Nora-BE (Oral)

Generic Name: norethindrone (Oral route)


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 16, 2019.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
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Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Aygestin
  • Camila
  • Errin
  • Jolivette
  • Lyza
  • Nora-BE
  • Nor-QD
  • Ortho Micronor

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Contraceptive, Progestin

Pharmacologic Class: Progestin

Uses for Nora-BE

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 contraceptive method is 100 percent effective. Birth control methods such as having surgery to become sterile or not having sex are more effective than birth control pills. Discuss your options for birth control with your doctor.

This medicine does not protect against HIV infection or other sexually transmitted diseases. It will not help as emergency contraception, such as after unprotected sexual contact.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

Before using Nora-BE

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of Ortho Micronor® have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of this medicine in teenagers are not expected. This medicine may be used for birth control in teenage females but should not be used before the start of menstruation.

Use of norethindrone acetate tablets is not recommended in children.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of norethindrone have not been performed in the geriatric population. This medicine should not be used in elderly women.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters X Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Tranexamic Acid

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aprepitant
  • Bosentan
  • Carbamazepine
  • Dabrafenib
  • Darunavir
  • Dexamethasone
  • Encorafenib
  • Enzalutamide
  • Fosaprepitant
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Griseofulvin
  • Isotretinoin
  • Ivosidenib
  • Lesinurad
  • Lixisenatide
  • Lumacaftor
  • Mitotane
  • Modafinil
  • Nafcillin
  • Nevirapine
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Pitolisant
  • Prednisone
  • Primidone
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • St John’s Wort
  • Sugammadex
  • Theophylline
  • Tizanidine
  • Topiramate
  • Ulipristal

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alprazolam
  • Amprenavir
  • Atazanavir
  • Bacampicillin
  • Betamethasone
  • Bexarotene
  • Colesevelam
  • Cyclosporine
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Lamotrigine
  • Licorice
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Nelfinavir
  • Parecoxib
  • Prednisolone
  • Rifapentine
  • Ritonavir
  • Rufinamide
  • Selegiline
  • Telaprevir
  • Troglitazone
  • Troleandomycin
  • Valdecoxib
  • Voriconazole
  • Warfarin

Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Caffeine

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Abnormal or unusual vaginal bleeding or
  • Breast cancer, active or history of or
  • Liver disease, including tumors or cancer—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Blood clots (eg, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism), or history of or
  • Heart attack, history of or
  • Stroke, history of—Norethindrone acetate tablets should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Diabetes or
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol or fats in the blood) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Obesity, or history of or
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, autoimmune disorder)—These conditions may increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Depression, history of or
  • Epilepsy or
  • Heart disease or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Migraine headaches—Use with caution. Norethindrone acetate may make these conditions worse.
  • Diabetes or
  • Ovarian cyst—Use with caution. Ortho Micronor® may make these conditions worse.

Proper use of norethindrone

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain norethindrone. It may not be specific to Nora-BE. Please read with care.

To make using hormonal contraceptives as safe and reliable as possible, you should understand how and when to use them and what effects may be expected.

This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If you are using Ortho Micronor®:

  • This medicine is available in a blister card with a tablet dispenser. Each blister card contains 28 tablets.
  • Take this medicine at the same time each day. You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Start the next pack the day after the last pack is finished. There is no break between packs.
  • Your doctor may ask you to begin your dose on the first day of your menstrual period (called Day 1 Start). When you begin on another day, you need to use another form of birth control (eg, condom, spermicide) for the first 48 hours. If you have a miscarriage or an abortion, you may start the taking the pill on the next day.
  • You may have light bleeding or spotting when you first take the pill.
  • If you are switching from the a combination hormonal method to Ortho Micronor®, take the medicine the day after you finish the last active combined pill.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For contraception (to prevent pregnancy):
      • Adults and teenagers—One tablet taken at the same time each day for 28 days.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treatment of secondary amenorrhea or abnormal vaginal bleeding:
      • Adults—2.5 to 10 milligrams (mg) once a day for 5 to 10 days.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.
    • For treatment of endometriosis:
      • Adults—At first, 5 milligrams (mg) once a day for 2 weeks. Your doctor may increase your dose by 2.5 mg per day every 2 weeks up to 15 mg per day for 6 to 9 months.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you take a pill more than 3 hours late, use another form of birth control for the next 48 hours.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using Nora-BE

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every 6 to 12 months, but some doctors require them more often. Pelvic exam, breast exam, and mammogram (breast x-ray) may be needed to check for unwanted effects, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Although you are using this medicine to prevent pregnancy, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm the unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Vaginal bleeding of various amounts may occur between your regular menstrual periods during the first 3 months of use. This is sometimes called spotting when slight, or breakthrough bleeding when heavier.

  • If this should occur, continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • The bleeding usually stops within 1 week. Check with your doctor if the bleeding continues for more than 1 week.
  • If bleeding continues after you have been taking hormonal contraceptives on schedule and for more than 3 months, check with your doctor.

Check with your doctor right away if you miss a menstrual period. Missed periods may occur if you skip one or more tablets and have not taken your pills exactly as directed. If you miss two periods in a row, talk to your doctor. You might need a pregnancy test.

If you suspect that you may be pregnant, stop using this medicine immediately and check with your doctor.

