Progestin oral contraceptive (By mouth)


Progestin oral contraceptives are birth control pills. They contain either norgestrel or norethindrone (female hormones).

Brand Name(s)

Errin, Camila, Plan B, Jolivette, Nora-BE, Ortho Micronor, Provera, Nor-QD, Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, Plan B One-Step, My Way, Aygestin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to a progestin oral contraceptive, or to other progestin drugs, such as progesterone, megestrol, or medroxyprogesterone. You should not use if you are pregnant. You should not use if you have had liver disease, blood clots, cancer, or abnormal vaginal bleeding. Make sure your doctor knows if you are allergic to tartrazine.

How to Use This Medicine


  • You may take the pills with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
  • Keep your pills in the container you receive from the pharmacy. Take the pills in the order they appear in the container.
  • Take your pill at the same time every day, even during your menstrual period.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss taking one tablet, you could become pregnant.
  • If you have missed one day's dose, you should stop taking the oral contraceptive AND USE ANOTHER METHOD OF BIRTH CONTROL until your next menstrual period begins, or until your doctor has determined that you are not pregnant.
  • If you have any questions about this, call your doctor.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store your pills in the original container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking bromocriptine (Parlodel®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Usa a different kind of birth control during the first 3 weeks of using this medicine to make sure you are protected from pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you have lupus, high blood pressure, epilepsy, asthma, migraine headaches, diabetes, or depression.
  • If you smoke while taking birth control pills, you increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. If you have any questions about the risks in taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
  • If you miss two periods in a row, call your doctor for a pregnancy test before you take any more pills.
  • You should see your doctor on a regular basis (every 6 months or 1 year) while taking birth control pills.
  • It is best to wait 2 or 3 months after stopping birth control pills before trying to get pregnant.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Pain in leg (calf), chest or groin
  • Severe headache, sudden vision changes
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Breast lumps
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bloated feeling or weight gain
  • Nausea, stomach cramps
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Tired feeling
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Discharge from nipple

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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