Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol

Pharmacologic class

Oral Contraceptive
Brand Names
Ortho Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Oral Contraceptive, may help to regulate menstrual cycle and prevent dysmenorrhea.
Norgestimate is a progestin. It's full chemical name is 18,19-Dinor-17-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one,17-(acetyloxy)-13-ethyl-,oxime,(17α)-(+)-). Ethinyl estradiol is a synthetic from of estrogen. It's chemical name is (19-nor-17α-pregna,1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3,17-diol).
Norgestimate/Ethinyl Estradiol serves as a contraceptive by surpressing gonadotropins, that is, it prevents ovulation. It changes the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, and changes the endometrium in order to prevent implantation.
This medication is in FDA Pregnancy Category X, which means it will cause birth defects if taken while pregnant. While it can be used as an emergency contraceptive, this medication does not induce abortion. This medication can be passed through breastmilk. You should not take it if you are pregnant or nursing. Smoking greatly increases the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, especially if you are over 35. Women who take the pill are strongly advised not to smoke. Other groups who should avoid the pill include women with asthma, seizure disorders, migraines, heart disorders, kidney disorders, and those with a history of breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, or high blood pressure.
Oral contraceptives DO NOT protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including but absolutely not limited to HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, HPV, trichomoniasis, or the hepatitis alphabet. The pill should be taken at the same time EVERY DAY.
Effectiveness of oral contraceptives can be reduced by St. John's Wort, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and by antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, other *cillins, tetracyclin, and others.
Adverse Reactions
Severe side effects, which are rare, may include blood clotting, hypertension, liver damage, and allergic reaction. Less serious side effects, which are more common, may include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and breast swelling and/or tenderness. These side effects may disappear after 3 to 6 months of taking this medication.
Additional Information
See Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Date of most recent Update
August 6, 2002


  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) a highly effective birth control pill that can help clear up your skin -
  • WebMD - Drugs & Herbs - Ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate -
  • Oral Contraceptives -

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, this is not medical advice, do not rely on this writeup for anything, your mileage may vary, guarantee void in Tennessee.

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