Mestranol and Norethindrone are used in oral contraceptives. This medication works by adding a significant number of female hormones to the patient’s body so that she stops ovulating and so that her body defends itself against pregnancy.
This medication does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Patients should use an alternate form of protection if they are worried about HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease.
Patients who smoke should cut back or quit before taking this medication. Smoking while on oral contraceptives greatly increases the risk of stroke. Women over 35 are at greater risk than younger women for stroke while on this medication, especially if they smoke.