Norgestrel, often called "mini-pill", can be prescribed to women who want to avoid pregnancy or to reduce the menstrual pain and losses. In other cases it is used to stabilize the menstrual cycle.


As a contraceptive, it may be less effective than other hormonal methods. Therefore, for this purpose, it is used only by women who cannot take estrogen-based contraceptives.


What is Norgestrel?


Norgestrel acts by modifying the uterus and the mucus of the cervix in order to make the implantation of a fertilized egg as difficult as possible. Moreover, in 50% of women who use it regularly, it also prevents ovulation.


How should Norgestrel be taken?


Norgestrel is administered orally, in the form of tablets.

In general, the dosage is one tablet per day; in the event that triggers nausea or stomach problems, it is recommended to take it before going to sleep.


Side effects associated with Norgestrel


In rare cases, taking Norgestrel may be associated with thrombus formation.


Among the other possible adverse effects are included:


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity of the breast
  • Reduction in breast volume
  • Acne
  • Fat hair
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal infections


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if taking Norgestrel triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe dizziness
  • Prolonged vaginal bleeding (more than 8 days)
  • Absence of menstruation for 2 consecutive cycles
  • Depression
  • Hirsutism
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Shortness of breath, chest, jaw, or left arm pain, confusion, blood in the sputum, dizziness or fainting, pain, swelling or warmth in the groin or calf, tingling, weakness or numbness of arms or legs, unusual headaches, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems
  • Sharp pain in the stomach, belly or abdomen
  • Breast lumps
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Norgestrel


If you vomit within 4 hours of taking Norgestrel and in case of diarrhea, contraceptive efficacy may decrease; in the 2 consecutive days, it is also recommended to use other methods of birth control.


Moreover, before taking norgestrel it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other medicines, foods, or any other substance
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, in particular active ingredients that speed up intestinal transit, isotretinoin, troleandomycin, griseofulvin, modanafil, rifamycins, St. John's wort, anticonvulsants and anti-HIV drugs
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from diseases and health problems
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding


Lastly, taking Norgestrel may interfere with the results of certain laboratory tests.