Check with your doctor before refilling an old prescription, especially after a pregnancy. You will need another physical examination and your doctor may change your prescription.

Call your doctor right away if you have sudden or severe lower abdominal or stomach pain. These may be symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy or an ovarian cyst.

Do not use this medicine if you smoke cigarettes. If you smoke while using birth control pills, you increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Your risk is even higher if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Talk with your doctor about ways to stop smoking. Keep your diabetes under control. Ask your doctor about diet and exercise to control your weight and blood cholesterol level.

Check with your doctor immediately if you have trouble wearing contact lenses or if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter ) medicines and herbal (eg, St. John’s wort) or vitamin supplements.

Nora-BE side effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Frequent and irregular bleeding
  • menstrual changes

Incidence not known

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blindness
  • blue-yellow color blindness
  • blurred vision
  • breast pain
  • changes in menstrual period
  • changes in vision
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • decreased vision
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • discouragement
  • dizziness
  • double vision
  • eye pain
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling sad or empty
  • fever
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • headache
  • heavy non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • light-colored stools
  • light vaginal bleeding between regular menstrual periods
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • migraine headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • numbness of the hands
  • pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • swelling
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • vomiting of blood
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Breast tenderness
  • increased hair growth, especially on the face
  • pimples
  • weight gain

Incidence not known

  • Brown, blotchy spots on exposed skin
  • enlarged breasts
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • mood swings
  • nervousness
  • weight changes

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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Medical Disclaimer

More about Nora-Be (norethindrone)

  • Side Effects
  • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
  • Dosage Information
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  • Drug Interactions
  • Support Group
  • Pricing & Coupons
  • En Español
  • 124 Reviews
  • Drug class: contraceptives

Consumer resources

  • Nora-Be

Other brands: Errin, Camila, Ortho Micronor, Aygestin, … +8 more

Professional resources

  • Nora-BE (FDA)
  • … +1 more

Related treatment guides

  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  • Amenorrhea
  • Birth Control
  • Endometriosis

(Closed) No Period on Nora BE (Progestin-only-pill) – Normal?

  • KatNYC2011
  • 8 years ago
  • Wedding: September 2011

I just switched to a progesterone only pill and haven’t had a period since starting it almost 2 months ago. I have been having some period cramps, but very mild and nothing else.

I did research on my pill, Cerazette, and it is possible that it completely eliminates the period.

Also, when you are on any pill you do not get a period, but rather “withdrawal bleeding” during the sugar pill week and withdrawal bleeding is not medically necessary. There is no physiological requirement for a monthly period.

The only real purpose of withdrawal bleeding is to comfort the woman that they are not pregnant.

Some recent studies on the medical necesity of periods/bleeding:

    Henzl & Polan (2004): found that eliminating withdrawal bleeding through extended or continuous use of oral contraceptives may actually have health or lifestyle-related benefits.

Anderson et al. (2006): the primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the safety of Seasonale for up to an additional two years. The researchers found that the negative side effects reported in this study are typical of all birth control pills (with the exception that break through bleeding is more common with extended cycle pills). This study also confirmed the long-term safety of Seasonale, a 91-day extended cycle pill.

Continuing in her series on contraception, Dr. Julie Leizer talks the pros and cons of progestin-only birth control.

Some of the most commonly used methods of birth control are hormonal. However, there are 2 different types of hormonal birth control- combined (containing estrogen and progesterone) and progestin-only. Both types are equally effective when used properly, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The types of progestin-only birth control are the pill (mini-pill), the shot (called Depo-Provera), implant (Implanon), and IUD (Mirena).

Progestin methods are often used in women that can’t take estrogen due to certain medical conditions. People who have had blood clots, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis should not take estrogen-containing birth control. People prone to these conditions should also not use estrogen-containing birth control. The same goes for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure, smokers >35y/o, and people with migraine headaches with an aura. People who are breastfeeding usually prefer progestin-only birth control because estrogen-containing birth control can decrease their milk supply.

The most common side effect of this type of birth control is irregular bleeding. People may experience bleeding in between periods, irregular spotting throughout their cycle, or they may stop getting a period all together. People may also experience headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, or weight gain. The progestin can increase your appetite, so although the medication itself does not cause weight gain if you are hungrier you may eat more and this can lead to weight gain. Depo-Provera most commonly causes weight gain as compared to the other methods discussed here.

The progestin-only pill, or mini-pill, is a pill that is taken daily. It is important to take the pill at the exact time every day, because even a delay as little as three hours can lower the efficacy of the pill. When starting the pill you should use a back-up method of birth control for the 1st week. The same should be done if a pill is missed. If used perfectly the failure rate is about 0.3%. Along with irregular bleeding, which is the most common side effect, people may also tend to develop ovarian cysts. This medication may not be effective if used in combination with certain anti-seizure medications.

Another type of progestin-only birth control is an injection called Depo-Provera. It is an injection that is given about every 12 weeks. This injection should be given ideally during the 1st 5 days of your period. In people that are breastfeeding the shot can be given during the post partum period, and it can even be given immediately after delivery. Again the most common side effect is irregular bleeding. Many people will stop getting a period completely after several injections. It can take about 6 months or more to get a regular cycle back after stopping the injection. Depo-Provera can lead to reversible bone loss, especially if used for more than 2 years. This bone loss is reversible after discontinuation of the shot, but it is important to take in sufficient calcium and vitamin D while using the shot.

