Drugs & Updates

Ethynodiol diacetate-Ethinyl Estradiol


This combination hormone medication consists of 2 hormones: estrogen & progestin which are used to prevent pregnancy (birth control).

It is also used to treat underlying conditions:

  • -heavy/irregular periods
  • -painful menstruation
  • -PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • -acne

IUPAC name: Ethynodiol diacetate: [(3S,8R,9S,10R,13S,14S,17R)-17-acetyloxy-17-ethynyl-13-methyl-2,3,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15,16-dodecahydro-1H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-yl] acetate
Ethinyl estradiol (8R,9S,13S,14S,17R)-17-ethynyl-13-methyl-7,8,9,11,12,14,15,16-octahydro-6H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthrene-3,17-diol

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Product type: Birth control pill

Drug class: Hormonal contraceptive, progestin/estrogen

-Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

-Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This combination inhibits ovulation, reducing the number of ovarian cysts and the hormone-related symptoms of PCOS.

Side effects

  • nausea/vomiting
  • bloating
  • vaginal irritation/itching
  • dizziness
  • breast tenderness
  • spotting (vaginal bleeding)
  • headache
  • severe pain in stomach
  • weakness in hands/feet/ankles
  • mood changes (depression, anxiety)
  • rash/itching/swelling on the face, tongue or throat


Before taking this medication, tell your doctor :

If you are allergic to estrogen (mestranol, ethinyl estradiol) or to progestin ( gestodene, mifepristone, norethindrone) or if you have any other kind of allergies.

If you have or ever had any of the underlying conditions:-

  • stroke
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • signs of blood clots
  • heart disease (heart attack, abnormal heart rate, heart valve disease)
  • liver disease (yellowing of eyes/skin)
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • migraine
  • edema
  • It may cause melisma, avoid going out in the sun, and always wear sunscreen.
  • It may take longer to get pregnant after you stop taking this pill.
  • During pregnancy or nursing, this medication should be avoided.

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