What is this medication for?
Norethindrone - ethinyl estradiol is a progestin (norethindrone) and estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) combination birth control pill used for the prevention of pregnancy.
It works by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and causing changes in the mucus of the cervix which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate and for an egg to implant.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Alyacen 7/7/7 is available as:
- 7 tablets of 0.5 mg of norethindrone/0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol
- 7 tablets of 0.75 mg of norethindrone/0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol
- 7 tablets of 1 mg of norethindrone/0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol
- 7 inert tablets
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
21-day pack: Take one tablet daily at the same time each day for 21 days, then take no pills for 7 days. On the eighth day, repeat the cycle with a new pack.
28-day pack: Take one tablet daily at the same time each day for 21 days, then take one "inactive" pill daily for 7 days. Repeat the cycle with a new pack.
See the package insert for information on when to start and
what to do if you forget to take a pill.
Talk with your doctor about the best time to start your
pills. The first day of your menstrual period (bleeding) is known as "Day
1." Your doctor may have you start your pills on the first Sunday after
your period starts or on Day 1 of your period. The pills should be taken
approximately the same time every day. You should use a second
method of birth control (e.g., latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel) for
the first 7 days of the first cycle of pill use.
Many women have spotting or
light bleeding or may feel sick to their stomach during the first 3 months taking
the pill. If you do feel sick, do not stop taking the pill. The problem will
usually go away. If it does not go away, check with your doctor or clinic. If
you experience vomiting or diarrhea, or if you take certain medications (such
as antibiotics), your pills may not work as well. Use a backup method, such as
latex condoms and spermicidal foam or gel, until you can check with your doctor
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly
as prescribed by your doctor. If you
miss pills at any time the risk of becoming pregnant increases.
If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember, and take the next pill at the usual time. This means that you might take 2 pills in one day. You do not need to use another method of birth control if you miss one pill.
If you miss 2 pills in a row during the first 2 weeks of your cycle, take 2 pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day, then take one pill a day until you finish the pack. If you have sex in the 7 days after you miss the pills, use a non-hormonal method of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) as a back-up for those 7 days.
If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills in a row anytime in your cycle and you start your pills on Sunday, keep taking one pill a day until Sunday. On Sunday, safely discard the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day. If you have sex in the 7 days after you miss the pills, use a non-hormonal method of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) as a back-up for those 7 days. You may not have a period this month. If you miss 2 periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.
If you miss 2 pills in a row during the third week of your cycle or 3 or more pills at anytime during your cycle and you start your pills on Day 1, safely dispose of the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day. Use a non-hormonal method of birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) if you have sex in the 7 days after you miss the pills. You may not have a period this month. If you miss 2 periods in a row, call your doctor or clinic.
you miss any inactive "reminder" pills, throw away the pills you missed and
keep taking one reminder pill per day until the pack is empty.
If you are not sure what to do after missing pills, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Use a back-up method anytime you have sex and continue taking one active pill each day until you speak with your health care provider.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to norethindrone, ethinyl estradiol or any ingredients of the medication
- are having major surgery followed by prolonged bed rest
- are or may be pregnant
- have endometrial cancer
- have had a heart attack or heart disease
- have had yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice) during pregnancy or while on birth control pills
- have, have had, or may have breast cancer
- have headaches with focal neurological symptoms (e.g., aura)
- have liver disease
- have or have had cerebrovascular disorders (e.g., stroke) or coronary artery disease
- have or have had noncancerous or cancerous liver tumors
- have or have had thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders (blood clotting problems)
- have or may have a tumor that depends on estrogen for growth
- have uncontrolled high blood pressure
- have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding