JENCYCLA (Norethindrone)

JENCYCLA (Norethindrone)

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What is this medication?

Contraceptive, Progestin

Brand Name US: Camila, Deblitane, Errin, Heather, Incassia, Jencycla, Lyleq, Lyza, Nora-BE, Norlyda, Norlyroc, Ortho Micronor, Sharobel, Tulana
Brand Name Canada: Movisse, Jencycla

Indicated for abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, contraception, endometriosis.

Limitations: Norethindrone (NET) is not indicated for emergency contraception.  Norethindrone acetate (NETA) is not indicated for use with estrogen therapy in post-menopausal women for endometrial protection.

How does this medication work? 

Norethindrone is a progestin steroid hormone that has the same physiological effect of progesterone.  Norethindrone works by inhibiting gonadotropin secretion from the pituitary gland, which prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus (which inhibits sperm penetration), alters follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and slows the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tubes and alters the endometrium in females.

Note: Once absorbed, systemic disposition of norethindrone acetate (NETA) and norethindrone (NET) is the same.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral:  Norethindrone (NET) is used for progestin-only contraception.  Norethindrone acetate (NETA) is a prodrug of norethindrone used in treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, and endometriosis. 

Abnormal uterine bleeding and amenorrhea: Norethindrone acetate (NETA) 2.5mg to 10mg daily for 5 to 10 days.

Contraception: Norethindrone (NET) 0.35mg daily (no missed doses).

Endometriosis: Norethindrone acetate (NETA) 5mg daily for 14 days; increase at increments of 2.5mg daily every 2 weeks to reach 15 mg daily; continue for 6 to 9 months or until breakthrough bleeding.

How to Take: Take at the same time each day. 

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

When starting Norethindrone make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you smoke, experience irregular menstrual bleeding, had or have breast and/or hepatic cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, depression, asthma, renal dysfunction.  Norethindrone has been associated with adverse effects such as hyperlipidemia, visual disturbances, and alter the results of laboratory tests (i.e. coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, binding proteins).

What if I miss a dose?

When used for the intended purpose of contraception, a backup method should be used for 48 hours if the dose is missed or taken ≥3 hours late. If vomiting or severe diarrhea occur within 3 hours of taking a dose, take another dose as soon as possible, then continue taking one dose daily and use a backup method of contraception (or avoid sexual intercourse) until 2 days after vomiting or diarrhea have resolved. Emergency contraception should be considered in the event of unprotected intercourse.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Deep vein thrombosis, edema, pulmonary embolism, retinal thrombosis, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headache, insomnia, migraine, emotional lability, nervousness, acne vulgaris, alopecia, pruritis, skin rash, amenorrhea, hirsutism, weight gain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, cervical erosion, decreased lactation, genital discharge, spotting, vaginal hemorrhage, cholestatic jaundice, arm and leg pain, optic neuritis.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Norethindrone, only common ones.