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Norgeston

Norgeston is a form of the progesterone-only pill for contraception. It contains the active ingredient levonorgestrel and is used by women who want to prevent pregnancy. Otherwise known as a mini-pill, the progesterone-only pill is taken on a regular basis each day to prevent pregnancy. However, it will not stop an existing pregnancy or protect against sexually- transmitted infections.

What is Norgeston?

Norgeston is a form of hormonal contraceptive that only uses progestogen rather than a combination of progestogen and oestrogen – which is common with the combination pill. Because the Norgeston pill only contains progestogen, it is often referred to as a mini-pill. This contraceptive contains an active ingredient called levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the natural hormone progestogen, and affects the ovulation and menstrual cycle in the female body. Taking the progestogen- only pill each day can help to prevent pregnancy in a number of ways. As well as increasing the thickness of the mucus at the neck of the womb to prevent sperm from reaching an egg, it also changes the womb lining. This means that if any eggs are fertilised, they cannot implant within the wall of the womb. The Norgeston contraceptive pill can also prevent an egg from being released from the ovaries, although this does not always occur in women taking the mini-pill.

When is Norgeston used?

Norgeston is a form of contraceptive pill typically used to prevent women from getting pregnant when they are sexually active and not using other forms of contraception such as condoms. It does not protect against other side-effects of unprotected sex, however. Taken correctly, Norgeston is very effective, and can be an ideal solution for women who are unable to take the combined pill due to reasons such as obesity or high blood pressure. You may also be able to take the Norgeston pill as a contraceptive pill if you are not suitable for a combined pill because you are over the age of 35 and you smoke.

How do you use Norgeston?

When taking any new medication, including the Norgeston contraceptive pill, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor and those written on the leaflet inside your medication packet. If you are concerned about taking the Norgeston contraceptive pill, speak to your doctor or pharmacist and see whether they can answer your questions before you continue.

Norgeston is a medication that can be taken by mouth similarly to any other contraceptive pill. If you have not taken a contraceptive pill before, you can start on the first day of your new menstrual cycle which is the last day of your period. This will begin protecting you against pregnancy immediately. You will also be able to take Norgeston for up to the fifth day of your cycle without using additional forms of contraception. However, this may not apply if you have a shorter cycle than most. Speak to your doctor about your options.

If you have just given birth or recently recovered from a miscarriage, then you will need to speak to your doctor about whether you can start taking the Norgeston contraceptive pill immediately, and how soon you will be protected against pregnancy. It is also a good idea to get your doctor’s advice when switching to Norgeston from another pill. It is important to take the Norgeston pill at the same time every day to improve your chances of it working effectively. Choose a time that you feel comfortable with and try to stick to that time consistently. Remember that sickness and diarrhoea can also reduce the effectiveness of Norgeston. If you are sick or have diarrhoea after using this medication, you may need to use other forms of contraception to be safe. You can take the Norgeston pill with or without food, although some people find that taking it with food will help them to avoid symptoms of nausea and sickness.

What dosages are available?

There is only one dose of Norgeston available, which contains 30 mg of levonorgestrel. There are also other ingredients in the Norgeston pill such as lactose, polyethylene and calcium carbonate, which help to make up the tablet form, but do not do anything medically. Most of the time, Norgeston will come in a packet of 28. Once you have taken a full 28 pills, continue the next packet without a break.

What are the side effects of Norgeston?

Norgeston rarely comes with any significant side effects. However, as with any medication, there is always a risk that you could experience some negative effects when taking this pill. For instance, nausea and vomiting may be more common side effects for people taking Norgeston. Some patients also report symptoms of tiredness, dizziness, changes in vaginal bleeding, diarrhoea, sickness and headaches. If any of these conditions worsen or persist, speak to your doctor as soon as you can. While the risk of severe side effects as a result of the Norgeston contraceptive pill is very small, it is important to tell your doctor if you notice anything like severe lower stomach pain. Other more serious side effects may include an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy in the rare case that you fall pregnant when taking this medication.

