Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 4/21/2022
Estrostep Side Effects Center

What Is Estrostep?

Estrostep 21 (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive that contains a combination of female hormones used to prevent pregnancy. Estrostep 21 is also used to treat severe acne. Estrostep 21 may be available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Estrostep?

Common side effects of Estrostep 21 include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • headache,
  • stomach cramping/bloating,
  • dizziness,
  • vaginal discomfort/irritation,
  • increased vaginal fluids, or
  • breast tenderness/enlargement

Acne may improve or get worse. Other side effects of Estrostep 21 include:

  • vaginal bleeding between periods (spotting)
  • missed/irregular periods, especially during the first few months of use

Dosage for Estrostep

The dose of Estrostep 21 is 1 tablet taken daily for 21 consecutive days. Wait 7 days to start the next pack. You will probably have your period during that week. Be sure that no more than 7 days pass between 21-day packs.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Estrostep?

Estrostep 21 may interact with acetaminophen, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), prednisolone, theophylline, St. John's wort, antibiotics, seizure medications, barbiturates, or HIV or AIDS medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Estrostep 21 must not be used during pregnancy.

Estrostep During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

If you have just given birth or had a pregnancy loss/abortion after the first 3 months, consult your doctor and find out when it is safe to use birth control containing estrogen. Estrostep 21 passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Estrostep 21 (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol) 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.


Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow
Estrostep Professional Information


An increased risk of the following serious adverse reactions has been associated with the use of oral contraceptives (see WARNINGS section):

There is evidence of an association between the following conditions and the use of oral contraceptives, although additional confirmatory studies are needed:

  • Mesenteric thrombosis
  • Retinal thrombosis

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:

The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Estrostep (Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol)


Which of the following are methods for contraception? See Answer

© Estrostep Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Estrostep Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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