This drug is used in combination with estrogen and related drugs to prevent pregnancy. It is used to treat the following underlying conditions in women:

  • -endometriosis
  • -functional uterine bleeding

IUPAC name: (8R,9S,13S,14S,17R)-17-ethynyl-17-hydroxy-13-methyl-1,2,4,6,7,8,9,11,12,14,15,16-dodecahydro cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one

Drug class: Progestins

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Product type: Steroid contraceptive

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Norethynodrel acts similar to the female hormone, progestin. This medication is a synthetic form of oral progestational agent and is used in conjunction with mestranol to act as an oral contraceptive.

Side effects

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • breast tenderness/pain
  • edema
  • weight gain
  • mood changes (depression)
  • irregular periods


Take the following precautions before taking this medication and notify your doctor:

  • This medication should not be taken during pregnancy or nursing.
  • If you have a medical history of hypertension, migraine, asthma, kidney disease, breast cancer, undiagnosed uterine bleeding,
  • If you use OTC drugs

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