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Norethindrone (By mouth)

Prevents pregnancy. Also treats menstrual problems and endometriosis. This medicine is commonly called a birth control pill.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Norethindrone is used to prevent pregnancy. It is a birth control pill that contains a hormone, norethindrone, and when taken properly, prevents pregnancy. 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… Read more
Brand names include
Aygestin, Camila, Deblitane, Errin, Heather, Jencycla, Jolivette, Lupaneta Pack, Lyza, Nor-QD, Nora-BE, Norlyda, Norlyroc, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel
Drug classes About this
Contraceptive, Contraceptive, Progestin, Endocrine-Metabolic Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

This review compares two injectable hormonal contraceptives containing only progestogen, namely depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and norethisterone oenanthate (NET‐EN), for the risks and reasons of their discontinuation and for their clinical effects

Injectable hormonal contraceptives remain in extensive use in many developing countries. There are two progestogen‐only injectable contraceptives that have been available in many countries since the 1980's. These are depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and norethisterone oenanthate (NET‐EN). They are both highly effective contraceptives that receive wide acceptance amongst women in their fertile years, and form a sizeable proportion of the health expenditure on contraception. They differ in frequency of administration and cost, and a systematic comparison aids to ensure their rational use. This review seeks to compare DPMA given at a dose of 150 mg IM every 3 months and NET‐EN given at a dose of 200mg IM every 2 months, and determine whether there are differences in contraceptive effectiveness, reversibility and patterns of discontinuation, and their minor and major clinical effects.

Birth control pills with two phases versus three phases

Side effects of birth control pills may keep women from using them as planned. Attempts to decrease side effects led to the three‐phase pill in the 1980s. Pills with phases provide different amounts of hormones over three weeks. Whether three‐phase pills lead to fewer pregnancies than two‐phase pills is unknown. Nor is it known if the pills give better cycle control or have fewer side effects. This review looked at whether two‐phase pills worked as well as three‐phase pills. We also studied whether women had fewer side effects with these pills.

Hormones for contraception (birth control) in men

Researchers have tried to develop contraceptives for men that would be like birth control pills for women. Hormone birth control for men has been hard to achieve. Giving sex hormones to men can lower the sperm produced. However, this approach also lowers the male hormone testosterone in the body, so some testosterone has to be 'added back.' This review looks at the randomized controlled trials of giving hormones to men to prevent their sexual partners from becoming pregnant.

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Summaries for consumers

This review compares two injectable hormonal contraceptives containing only progestogen, namely depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and norethisterone oenanthate (NET‐EN), for the risks and reasons of their discontinuation and for their clinical effects

Injectable hormonal contraceptives remain in extensive use in many developing countries. There are two progestogen‐only injectable contraceptives that have been available in many countries since the 1980's. These are depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and norethisterone oenanthate (NET‐EN). They are both highly effective contraceptives that receive wide acceptance amongst women in their fertile years, and form a sizeable proportion of the health expenditure on contraception. They differ in frequency of administration and cost, and a systematic comparison aids to ensure their rational use. This review seeks to compare DPMA given at a dose of 150 mg IM every 3 months and NET‐EN given at a dose of 200mg IM every 2 months, and determine whether there are differences in contraceptive effectiveness, reversibility and patterns of discontinuation, and their minor and major clinical effects.

Birth control pills with two phases versus three phases

Side effects of birth control pills may keep women from using them as planned. Attempts to decrease side effects led to the three‐phase pill in the 1980s. Pills with phases provide different amounts of hormones over three weeks. Whether three‐phase pills lead to fewer pregnancies than two‐phase pills is unknown. Nor is it known if the pills give better cycle control or have fewer side effects. This review looked at whether two‐phase pills worked as well as three‐phase pills. We also studied whether women had fewer side effects with these pills.

Hormones for contraception (birth control) in men

Researchers have tried to develop contraceptives for men that would be like birth control pills for women. Hormone birth control for men has been hard to achieve. Giving sex hormones to men can lower the sperm produced. However, this approach also lowers the male hormone testosterone in the body, so some testosterone has to be 'added back.' This review looks at the randomized controlled trials of giving hormones to men to prevent their sexual partners from becoming pregnant.

See all (18)

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