What is norethindrone-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Norethindrone is a man-made progestin used for treating abnormal uterine bleeding and related condtions (such as amenorrhea and endometriosis). Progestins are steroid hormones that have the same effect as progesterone. Norethindrone works by stopping gonadotropin production from the pituitary gland, leading to prevention of ovulation in females. The FDA approved norethindrone in April, 1982.

What brand names are available for norethindrone-oral?


Is norethindrone-oral available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for norethindrone-oral?


What are the side effects of norethindrone-oral?

Side effects of norethindrone are: 

  • edema,
  • nausea,
  • breast tenderness,
  • irregular menstrual cycle,
  • breakthrough bleeding,
  • spotting,
  • weight change, and
  • headache.

Deep vein thrombosis and depression may also occur.

What is the dosage for norethindrone-oral?

Which drugs or supplements interact with norethindrone-oral?

No drug-drug interactions have been conducted and established with norethindrone.


Pelvic Pain: What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain? See Slideshow

Is norethindrone-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Norethindrone is not recommended for pregnant mothers under any circumstances. Norethindrone may cause birth defects.

Norethindrone may enter in breast milk in trace amounts. It should be used with extreme caution in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about norethindrone-oral?

What preparations of norethindrone-oral are available?

Tablets: 5 mg tablets

How should I keep norethindrone-oral stored?

Store norethindrone tablets between temperatures of 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).


Norethindrone acetate (Aygestin) is a drug used to treat abnormal uterine bleeding. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements


Endometriosis occurs deep inside the uterus. See Answer

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams; PharmD, Ph.D.


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