (Pap smear) as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your own breasts, and report any lumps immediately. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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