Another kind of progestin-only birth control is the implant, called Implanon. This is a small implant, about 2 x 4 cm, which is placed in the upper arm. It must be inserted and removed by a healthcare provider. It can be left in place for 3 years. It also can lead to irregular bleeding or absence of your period.

The Mirena IUD is a device that sits in the uterus for up to 5 years while slowly releasing progesterone. For more details on this refer to last months article on IUDs.

Remember that all of these methods are fairly reliable methods of birth control. They are also helpful in people who have heavy periods because it can cause them to become lighter or to stop all together. None of these protect against sexually transmitted diseases, however, so you should always use condoms if you are at risk of developing an STD. Check in next month when we’ll be discussing combined hormonal methods of birth control.

Babies are cute and cuddly, but not always on the radar. Thank goodness for birth control options — there are plenty of effective ways to avoid getting pregnant. (Hurrah!)

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In fact, every time you flip through a magazine, it seems there is another new birth control on the market. So how can you decide which method is the best for you?

How to choose the right birth control option for you

“My first question is always, ‘What’s most important to you?’” says Ob/Gyn Ashley Brant, DO. “For one woman, the answer is fewer side effects. For another, it’s a less painful period. Those preferences, plus the woman’s medical history, can help guide the decision.”

Dr. Brant discusses the available birth control options, along with their pros and cons.

Birth control pills

One of the most commonly used birth control methods is “the pill.” Birth control pills regulate your hormones to control the menstrual cycle. You take three weeks of active pills. During the fourth week, you take placebo pills, which don’t have hormones. That’s when you get your period.


  • Less painful and lighter periods.
  • Reduced acne.
  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
  • More than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • Can omit the placebo pills to skip a period (though discuss with your doctor first).


  • Slightly increased risk of blood clots, usually in smokers and women with a history of other medical conditions. (There is a special type of pill called the “mini pill” or progestin-only pill, which is safe for women with medical problems that prohibit the use of regular birth control pills.)
  • Slightly increased risk of cervical cancer (though Dr. Brant says that could have more to do with sexual behavior than the pill itself).
  • Needs to be taken every day.

IUD (intrauterine device)

“The IUD is an excellent birth control option for women who want to take action and not think about it again for a while,” says Dr. Brant. “Your Ob/Gyn inserts a T-shaped device into the uterus during a quick in-office procedure. There are two forms of IUD, a copper version and a plastic version that contains hormones. IUDs work by making it nearly impossible for the sperm to reach the egg.”


  • More than 99% effective.
  • Lasts three to 10 years before needing to be replaced.
  • Hormonal IUDs: Can make periods lighter or even nonexistent (copper IUDs do not have that benefit).
  • Hormonal IUDs: May reduce risk of endometrial cancer.


  • Requires a pelvic exam before insertion.
  • Insertion may be uncomfortable or even painful.
  • Risk of perforating the uterus during insertion (though that occurs in one of 1,000 women).
  • Unpredictable spotting for several months after insertion.


The condom serves as a barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus.


  • The only birth control method that also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • Can be used with other birth control methods for STD protection and improved protection against pregnancy.


  • Inconvenience.
  • 20% failure rate.

Hormonal implant

It’s a small plastic rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm deliver a constant supply of pregnancy-preventing hormones into the bloodstream for three years.


  • Similar to those of hormonal IUD.
  • Highly effective.
  • No pelvic exam required.
  • Inserted during a quick in-office procedure.


  • As with the IUD, can cause unpredictable bleeding.
  • Could cause heavier periods, though in some cases periods are lighter.

The shot

Your provider can give you a pregnancy protection shot every three months.


  • Effectiveness similar to the pill.
  • May cause period to decrease or even disappear.


  • Causes bone thinning (though it’s reversible once you discontinue the shot).
  • Requires a doctor’s visit for the injection four times a year.

The patch and the ring

The ring and patch deliver the same hormones as the pill. You place the patch on your skin and change it every week. The ring is a piece of flexible plastic that you place in your vagina and replace each month. You get your period when you remove the patch and ring for one week out of the month.


  • Can be applied at home — no doctor’s visit necessary after initial prescribing visit.
  • Can omit the week of placebos to skip a period.
  • 95% effective at preventing pregnancy.


  • Side effects such as changes in mood, breast tenderness and bloating (though they tend to go away after a couple of months of use).
  • Need to remember to change the patch or ring.
  • Not good options for people who smoke, who have blood clots or who have or had cancer.

If you’d prefer that an overstuffed diaper bag not be in your immediate future, talk to your primary care doctor or Ob/Gyn to find the birth control method that fits your lifestyle.

When it comes to birth control, many preconceived notions may influence which method a woman chooses.

Whether it’s the belief that some forms bring weight gain, cause cancer, or affect future fertility, there’s considerable misinformation about birth control—which 99 percent of sexually active American women report having used.

“Considering the high number of women who use birth control at some point in their life, clearing up myths is incredibly important,” says Nancy Stanwood, MD, MPH, chief of Yale Medicine Family Planning. “Women deserve great medical care for this aspect of their health. As medical providers, we welcome conversations with patients about contraception. We want to educate and empower them. We are here to find out each woman’s needs and help connect her with the method that is best for her.”

