Common side effects of norethindrone ethinyl estradiol include:
- Stomach cramps and bloating
- Bleeding between periods
- Change in the flow of period
- Missing periods
- Breast changes
- Weight changes
- Mental depression or anxiety
- Vaginal yeast infection
This is not a complete list of adverse effects – though these are among the most common. Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking norethindrone ethinyl estradiol:
- Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
- Change in vision
- Changes in skin color
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Fever or chills
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast or slow heartbeat
- Hives, redness, welts, or swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- Itching skin
- Pain, swelling, or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, neck, foot, calves, or legs
- Pounding in the ears
- Severe headaches of sudden onset
- Sudden loss of coordination or slurred speech
- Troubled breathing
As with all prescription medication, be sure to inform the prescribing doctor about any medical conditions you have been previously diagnosed with.
Oral contraceptives such as norethindrone ethinyl estradiol may increase your long-term risk of developing liver tumors and your short-term risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots – while reducing your overall risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancers. There is some data to suggest a little to no increase in risk of breast and cervical cancer, however, the risk is generally associated with current use and diminishes once someone stops taking the pill. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of oral contraceptives.
You should speak with your provider about any medications or supplements you are currently taking before starting treatment with norethindrone ethinyl estradiol. Norethindrone ethinyl estradiol can interact with other forms of medication and substances, causing potentially serious side effects.
In addition, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before starting treatment with this medication. Though rare, it is still possible to become pregnant while using oral contraceptives.