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Norethindrone ball-and-stick.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
AHFS/ International Drug Names
MedlinePlus a604034
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 64%
Protein binding >95%
Half-life 7 hours
68-22-4 YesY
G03AC01 G03DC02
PubChem CID 6230
DrugBank DB00717 YesY
ChemSpider 5994 YesY
UNII T18F433X4S YesY
KEGG D00182 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C20H26O2
298.419 g/mol
 YesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Norethisterone (or norethindrone) (or 19-nor-17α-ethynyltestosterone) is a molecule used in some combined oral contraceptive pills, progestogen only pills and is also available as a stand-alone drug. It is a progestogen and can be used to treat premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, abnormal heavy bleeding, irregular periods, menopausal syndrome (in combination with oestrogen), or to postpone a period. It is also commonly used to help prevent uterine hemorrhage in complicated non-surgical or pre-surgical gynecologic cases and in treating non responsive cyclical mastalgia. Norethindrone was the first orally highly active progestin to be synthesized. It was synthesized for the first time by chemists Luis Miramontes, Carl Djerassi, and George Rosenkranz at Syntex in Mexico City in 1951.[1] It was the progestin used in one of the first three oral contraceptives. Its related ester, norethisterone acetate, is used for the same indications.


  1. ^ Djerassi, C.; Miramontes, L.; Rosenkranz, G.; Sondheimer, F. (1954). "Steroids. LIV.1Synthesis of 19-Nov-17α-ethynyltestosterone and 19-Nor-17α-methyltestosterone2". Journal of the American Chemical Society 76 (16): 4092. doi:10.1021/ja01645a010.  edit