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How Does Nor-QD Work?

Because Nor-QD contains only a progestin, it is not as effective as pills that contain both a progestin and an estrogen (known as combined oral contraceptives). Nor-QD and other progestin-only oral contraceptives stop ovulation in only about half of the women who take them.
 
Because Nor-QD is only 50 percent effective at preventing ovulation, it must rely on other mechanisms to prevent pregnancy. The drug alters the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo. It also changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.
 
Unlike combined oral contraceptives, there are no inactive or "placebo" pills in each pack of Nor-QD. Every tablet contains the active hormone, and there is no break in between pills or packs. Because there are no breaks, menstrual periods often occur at irregular intervals.
 

When and How to Use Nor-QD

General considerations for when and how to use Nor-QD include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day.
     
  • Missing Nor-QD (or other progestin-only) pills or taking them later than usual is more likely to result in pregnancy, compared with combined oral contraceptives. It is essential that you take them at exactly the same time every day.
     
  • Make sure you know exactly what to do if you miss any pills or take them even a few hours late. In some circumstances, you may need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms.
     
  • Each pack of Nor-QD contains 28 pills. Be sure to take them in order. Once you finish a pack, start a new one right away.
     
  • You may have your period early or late while taking Nor-QD. Keep taking the tablets either way; do not stop taking the drug during your period.
     
  • You can take Nor-QD with or without food. If the drug bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken exactly as prescribed.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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