New Drugs and Developments in Therapeutics
Norethynodrel with Mestranol (Enovid)
Summary of Council Opinion
The mixture of the progestogen, norethynodrel (17α-ethynyl-17-hydroxy-5 -estren-3-one), and approximately 1.5% of the estrogen, mestranol (ethynylestradiol 3-methyl ether), is orally effective in the inhibition of ovulation and is therefore useful in control of fertility. It is of value in control of symptoms of dysfunctional uterine bleeding and in selected cases of endometriosis. Its usefulness as a progestational agent in other gynecological endocrine conditions is not established, although favorable results have been reported for some indications. The most common immediate adverse reactions are nausea, vomiting, and breakthrough bleeding. No definitive evidence of the occurrence of serious reactions has been presented to date. Although this progestogen-estrogen mixture has been in use for 7 yr in some studies, the possibility of harmful effects on the genital, endocrine, and other organs with more prolonged use requires serious consideration.
Council on Drugs. JAMA. 1963;183(11):949-954. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700110081014