Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Aygestin (norethindrone) is a form of progesterone, a female hormone, used for birth control (contraception) to prevent pregnancy. Aygestin is also used to treat menstrual disorders, endometriosis, or abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by a hormone imbalance. Aygestin is available in generic form. Common side effects of Aygestin include:
- stomach cramps,
- mood swings,
- trouble sleeping,
- weight gain/loss,
- increased acne,
- breast pain/swelling/tenderness,
- changes in sexual interest,
- increased hair growth,
- hair loss,
- freckles or darkening of facial skin,
- vaginal itching or discharge,
- skin itching or rash, or
- changes in your menstrual periods.
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Aygestin including:
- changes in vaginal bleeding (e.g., spotting, breakthrough bleeding, changes in menstrual flow, no menstrual bleeding),
- swelling of the hands or feet,
- frequent/burning/painful urination, or
- yellowing eyes or skin.
The dosage and the duration of treatment with Aygestin is based on the patient's medical condition and response to therapy. Follow doctor's instructions. Withdrawal bleeding usually occurs within three to seven days after discontinuing Aygestin therapy. Aygestin may interact with griseofulvin, rifampin, St. John's wort, ketoconazole or itraconazole, barbiturates, or HIV medicines. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. Smoking combined with this medication increases your risk for strokes, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Aygestin must not be used during pregnancy because it may harm a fetus, especially during the first 4 months of pregnancy. This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Aygestin (norethindrone) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Aygestin (Norethindrone)
The following adverse reactions have been observed in women taking progestins:
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Change in menstrual flow
- Changes in weight (decreases, increases)
- Changes in the cervical squamo-columnar junction and cervical secretions
- Cholestatic jaundice
- Rash (allergic) with and without pruritus
- Melasma or chloasma
- Clinical depression
- Breast enlargement/tenderness
- Abnormalities of liver tests (i.e., AST, ALT, Bilirubin)
- Decreased HDL cholesterol and increased LDL/HDL ratio
- Mood swings
- Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions
- Thrombotic and thromboembolic events (e.g., deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, retinal vascular thrombosis, cerebral thrombosis and embolism)
- Optic neuritis (which may lead to partial or complete loss of vision)
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Aygestin (Norethindrone)
© Aygestin Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Aygestin Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.