Often, that conversation includes education. Below, Yale Medicine experts answer common questions women have about contraception.

Which birth control works best?

“People often have a misconception that all birth control methods are the same in terms of protection. But that’s not true. Some work better than others,” Dr. Stanwood says. “I tell patients that, aside from permanent sterilization (tubal ligation for women, vasectomy for men), what gives the most protection is an intrauterine device (IUD) or the arm implant, both of which have a less than 1% risk of pregnancy in a year.”

An IUD is a small, soft, flexible piece of plastic shaped like a “T”—it is inserted into your uterus, via your cervix, by your doctor. There are several brands (Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena, Skyla), all of which release the hormone progestin, which changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg. These hormonal IUDs protect against pregnancy for three to seven years, depending on which one a woman chooses. Another type of IUD (Paragard) is hormone-free and instead uses a copper coil, which also changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg, and it can be used for up to 12 years.

The arm implant, sold under the brand Nexplanon, is a rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of your upper, inner arm. It releases progestin and prevents pregnancy for up to five years by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus.

The more commonly used contraception methods, including birth control pills, injections, arm patches, and vaginal rings have failure rates of about 10% in a year, Dr. Stanwood notes, noting that the problem isn’t with the method but how it’s used. “We’re not perfect. We’re human, and those methods require us to remember things. For people with hectic lives, those methods might not be ideal,” she says.

Can birth control cause weight gain?

“Patients often tell me that they think all birth control causes weight gain, but there is only one method, the progestin hormonal injection given every three months, that is linked to weight gain,” Dr. Stanwood says. “That’s not to say women aren’t gaining weight. Most American women naturally gain about 2 pounds every year, but it’s not the pill or intrauterine devices causing it.”

Sold under the brand name Depo-Provera, the birth control injection contains progestin and suppresses ovulation so that you don’t release an egg each month and therefore can’t get pregnant. One study showed that, over one year, women who used Depo-Provera gained five pounds more than those using a copper IUD. The reason Depo-Provera can cause weight gain, Dr. Stanwood explains, is that it can activate signals in the brain that control hunger.

Can birth control make you infertile?

Some women mistakenly believe that being on contraception will make it difficult for them to get pregnant once they stop, especially when they are using what’s known as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as IUDs or the arm implant.

These devices only interfere with conception when they are in place. “You could have an IUD or arm implant in for two years or even just a month, and if you don’t like it, or you want to get pregnant, we take it out. It does not affect your future fertility,” says Aileen Gariepy, MD, MPH, a Yale Medicine obstetrician-gynecologist. “Just because you choose a method that lasts for five, seven, or more years does not mean you have to have it in all of those years. That is just the amount of time it offers protection.”

Is getting an IUD painful?

Some women worry that IUD insertion is painful; Dr. Stanwood says the experience varies for each woman. “For most, it’s similar to a typical pelvic exam with a Pap test, but with a little more of a cramp,” she says. “For others, I’m all done and they ask, ‘That’s it? I didn’t feel anything.’ Yet other women might feel more crampy. For most, it’s a procedure that takes about five minutes total—with a few minutes of cramps that are worth it in exchange for many years of birth control.”

IUD insertion is performed during a standard office visit. “Some spotting is expected after and might last the rest of the day,” Dr. Stanwood says. Women who’ve recently given birth have a particularly easy time with the experience, she notes. “I like to let women who have recently delivered a baby know that they will have the least amount of discomfort in terms of insertion if they do it within a couple of months of having their baby, because the cervix tends to be open and the uterus isn’t as bothered by it.”

Dr. Stanwood jokes that, in general, it takes longer to talk to women about IUDs than it does to insert them.

Does the arm implant hurt?

Likewise, the arm implant is a quick and easy procedure. Your medical provider will apply a local anesthetic to numb your arm and use a special device to slide the implant under your skin. “We slip it through a little hole on the inside part of the arm and it rests under the skin,” Dr. Stanwood says. “It’s kind of like getting blood drawn or getting an IV put in. Getting it removed is similarly very quick. Plus, it’s very discreet. A woman can feel it if she pushes on it, but it’s not sticking out.”

What birth control is best for teenagers?

IUDs and contraceptive implants can be used by all women of childbearing age, including teens. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that IUDs and the arm implant should be the first-line choice for young women who are sexually active.

“If a parent of a teen is wondering what might be safe for his or her daughter to consider, the arm implant and the IUD can serve teens the best,” Dr. Stanwood says. “That’s because you set it and forget it. They are busy. This allows them to focus on academics.”

Is birth control safe?

While some forms of birth control carry health risks, it’s important to note that, in fact, a higher number of serious complications are associated with pregnancy and childbirth, doctors say.

Combined hormonal birth control (the pill, the patch, and the ring, which all contain the hormones progestin and estrogen) is associated with a small increased risk of blood clot, stroke, and heart attack. These risks are higher among women who smoke and are over age 35, or who have multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors.

“With using hormones to prevent pregnancy, one of the things we worry about is that they increase a woman’s risk of forming a clot that can travel to any place in the body. If you are not taking any kind of contraception and you’re not pregnant, you are at your lowest risk of having a clot,” Dr. Gariepy explains. “The next highest risk is contraception that uses estrogen or progestin; these are the most common forms of birth control pills. And then the next highest risk is being pregnant. So, when we talk about safety, we always want to ask, ‘Compared to what?’ In this case, your risk of forming a clot while on the birth control pill is lower than it is when you are pregnant.”

Meanwhile, some of the side effects associated with combined hormonal birth control methods are actually beneficial to some women. For example, they can make periods lighter, shorter, and more regular. Birth control pills can also reduce acne and the frequency of migraines associated with menstruation. Plus, the pill decreases a woman’s risk of uterine, ovarian, and colon cancer.

Is it OK to not get your period on birth control?

Certain forms of contraception make a woman’s periods less frequent or very light—or eliminate them altogether. This is completely safe, says Amanda Lendler, MSN, CNM, a Yale certified nurse-midwife.

During a woman’s monthly menstruation cycle, her uterus creates a lining to prepare for pregnancy. “Hormonal birth control may decrease the lining built up during a menstrual cycle, leaving little or no uterine lining to shed each month,” Lendler explains. “That means there is little or nothing to bleed each month, and there’s no harm in that.”

At the end of the day, Lendler and her colleagues urge women to talk to their provider about any questions they may have about contraception.

“Birth control is not one-size-fits-all,” Dr. Stanwood says. “We focus on what each patient wants and share our expertise to help her find what is best for her.”

The birth control with the most and least side effects, according to doctors

  • Some kinds of birth control are better than others at preventing pregnancy and some come with fewer side effects.
  • Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive, is reported to have the most side effects.
  • Oral contraceptives are reported to have the next highest number of side effects, whereas IUDs and the NuvaRing are reported to have the least.

With so many forms of birth control available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

You might be wondering if it’s better to choose a brand name or a generic? How about hormonal or non-hormonal? Should you go for a shot, implant, or the pill? The list of options goes on and on.

According to Dr. Kecia Gaither, an OB/GYN, “each woman’s physiology is different — it’s difficult to gauge which birth control option has the most side effects for one particular woman.”

That’s why it takes a bit of trial and error to find the birth control method with the least amount of side effects that works best for you.

If your current birth control method isn’t working for you, or if you’re thinking of trying one out, you might want to take note of the following methods that doctors say have the most side effects.

Depo-Provera is an injection that you receive every three months. i viewfinder/

1. Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera is an injectable contraceptive that you receive every three months. This form of birth control contains the hormone progestin, which typically suppresses ovulation by keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Progestin also thickens cervical mucus, preventing sperm from reaching the egg.

Dr. Rebecca Levy Gantt, MD, OB/GYN, told INSIDER that the patients in her practice report the most side effects of any birth control method with Depo-Provera. She said the side effects are unpleasant and have caused many women to stop using this form of birth control. Gaither agrees with Levy, and both doctors report that patients can experience any of the following:

  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Swelling
  • Cravings
  • Injection site reactions
  • Hot flashes
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Joint pain
  • Decrease in breast size

The pill is taken by mouth once a day. flickr/nateone

2. Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives, or “the pill,” have been around for decades. They are oral pills taken once every day, or almost every day, of a regular cycle to prevent pregnancy. There are many different brands of oral contraceptives and each comes with slightly different doses of estrogen and progesterone (two female sex hormones).

Gaither said the pill follows Depo-Provera in terms of the amount and severity of side effects. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight changes
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • Changes in menstrual flow
  • Vaginal discharge

IUDs are inserted into a woman’s uterus. Image Point Fr/

3. IUD

No form of birth control is free of side effects, but the IUD (intrauterine device) seems to have the least noticeable ones. That’s what makes it such a popular option among women of all ages.

An IUD is a tiny device a doctor puts into your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is meant as a long-term form of birth control but can be taken out at any time.

There are two types of IUDs: copper (non-hormonal) and hormonal. Both come with their own side effects, but for the most part, they are less than many other forms of birth control.

Levy said that nine out of 10 women love the IUD, but “of course there’s always the one in ten who gets acne and depression and asks me to remove it.” Some of the side effects reported by women include:

  • Pain when IUD is inserted
  • Heavier menstrual cycles (for women using the copper version)
  • Cramping
  • Spotting between periods
  • Irregular periods

NuvaRing is a ring that is inserted into the vagina. Facebook

4. NuvaRing

Levy said the NuvaRing, which is a low dose combination of estrogen and progesterone, has very few side effects. You insert the ring in the vagina, where it remains for 21 days, and then you take it out for seven days so you can have your period.

She has found that since the side effects are low, many women love it, provided they are comfortable placing things in the vagina.

Although it is generally well-tolerated, there can be some side effects. These include:

  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal infection, irritation, or increased vaginal secretion

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Nora-Be Birth Control Pills

Table of Contents

  • What are Nora-Be Birth Control Pills?
  • How do Nora-Be Birth Control Pills Work?
  • Nora-Be Effectiveness and Nora-Be Failure Rate
  • Nora-Be Dosage Information
  • Nora-Be Advantages
  • Nora-Be and Breastfeeding
  • Nora-Be Side Effects and Disadvantages
  • Nora-Be Birth Control Weight Gain?
  • Does Nora-Be Cause Spotting or Irregular Periods?
  • Nora-Be Reviews

What Are Nora-Be Birth Control Pills?

