PDR Health


What is Aygestin?

Aygestin (norethindrone acetate) is a synthetic oral progestin used for contraception or to treat secondary amenorrhea, endometriosis, and irregular uterine bleeding. Aygestin is available as a generic drug. Brand names for Aygestin include Norethindrone Acetate, Mono-Linyah, and others.


Health Benefits

Aygestin is mostly used as a contraception to prevent pregnancy. The medication can also be prescribed to help regulate periods or treat symptoms of endometriosis. Additionally, Aygestin may be prescribed to women who have just started menopause and are experiencing hot flashes or night sweats.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of Aygestin include:



breast tenderness or pain

fluid retention


weight gain or loss

mood swings

decreased sex drive

While most side effects are mild, some can be more serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor immediately:

severe stomach pain

chest pain

shortness of breath

leg weakness or numbness

yellowing of the skin or eyes


vision changes


Aygestin is available in tablets of 0.35mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, and 2.5mg. The usual starting dose is 0.5-1mg taken once daily for 5-10 days. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for your individual needs.

Mechanism of Action

Aygestin works by binding to progesterone receptors in the body, which prevents the ovary from releasing eggs. The medication also thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. Additionally, Aygestin can thin the lining of the uterus, making it less hospitable for a fertilized egg to implant.


Aygestin can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. To avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).


Aygestin is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and has a bioavailability of nearly 100%. The medication has a half-life of about 8 hours.

Pregnancy and Lactation

Aygestin should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

The medication can also pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a nursing infant. Breastfeeding while taking Aygestin is not recommended.

Alternatives to Aygestin

There are many other progestins available, some of which are available as generic drugs. Alternatives to Aygestin include:

norethindrone (Micronor, Ortho-Novum)

ethynodiol diacetate (Demulen, Zovia)

medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera, Depo-Provera)

levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose)

desogestrel (Mircette, Kariva)

drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol (Yasmin, Yaz)

Is desogestrel more effective than Aygestin?

There is no definitive answer to this question as each medication works differently for each person. You will need to speak with your doctor to determine if desogestrel is a better option for you.

Long-term effects of taking Aygestin

There is currently no information on the long-term effects of taking Aygestin. However, the medication is generally well-tolerated and side effects are typically mild. If you have any concerns about the long-term effects of taking Aygestin, speak with your doctor.