Generic name: Norethindrone acetateBrand names: Aygestin
Aygestin contains a type of hormone known as progesterone. It is used to restore menstruation in women who have stopped having menstrual cycles (also called amenorrhea). Aygestin can also help treat endometriosis, a condition where the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) doesn't shed properly and attaches to the outside of the uterus or other areas such as the ovaries or bowels. Aygestin also helps control unusual and heavy bleeding of the uterus caused by hormonal imbalance. However, the drug is not used to control bleeding caused by fibroids or cancer.
Aygestin increases the risk of blood clots, which can lead to phlebitis, breathing problems, vision problems, or stroke. If you experience any symptoms that might suggest the onset of a clot-related disorder—pain with swelling, warmth and redness in a leg vein, coughing or shortness of breath, loss of vision or double vision, migraine, or weakness or numbness in an arm or leg—stop taking Aygestin and see your doctor immediately.
Take Aygestin as directed by your doctor.
All progesterone drugs are associated with certain side effects, none of which can be anticipated. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Aygestin.
Do not take Aygestin if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
Do not take Aygestin if you are pregnant or have had an incomplete miscarriage. Avoid it if you have ever had a blood clotting disorder or a stroke. Do not take Aygestin if you have breast cancer, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or severe liver disease.
Aygestin should not be used to test for pregnancy.
Remember that Aygestin can cause clot-related disorders. Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the warning signs listed in "Most important fact about Aygestin."
To rule out cancer and other problems before you start taking Aygestin, your doctor will give you a complete physical exam, including examination of your breasts and pelvic organs. You also should have a Pap test (cervical smear).
Aygestin may cause some degree of fluid retention. If you have a medical condition that could be made worse by fluid retention—such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, or a heart or kidney problem—make sure your doctor knows about it.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any irregular or unexplained vaginal bleeding while taking Aygestin.
Aygestin makes some women depressed. If you've suffered from serious depression in the past, alert your doctor if you think you're having a relapse. You will probably need to stop taking Aygestin.
The long-term effects of drugs such as Aygestin on the function of certain organs—including the pituitary, ovaries, adrenal glands, liver, and uterus—are unknown.
Aygestin may affect cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. If you have diabetes or high cholesterol, your doctor will want to watch you closely while you are taking Aygestin.
Aygestin may mask the onset of menopause. However, women who are of menopausal age are still eligible to take the drug.
If you're being screened for cancer, make sure the doctor or lab technician knows you are taking Aygestin.
If Aygestin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Make sure your doctor knows about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
In general, when you are taking a progesterone drug such as Aygestin, it is especially important to check with your doctor before taking the following:AminoglutethimideCarbamazepinePhenobarbitalPhenytoinRifabutinRifampin
Do not take Aygestin if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, since the drug may cause harm to a developing baby.
Aygestin appears in breast milk. Because the effect of Aygestin on a nursing infant is unknown, it is best to avoid the drug while breastfeeding unless it's clearly necessary.
To prevent abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance or to restore menstrual periods
The usual dose is 2.5 to 10 milligrams a day taken for 5 to 10 days during the second half of a 28-day cycle. Your period should start 3 to 7 days after you stop taking Aygestin.
To treat endometriosis
The recommended starting dose is 5 milligrams a day for 2 weeks. The doctor may increase your dose by 2.5 milligrams a day every 2 weeks up to a maximum of 15 milligrams a day. Treatment may continue for 6 to 9 months or until intolerable breakthrough bleeding occurs.
Although no specific information is available on Aygestin overdose, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.