Nora-Be birth control pills are progestin-only pills. They contain 0.35mg of the progestin norethindrone. And because they contain no estrogen, these pills are also referred to as the “mini-pill”.

These pills are primarily used to prevent pregnancy; however, they may also provide other benefits. Note that Nora-Be birth control pills do not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, herpes, etc. As such, it’s important to always use a condom or a female condom to limit your chances of contracting an STI.

How do Nora-Be Birth Control Pills Work?

As a progestin-only pill, Nora-Be primarily works by thickening the cervical mucus. This hinders sperm penetration, preventing it from reaching the egg1. It also changes the lining of the uterus to make it more difficult for a fertilized egg (should it occur) to attach2.

Unlike combination birth control pills which suppress ovulation (the release of an egg), Nora-Be birth control pills only suppress it in half of the users3.

Nora-Be Effectiveness and Nora-Be Failure Rate

Because this pill does not contain any estrogen, the Nora-Be effectiveness rate and Nora-Be failure rate are slightly different than combination pills.

When used perfectly, around 1 in 200 women will get pregnant in a year. This makes the Nora-Be failure rate (with perfect use) around 0.5%. However, with typical use, around 1 in 20 (5%) women can get pregnant in the first year of use. This lowers the Nora-Be effectiveness rate to around 95%.

Nora-Be Dosage Information

In regards to the Nora-Be dosage, each pack comes with a total of 28 active pills. You are to take one pill every day at the same time. If you are late in taking the pill or miss it, your chances of getting pregnant drastically increase. Should this happen, be sure to use backup non-hormonal contraception for up to one week after the missed dosage.

Unlike combination birth control pills, there are no breaks between packs. This means that there are no Nora-Be placebo week pills. Thus, once you have finished a pack, you must begin a new pack the next day.

Nora-Be Advantages

The key advantage to using progestin-only pills like Nora-Be is that they’re ideal for women who cannot take estrogen. This could be for a number of reasons such as having a history of:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cirrhosis
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis.

Estrogen-containing birth control options are not advisable for those who are prone to migraine headaches with aura, cardiovascular disease, 35 years or older, and smokers. Estrogen is also not advisable for women who have hypertension.

Women who have these conditions cannot take estrogen. However, none of these conditions are considered contraindications to prescription-only birth control pills4. As such, Nora-Be is the safer alternative to combination-oral contraceptives.

Nora-Be and Breastfeeding

Some studies have suggested that contraceptives containing estrogen may interfere with lactation or have negative effects on the infant’s development5. However, others have found no negative downsides in breastfeeding mothers taking estrogen-based birth control pills6.

Regardless, doctors will usually prescribe the progestin-only pill to breastfeeding mothers opting for the oral contraceptive pill. This is because studies have found that progestin-only pills have far fewer effects on milk production and do not adversely affect infant growth7. Furthermore, another study found that very low amounts of hormones from the mini-pill are transferred into breast milk8.

Thus, in regards to Nora-Be and breastfeeding, this medication may be used by breastfeeding mothers upon doctor-recommendation.

Nora-Be Side Effects and Disadvantages

Every birth control method has side effects and disadvantages. Nora-Be birth control pills are no exception.

While this brand is better for those who cannot take contraceptives that contain estrogen, Nora-Be is still not right for everyone.

You should avoid Nora-Be if you:

  • May be pregnant
  • Currently have breast cancer
  • Have undiagnosed bleeding between your periods
  • Are taking certain drugs for epilepsy or TB
  • Have allergies or are hypersensitive to any component of this medication
  • Have benign or cancerous tumors in the liver
  • Have acute liver disease

Additionally, every person taking Nora-Be may have a different experience. Some may experience little to no side effects, while others may experience a lot of side effects. A few common Nora-Be side effects include:

  • Frequent or irregular bleeding
  • Menstrual changes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Water retention
  • Headache

Furthermore, these Nora-Be side effects are less common but can be serious. If you happen to experience them or suspect having any of these conditions, be sure to seek medical help right away:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clots
  • Life-threatening allergic reaction

Rare Nora-Be side effects that aren’t life-threatening include:

  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Extra hair growth on face and body

Taking Nora-Be birth control pills also increase your risk for certain serious health-related conditions. These include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer of the reproductive organs
  • Liver tumors

Do Nora-Be Birth Control Pills Cause Weight Gain?

It is a possible side effect of taking Nora-Be birth control pills to experience weight gain but it’s not common and not a life-threatening by-product of taking the medicine.

Based on some reviews of women who have taken this birth control pill, they mentioned they did not experience any weight gain while taking this product.

However, not every woman will respond the same to this medication. If you have concerns about weight gain while on this medication, speak to your health care professional for more information.

Does Nora-Be Cause Spotting or Irregular Periods?

While taking this birth control pill, you may experience lighter/heavier than usual periods that are irregular. Additionally, between periods, you may have vaginal bleeding (spotting).

If this happens do not stop taking your pills. However, if you’re concerned, be sure to consult with your doctor.

Some women who do not have a regular period for months at a time may also take this birth control pill. This is because Nora-Be birth control pills may actually help in regulating one’s menstrual cycle.

