What is ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone?
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone is a combination drug that contains female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about birth control pills?
Do not use birth control pills if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby.
You should not take birth control pills if you have any of the following conditions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, a blood-clotting disorder, circulation problems, diabetic problems with your eyes or kidneys, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe migraine headaches, if you smoke and are over 35, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, jaundice caused by birth control pills, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.
You may need to use back up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using this medication or if you miss a dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Missing a pill increases your risk of becoming pregnant. Carefully follow the "missed dose" instructions if you forget to take your birth control pills.
Some drugs can make birth control pills less effective in preventing pregnancy, including antibiotics, hepatitis C medications, HIV/AIDS medications, seizure medications, or barbiturate sedatives. Tell your doctor about all other medications you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking birth control pills?
This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 4 weeks before taking birth control pills.
You should not take birth control pills if you have:
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
heart disease (coronary artery disease, uncontrolled heart valve disorder, history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot);
a blood-clotting disorder or circulation problems;
problems with your eyes, kidneys or circulation caused by diabetes;
a history of hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
liver disease or liver cancer;
severe migraine headaches (with aura, numbness, weakness, or vision changes), especially if you are older than 35;
a history of jaundice caused by pregnancy or birth control pills; or
if you smoke and are over 35 years old.
To make sure you can safely take birth control pills, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
high blood pressure, varicose veins;
high cholesterol or triglycerides, or if you are overweight;
a history of depression;
seizures or epilepsy;
a history of irregular menstrual cycles;
a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram.
The hormones in birth control pills can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast feeding a baby.