Norimin

Avoid getting pregnant with the Norimin pill

Norimin is a combined contraceptive pill. It is usually prescribed for birth control purposes, but may also be used for period delay or reducing menstrual pains.

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Information

Dr Samantha Miller

Reviewed by Dr Samantha Miller MB ChB
(2017, University of Glasgow)
GMC number: 7561464

Information last reviewed 20/02/2021

About

What is Norimin?

Norimin is a type of contraceptive known as the combined pill. It's more commonly referred to as “the pill” and it contains two types of female sex hormones: an oestrogen and a progestogen. The pill is a very common and convenient method of preventing unwanted pregnancy. 

How does Norimin work?

Norimin prevents ovulation from taking place, essentially overriding your natural menstrual cycle. It contains norethisterone and ethinylestradiol, synthetic versions of progesterone and oestrogen. These are hormones that are naturally produced by the body. The hormones contained in Norimin stop your ovaries from releasing an egg, thicken the mucus lining the womb's entrance and alter the lining of the womb to make it thinner. All of these actions prevent a pregnancy from occurring.

How effective is Norimin?

Norimin is over 99% effective when taken exactly as directed. However, forgetting pills, having sickness or diarrhoea, or taking other medication which interferes with the pill will render it less effective. In fact, the effectiveness of the pill is 91% in everyday practice, meaning that over the course of a year, 9 out of every 100 women taking the pill will have a pregnancy. Ensure that you read the instructions carefully before starting Norimin so that you are aware of exactly how to take it, and what to do if you forget, or are unable to take it for any reason.

When does Norimin start to work?

Norimin will start to work right away if you take it on the first day of a natural menstrual period. You can also start the pill up to day 5 of your natural cycle, however, you may not be protected from pregnancy right away, and should use condoms for 7 days. You can also start Norimin at another time in your cycle if you’re sure there’s no chance of pregnancy, but again you must use condoms for the first 7 days of pill-taking. If you are switching to Norimin from a different type of combined pill, you should finish your strip and immediately start taking Norimin, ignoring any usual pill-break. Norimin will protect you from pregnancy right away when switched over like this. If you are switching over from a progestogen-only pill, you should use condoms for the first 7 days of taking Norimin.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredients in Norimin are 0.035mg ethinylestradiol and 1mg norethisterone.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients are magnesium stearate, polyvidone, maize starch and lactose monohydrate.

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

You should not take Norimin if you have an allergy to: any medicine containing ethinylestradiol or norethisterone, any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet or have had any other similar birth control medications. A severe allergic reaction can present as shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue and rash or hives. Make sure to get immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms.

Dosage

How to start Norimin

The best time to start taking Norimin is on the first day of your natural period, as in this situation, it will work as a contraceptive right away. You can also start it at another time in your cycle, but you will need to use barrier contraception such as condoms for the first seven days.

How to take Norimin

Norimin should be taken at the same time every day. It is usually taken daily for three weeks and then you have a 7-day break before starting your next pack. Your bleed will happen during the pill-free week. Choose a time of the day that's best for you to take the pill, preferably at a time when you're most likely to remember.

Side Effects

Norimin side effects

Possible side effects include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Breakthrough bleeding 
  • Spotting between periods 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Fluid retention 
  • Mood changes 
  • Depression 
  • Decreased sex drive 
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Irritation when wearing contact lenses 
  • Blood clots 
  • Breast cancer
  • Gallstones 
  • Liver problems 

Contraindications

Norimin is not suitable if: 

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • You are pregnant
  • You have had a baby in the last 3 weeks
  • You have, or have had, breast, cervical, vaginal or endometrial cancer, 
  • You have ever had a blood clot
  • You have ever had a heart attack or suffer from angina
  • You have ever had a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke)
  • You have very high blood pressure 
  • You experience migraines with aura (visual or sensory changes)
  • You are over the age of 35 and smoke 
  • You have a liver tumour including cancer or an adenoma 
  • You have severe liver disease, including Dubin-Johnson or Rotor syndrome
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding 
  • You have systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You are going to be immobile for a period of time due to major surgery

If you have any of the following, you should speak to your doctor as this pill may not be suitable