Nora-Be Reviews

On, out of 99 reviews, Nora-Be has a 2.5 star-rating, or 4.9/10.

Common complaints include irregular and heavy bleeding, headaches, and breast tenderness. However, some women did have positive experiences as well. Some users took Nora-Be for abnormal uterine bleeding and had positive results for their condition.

While Nora-Be reviews lean more toward the negative side, it’s important to remember that everyone has a different experience with birth control. If Nora-Be isn’t right for you, be sure to learn more about other birth control options too!


Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 11/30/2016

Nor-QD (norethindrone 0.35 mg) is a form of progesterone, a female hormone used for birth control (contraception) to prevent pregnancy. Nor-QD is also used to treat menstrual disorders, endometriosis, or abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by a hormone imbalance. Nor-QD is available in generic form. Common side effects of Nor-QD include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach cramping,
  • bloating,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • tiredness,
  • breast tenderness/pain/swelling,
  • decrease in breast size,
  • acne,
  • oily scalp,
  • hair loss,
  • hair growth,
  • weight gain,
  • vaginal infections/itching/discharge,
  • freckles or darkening of facial skin,
  • skin itching or rash,
  • decreased sex drive.

Periods may be early or late, shorter or longer, heavier or lighter than normal. There may be spotting between menstrual periods, especially during the first several months of use of Nor-QD. Nor-QD may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high. Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Nor-QD including:

  • lumps in the breast,
  • mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression),
  • severe stomach or abdominal pain,
  • dark urine, or
  • yellowing eyes or skin.

To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, the dose of Nor-QD must be taken exactly as directed. One tablet is taken every day, at the same time. Administration is continuous, with no interruption between pill packs. Nor-QD may interact with griseofulvin, rifampin, St. John’s wort, ketoconazole, itraconazole, barbiturates, or HIV medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Nor-QD should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Nor-QD Tablets (norethindrone 0.35 mg) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

Nor-QD Birth Control Pills

  • What are Nor-QD Birth Control Pills?
  • What are the Advantages of Nor-QD Birth Control Pills?
  • Information about Nor-QD Dosage
  • How do Nor-QD Birth Control Pills Work?
  • Nor-QD Side Effects and Disadvantages
  • Nor-QD Birth Control Reviews

What Are Nor-QD Birth Control Pills?

Nor-QD birth control pills are progestin-only pills (POPs) used to prevent pregnancy. These pills contain norethindrone, a type of progestin. Because these pills do not contain any estrogen, they are also referred to as the “mini-pill”.

While Nor-QD prevents pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDs. As such, it’s important to use barrier methods of contraception such as the condom or the female condom to avoid such infections.

What are the Advantages of Nor-QD Birth Control Pills?

As a progestin-only birth control pill, Nor-QD is a good alternative for women who cannot use estrogen. Because it has a lower dose of hormones, this pill is also a more suitable option for those who are concerned about high doses of hormones. Reasons for these include women who have had a history of:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Breast cancer1
  • Migraines

Progestin-only birth control pill brands like Nor-QD are also often prescribed to breastfeeding mothers who prefer the pill over other birth control options. According to an article by, estrogen can interfere with milk production. However, progestin does not, thereby making POPs a safer alternative.

In addition to this, according to the Nor-QD package insert, diabetic women don’t generally require changes in the amount of insulin they take. According to, this is because progestin-only pills don’t cause changes in blood glucose control.

Furthermore, unlike combination birth control pills, Nor-QD does not give you a higher risk for blood clots. While this means it’s less risky for women who are over 35 and smoke, it does not eliminate the risk of heart attack and stroke entirely. With that said, it’s still advisable not to smoke while on this pill.

Information About Nor-QD Dosage

Nor-QD birth control pills contain 0.35mg of the progestin norethindrone and no estrogen. Thus, in order to effectively prevent pregnancy, the Nor-QD dosage is one pill every day.

It’s imperative to take these pills at the same time every day else the Nor-QD effectiveness can be diminished. This means that if you are late in taking the pill or miss it entirely, your risk of getting pregnant increases.

Unlike combination birth control pills, there are no breaks between packs. This is because “changes in cervical mucus are time-dependent,” as noted in Roberto de Melo’s article. As such, “conditions for sperm penetration may return to pretreatment levels within 24-27 hours of taking traditional POPs” like Nor-QD.

How Do Nor-QD Birth Control Pills Work?

Nor-QD birth control pills primarily work by making the cervical mucus thicker. This makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

These pills can also prevent ovulation from occurring. However, unlike combination birth control pills, this progestin-only pill only prevents ovulation about half the time.

With this in mind, the Nor-QD effectiveness rate is slightly lower than combination birth control pills. For a better idea, with perfect use in the first year of taking Nor-QD, less than 1 woman out of 100 will get pregnant. This makes Nor-QD over 99% effective in theory.

However, with typical use, it’s more likely that around 1 in 20 (5%) women will become pregnant in the first year of use. This is why it’s important to take the pill on time or to not miss it as doing so can drastically reduce its effectiveness.

