Norethisterone acetate

Name: Norethisterone acetate

How should this medicine be used?

Norethindrone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. Norethindrone is taken on different schedules that depend on the condition that is being treated and on how well norethindrone works to treat the conditions. When norethindrone is used to treat endometriosis, it is usually taken once a day for 6 to 9 months or until breakthrough bleeding becomes bothersome. When norethindrone is used to bring on a normal cycle in women who have stopped menstruating, it is usually taken once a day for 5 to 10 days during the second half of the planned menstrual cycle. To help you remember to take norethindrone, take it at around the same time of day every day that you are scheduled to take it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take norethindrone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

If you are taking norethindrone for endometriosis, your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of norethindrone and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 2 weeks.

Norethindrone may control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take norethindrone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking norethindrone without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking norethindrone,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to norethindrone, oral contraceptives ('birth control pills'), or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol),phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin); and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have recently had surgery or have been unable to move around for any reason and if you have or have ever had breast cancer; unexplained vaginal bleeding; a missed abortion (a pregnancy that ended when the unborn child died in the uterus but was not expelled from the body); blood clots in your legs, lungs, brain, or eyes; stroke or mini-stroke; coronary artery disease (clogged blood vessels leading to the heart); chest pain; a heart attack; thrombophilia (a condition in which the blood clots more easily); seizures; migraine headaches; depression; asthma; high cholesterol; diabetes; or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking norethindrone, call your doctor immediately. Norethindrone should never be used to test for pregnancy.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking norethindrone.
  • tell your doctor if you smoke cigarettes. Smoking may increase the risk that you will develop serious side effects of norethindrone.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Other names

  • Norethisterone acetate
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