Aygestin (norethindrone) is a synthetic oral progestin. It is used for contraception or to treat such conditions as secondary amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, and endometriosis. As an oral contraceptive, norethindrone is available as either a single agent or in combination with an estrogen.
Generic Aygestin may also be marketed as: Norethindrone, Norethisterone
*Aygestin® is manufactured by Duramed Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Generic Aygestin is a form of progesterone, a female hormone. Generic Aygestin prevents 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.
Generic Aygestin is used for birth control (contraception) to prevent pregnancy. Norethindrone is also used to treat menstrual disorders, endometriosis, or abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by a hormone imbalance.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
You may need to use back-up birth control, such as condoms or a spermicide, when you first start using this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- pain or swelling in one or both legs;
- migraine headache;
- swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;
- symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes);
- severe pelvic pain;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
- breast pain, swelling, or tenderness;
- freckles or darkening of facial skin;
- increased acne or hair growth;
- changes in weight;
- vaginal itching or discharge;
- skin itching or rash;
- changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
- mild headache.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Generic Aygestin may cause some degree of fluid retention. If you have a medical condition that could be made worse by fluid retention--such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, or a heart or kidney problem--make sure your doctor knows about it.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any irregular or unexplained vaginal bleeding while taking Generic Aygestin.
Norethindrone makes some women depressed. If you've suffered from serious depression in the past, alert your doctor if you think you're having a relapse. You will probably need to stop taking norethindrone.
Generic Aygestin may affect cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. If you have diabetes or high cholesterol, your doctor will want to watch you closely while you are taking norethindrone.
Some drugs can make norethindrone less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before using Generic Aygestin, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grisactin);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);
- St. John's wort;
- ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox);
- a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
- HIV medicines such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), tipranavir (Aptivus), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), or nelfinavir (Viracept).
There may be other drugs that can interact with Generic Aygestin.