  • You have a family history of blood clots
  • You have ever suffered from obstetric cholestasis 
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol or fats)
  • You smoke
  • You are obese 
  • You are diabetic 
  • You have heart failure 
  • You have sickle cell anaemia 
  • You have a history of depression 
  • You have a history of migraines 
  • You have Crohn's disease 
  • You have ulcerative colitis 
  • You have hyperprolactinaemia
  • You have Chloasma 
  • You have porphyria 
  • You have jaundice 
  • You have Gallstones 

Drug interactions

Certain medications can interfere with the way Norimin works. These include: 

  • HIV medications 
  • Epilepsy medications 
  • Certain sedatives
  • Some anti-arthritis drugs
  • Certain types of antifungals
  • Certain types of antibiotics 
  • St John's wort 

You should tell the prescribing doctor if you are taking any medications, including over the counter medications, herbal remedies and recreational drugs. 

Norimin and alcohol

Drinking alcohol does not interfere with Norimin. 

Treatment Options

Norimin vs the mini pill

Norimin is a type of combined contraceptive pill. It contains both a progestogen hormone and an oestrogen hormone whereas the mini pill only contains a progestogen hormone. The mini pill is suitable for most women, even those who cannot take the combined pill, for example, those with a history of blood clots, liver problems or breast cancer. The mini pill has fewer side effects associated with it but it can be less reliable and it cannot be used to control your period.

Alternatives to Norimin

There are over 20 different types of combined pill available in the UK. It can take trying a few different ones to find the pill that works best for you. Some of the most common types of the combined pill are Microgynon, Ovranette, Cilest and Rigevidon. The mini pill is a good alternative for women who are sensitive to oestrogen as it only contains the progestogen hormone. Long term reversible contraceptives provide greater convenience as you don't need to remember to take the pill every day. These options include the implant, injection and copper or hormonal coil.

Norimin for non-contraceptive purposes

Norimin is mainly used to prevent unwanted pregnancy but it does have additional benefits. It can regulate and relieve irregular, painful periods and the symptoms of PMS.

Can you use Norimin for period delay?

Norimin can be used to delay your period if it is due to arrive at an inconvenient time. This is simple to do, just skip the pill-free week between packs, and start your new one the day after finishing your current one. This means you will not have a bleed until the following month. 

Switching contraceptive pill

Switching your contraceptive pill is usually a straightforward process. In most cases, you can simply finish the pack of your current pill and start Norimin the next day. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before doing so as this advice may not apply to all types of the pill. For example, if you are switching from the progestogen-only pill you may need to use an additional method of contraception for 7 days.

Q&A

What should I do if I missed a pill?

If you have missed a pill then your contraception may be affected. If you remember it within 12 hours of when you should have taken it, take it right away and your contraception won’t be affected. If it is more than 12 hours late, also take the pill as soon as you remember, but your contraception may be affected so you should use condoms as a precaution for 7 days. If you have missed more than one pill, the chances of pregnancy are increased. You should take the missed pill as soon as you remember. If you have had unprotected sex after a missed pill, you may need to consider emergency contraception. If you have fewer than seven pills left in your strip after a missed pill, you should complete the strip and start the next strip without a 7-day break.

What should I do if I took a pill too late?

While you should aim to take your pill at the same time each day, taking it late will not affect your contraception. If you are more than 12 hours late in taking your pill, follow the instructions above for “what should I do if I missed a pill?” If you regularly take your pill late then this can make it difficult to determine when you have missed a pill. Setting an alarm or reminder on your phone might help you to remember to take it.

If I have vomited, will Norimin still work?

Normin may not work if you vomit within two hours of taking it. In this case, you should take another pill right away if you are able to. This means that your cycle will be one day shorter than usual. If you continue to vomit then your contraception is likely to be affected. You should use condoms in addition to Norimin until you have felt better for 7 days.

When can I get pregnant after taking Norimin?

When you stop taking Norimin it may take a couple of months for your periods to return to normal as your body adjusts. However, it is possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill. There is no definite time scale as fertility will be a different journey for every woman. While some women get pregnant in the first month, others may take six months or more.

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