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Mestranol / Norethindrone Review

Mestranol / Norethindrone is a combination birth control pill that contains female hormones that prevent ovulation (mestranol and norethindrone).


Indications for use

Contraception (prevention of unwanted pregnancy).

Mechanism of action

Inhibition of ovulation (the release of a mature egg from the ovary).

Dosage and mode of application

Start taking tablets on the first day of the menstrual period. Take 1 tablet daily for 28 days. Then start a new course of taking the drug. After delivery, the contraceptive is taken 4 weeks later.

Side effects

Mestranol / Norethindrone can cause the following side effects:

  • thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the veins with their blockage);
  • arterial thromboembolism (violation of the vascular patency);
  • myocardial infarction;
  • cerebral hemorrhage;
  • thrombosis (clotting of the blood clots);
  • dyspepsia (digestive disorders);
  • impaired liver and kidney function;
  • menstrual period.


Mestranol / Norethindrone is contraindicated for use in the following cases:

  • thromboembolism (vascular obstruction);
  • thrombophlebitis;
  • liver tumors;
  • breast cancer;
  • estrogen-dependent neoplasms;
  • cerebrovascular or coronary artery disease;
  • uterine bleeding of unknown etiology (causes);
  • uterine cancer;
  • vaginal cancer;
  • pregnancy;
  • cholestatic jaundice (yellowing skin and mucous membranes, associated with congestion of bile in the bile ducts).


Do not use this contraceptive tablets if you are taking:

  • acitretin;
  • aprepitant;
  • barbiturates (phenobarbital);
  • bosentan;
  • carbamazepine;
  • felbamate;
  • griseofulvin;
  • hydantoins (phenytoin);
  • modafinil;
  • nevirapine;
  • penicillins (amoxicillin);
  • protease inhibitors (indinavir);
  • rifamycins (rifampin);
  • St. John wort;
  • tetracycline (doxycycline);
  • topiramate;
  • troglitazone.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Mestranol / Norethindrone tablets are contraindicated for use during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding).

What if I miss a pill?

If you miss an inert tablet, just throw it away and continue using the drug according to the instructions. If you miss an active tablet, follow the below instructions:

  • If you missed 1 active tablet during weeks 2 or 3, take it as soon as possible. Take your next pill on time;
  • If you missed 2 active tablets, take 1 missed tablet every 12 hours until you catch up with your schedule, then continue taking the pills in the usual order. Use additional contraception for the next 7 days;
  • If you missed more than 2 active tablets and you had sex in the last 5 days, use emergency contraception. Start taking next pills on schedule. Use additional contraception, such as a condom, for the next 7 days. If you had sexual intercourse but you decided not to use emergency contraception, take the tablets on schedule, skipping missed tablets. Use additional contraception, such as a condom until you have the next menstrual period. Taking the rest of the pills will not protect you from pregnancy but will help adjust your period;
  • If you missed more than 2 active tablets and you did not have sexual intercourse in the last 5 days, take 2 tablets at once, then continue taking pills on schedule. Use additional contraception, such as a condom, for the next 7 days.

Emergency contraception:

If you had unprotected sex at the time you missed an active pill, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. You can buy emergency contraceptive in most pharmacies.


Mestranol / Norethindrone tablets should be discontinued 6 weeks before surgery and resumed no earlier than 2 weeks after it.

Vomiting or diarrhea can reduce a contraceptive effect of a drug, so in such cases, you need to take an additional pill. If these symptoms persist for a longer time, you should temporarily resort to other methods of preventing pregnancy.

The risk of cardiovascular complications increases with smoking (especially in women after 35 years).

Before taking birth control pills, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist.

Discontinue using the drug if you notice early signs of phlebitis, thrombosis, embolism – bloating, unusual pain in the legs, chest pain when breathing or coughing, a feeling of contraction in the chest; headaches, sudden hearing and vision impairments, motor disorders.

The risk of thrombosis increases with high blood pressure.

The drug is discontinued if you a patient has hepatitis, jaundice, itching, cholestasis, frequent epileptic seizures, primary or secondary porphyria.

When combined with antidiabetic medications, the contraceptive can change glucose tolerance.

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