Nor-QD Side Effects and Disadvantages

Like other pills, you may experience some side effects with Nor-QD. Some of the more common Nor-QD side effects include:

  • Irregular bleeding
  • Spotting

Some less common Nor-QD side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Weight gain

Taking Nor-QD birth control pills does come with a few risks as well. However, these risks are very low. They include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer of the reproductive organs
  • Hepatic neoplasia

Furthermore, Nor-QD isn’t right for everyone. According to the package insert, women with the following should not use this pill:

  • A suspected or known pregnancy
  • Breast cancer
  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Benign or malignant tumors in the liver
  • Acute liver disease

Nor-QD Birth Control Reviews

On WebMD, Nor-QD has four out of five stars for effectiveness and ease of use. However, it only received two out of four stars for overall user satisfaction.

Among the Nor-QD birth control reviews, a majority of users have complained about experiencing irregular periods while taking this pill. However, those users who cannot use estrogen are satisfied overall with Nor-QD. Some even experienced little to no side effects.

Keep in mind that while some users have positive experiences and others negative, your experience with this pill will be unique to you. So, always talk to your doctor about the best birth control option for you and be sure to discuss any concerns before making a decision.

About progestin-only contraceptive tablets

Type of medicine Progestin-only oral contraceptive
Used for Birth control/contraception (preventing pregnancy)
Also called Camila®; Deblitane®; Errin®; Heather®; Jolivette®; Micronor®; Nor-QD®
Available as Tablets

Progestin-only contraceptive tablets (also known as progestogen-only contraceptive tablets) are sometimes called POPs or the ‘minipill’. They are commonly used when combination oral contraceptives, which also contain estrogen, are not suitable. They can be safely taken if you are breast-feeding.

Progestin-only contraceptive tablets contain a progestin (a man-made female sex hormone) called norethindrone which is similar to the progesterone hormone made naturally by your ovaries.

Norethindrone works mainly by thickening the mucus made by the neck of the womb (cervix). This makes it very difficult for sperm to travel through the cervix and into the womb (uterus) in order to fertilize an egg. They also affect the lining of the womb so that it does not become thick enough for an egg to attach and grow. Norethindrone also has some effect on the ovaries, and ovulation (the release of an egg each month) may not occur as often.

Before taking progestin-only contraceptive tablets

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking progestin-only contraceptive tablets it is important that your physician knows:

  • If you think you might be pregnant.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works.
  • If you have a problem with your arteries, called arterial disease.
  • If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition, often called SLE).
  • If you have had breast cancer or a cancer that you have been told is dependent on a sex hormone.
  • If you have an ovarian cyst, or any vaginal bleeding other than your normal monthly period.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you have a condition that interferes with the absorption of food (such as coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis or pancreatitis).
  • If you have ever had an ectopic pregnancy or if you have developed yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice) during a pregnancy.
  • If you smoke.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines. This is because some medicines interfere with the way contraceptives work. In particular, medicines for epilepsy and medicines for treating fungal infections, as well as the herbal preparation St John’s wort, can reduce the effectiveness of the minipill.

How to take progestin-only contraceptive tablets

  • Before you start taking the tablets, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the brand of minipill you have been given, and also a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take one tablet each day, starting on day one of your cycle (the first day of your menstrual period). If you have just had a baby, you may be asked to start taking it straightaway.
  • Norethindrone tablets are taken every day, including when you are having a menstrual period. When you finish one pack, start another pack the next day.
  • You can choose a time of day to take your tablet that suits you, but you should take them at the same time, every day. It is important not to be late taking your doses and not to miss any.
  • If you do forget to take your tablet on time, take it as soon as you remember, and then take the next dose at your usual time.
  • If you are more than three hours late in taking a tablet, you are not protected against pregnancy. In this case, continue to take your tablets each day as normal, but you must also use an additional method, such as a condom, for the following two days.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • To help decide whether progestin-only contraceptive tablets are suitable for you, your physician will assess your general health. Make sure you attend your regular appointments with your physician. This is especially important if you have an existing medical condition, as your health may need to be more closely monitored.
  • Important: if you vomit or have diarrhea it can reduce the effectiveness of progestin-only contraceptive tablets. If you vomit within two hours of taking a tablet, take another straightaway. If the vomiting continues or if you have severe diarrhea, you must use additional contraceptive precautions such as a condom while you are ill and for two days after you recover.
  • If at any time you suspect that you may be pregnant, stop taking the tablets and make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible.
  • Some medicines can reduce the effectiveness of norethindrone. These include medicines for epilepsy, medicines to treat fungal infections, the herbal preparation St John’s wort, and medicines used to treat tuberculosis (TB). Make sure your physician knows about any other medicines you are taking, and if you buy any medicines ‘over the counter’, always ask your pharmacist for advice.

Can progestin-only contraceptive tablets cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with progestin-only contraceptive tablets. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your physician or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common norethindrone side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Nausea Eat simple or bland meals – avoid rich and spicy food. If you vomit within two hours of taking a tablet, take another tablet as soon as possible (see also the information above on vomiting)
Headache Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your physician
Irregular menstrual periods, mood swings, reduced sex drive, increase in acne, increase in weight, and breast discomfort If any of these become troublesome, speak with your physician

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your physician or pharmacist.

How to store progestin-only contraceptive tablets

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

If you are having surgery or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the Emergency Room of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Ask your pharmacist about ways to dispose of medicines safely in your local area.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Nor b birth control

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