Norgeston and other contraceptive pills can also increase your risk of suffering from a blood clot and similar conditions such as deep vein thrombosis. Your risk is often increased if you are over the age of 35 or a smoker. Additionally, you can have a slightly higher risk level during your first year of taking Norgeston.

Contact your doctor immediately and stop taking Norgeston if you experience:

  • Migraines or unusually severe and frequent headaches;
  • Pain or swelling in your leg;
  • Sudden changes to your sense of taste, hearing, smell or touch;
  • Pain in your chest when you breathe;
  • Coughing for no reason;
  • Tightness or pain in your chest;
  • Fainting or dizziness;
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in one side of your body.

When should you not use Norgeston?

Norgeston is a safe medication for most people. However, there are some women who may react negatively to this substance. You should not take the Norgeston contraceptive pill if you think that you might be pregnant. It is fine to take Norgeston when you are breastfeeding. You should also speak to your doctor about taking Norgeston if you are going to be undergoing surgery that may mean you are off your feet for long periods of time.

If you are allergic to any of the substances in Norgeston, do not take it, and make sure that your doctor is aware if you have:

  • Ever had a liver tumour;
  • Ever had any form of cancer that may be effected by sex hormones;
  • Ever had a severe liver disease;
  • Liver function that is not as it should be;
  • Ever had a blood clot in any part of the body;
  • Ever had a stroke or heart attack;
  • Severe issues with diabetes or blood vessel problems.

Make sure that you let your doctor know if any of these conditions apply to anyone in your immediate family, and therefore increase your risk.

Does Norgeston interact with any other medications?

Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about any additional medications that you may be taking before you begin using the Norgeston contraceptive pill. This includes any medications you have purchased with or without a prescription, as well as herbal remedies and supplements. Various medications designed to prevent pregnancy can interact with Norgeston. There are also a range of other medications that may affect Norgeston’s ability to stop pregnancy.

Certain antibiotics, such as those prescribed for tuberculosis, will make the Norgeston contraceptive pill less effective. If you are prescribed a short course of antibiotics for any reason, then you should ask your doctor about whether the Norgeston pill will continue to work as normal for you. It is also possible for the antifungal medicine known as griseofulvin to make certain kinds of the mini-pill les effective. Consider using an additional form of contraceptive if you are using this drug. Your doctor will need to make sure that you are not taking any drugs that interact with the pill before prescribing it.

Emergency contraceptive pills such as EllaOne may make this pill less effective. If you take an emergency contraceptive when using the Norgeston contraceptive pill, you may need to use other forms of contraception for up to 14 days following the medication. Non-prescription weight loss medications such as Orlistat and Xenical can cause severe cases of diarrhoea. Any medication that causes diarrhoea or sickness has the potential to make the Norgeston pill less effective. If you have sickness or diarrhoea when taking Norgeston, use an alternative form of contraceptive to protect yourself against pregnancy.

In some cases, the Norgeston pill can reduce the blood sugar management effects of various drugs for diabetes. If you suffer from diabetes, you will need to speak to your doctor about how you can manage your condition when taking Norgeston.

Where can you buy Norgeston?

The Norgeston contraceptive pill is available to purchase on the NHS in the UK or by private prescription from reputable online and offline pharmacies. As with all other forms of contraceptive pill, Norgeston is only available with a prescription from your doctor. There are many different kinds of contraception available today, which means that it is always best to speak to your doctor about your options before you attempt to seek your own treatment.

Can you get Norgeston without a prescription?

All contraceptive pills come with risks to consider, which is why you will need to speak to your doctor in depth about your medical history and current medications before taking Norgeston. Your doctor will consider your situation carefully and only prescribe the Norgeston contraceptive pill if it is the right option for you. You will not be able to obtain Norgeston from any registered pharmacy without a prescription.

References:

Bayer PLC, online, 2018, Norgeston patient leaflet, [accessed on 19 June 2019], available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1133/smpc

NHS UK, 2018, Online, Contraception, The pill, Progesterone only, [accessed on 19 June 2019], available on: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/

WebMD, Online, Levonorgestrel [accessed on 19 June 2019], available on: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-17833-7300/levonorgestrel-oral/levonorgestrel-oral/details

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