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Norinyl Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Norinyl

Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Norinyl include the following:
 
  • Combined oral contraceptives (including Norinyl) may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. This risk is minimal for healthy, young, nonsmoking women. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or chest pain. Smoking cigarettes can significantly increase the risk of these serious Norinyl side effects. This risk is particularly high for smokers over the age of 35.
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  • Norinyl 1+50 (but not Norinyl 1+35) contains more estrogen than most birth control pills that are currently on the market. This high-estrogen dose may increase the risk of dangerous side effects (such as blood clots and strokes), because estrogen is thought to be responsible for such problems. You should only take Norinyl 1+50 if your healthcare provider thinks that it is the best choice for your situation. For instance, high-estrogen birth control pills may be useful for women who experience very heavy menstrual bleeding or heavy bleeding between periods while on regular birth control pills.
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  • Norinyl does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to Norinyl.
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  • When you take Norinyl correctly, your risk of pregnancy is quite low. However, if you take Norinyl incorrectly, your risk of pregnancy significantly increases. Make sure you understand exactly how to take Norinyl (including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss any pills).
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  • Norinyl can interact with a number of different medications (see Norinyl Drug Interactions for more information). Many of these interactions are severe enough to increase the risk of unintentional pregnancy.
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  • Combined oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer, although this is an unresolved and controversial issue. However, combined oral contraceptives seem to help protect women against ovarian and uterine cancer.
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  • Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (non-cancerous) liver tumors. Very rarely, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
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  • Hormonal contraceptives (such as Norinyl) can make gallbladder disease worse. If you have had a problem with your gallbladder, Norinyl may not be the best contraceptive method for you.
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  • Norinyl may increase blood sugar levels, particularly in women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any sudden vision changes, as this may be a sign of a blood clot in the eyes (a possible side effect of Norinyl and other hormonal contraceptives).
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  • Hormonal contraceptives (including Norinyl) can increase your blood pressure. This can be a problem if you already have high blood pressure.
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  • Norinyl can change your menstrual bleeding patterns. Some women have breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods), while others may not have a period at all. It is normal to have shorter and lighter periods while using Norinyl. If you notice any unusual changes in your bleeding patterns, let your healthcare provider know. If you miss a period, you should make sure you are not pregnant.
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  • Norinyl can affect your cholesterol. Your healthcare provider may need to check your cholesterol levels after you start Norinyl, especially if you already have high cholesterol.
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  • Sometimes, hormonal contraceptives can make depression worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop new or worsening symptoms of depression.
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  • Occasionally, Norinyl (as well as any other hormonal contraceptive) can cause eye changes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses.
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  • Norinyl is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Norinyl and Pregnancy).
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  • Contraceptive hormones (such as the ones in Norinyl) do pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking Norinyl (see Norinyl and Breastfeeding). Combined hormonal contraceptives (such as Norinyl) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
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