STD Home > Nor-QD Warnings and Precautions
Before using Nor-QD, warnings and precautions for the progestin-only pill should be discussed with your healthcare provider. This form of birth control is not suitable for everyone; you should not take it if you have liver disease, liver tumors, or breast cancer. Nor-QD warnings and precautions also include being aware that the drug may cause ectopic pregnancy, irregular menstrual bleeding, and ovarian cysts in some women.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using Nor-QD® (norethindrone) if you have:
- Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver tumors
- Migraines or other unusual or severe headaches
- Cancer (or if you have had cancer in the past)
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Nor-QD is equivalent to Heather®, Camila®, and Nora-BE® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to these medications.)
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Nor-QD include the following:
- Nor-QD is a progestin-only birth control pill and is a little less effective than combined birth control pills (which contain both a progestin and an estrogen).
- If you happen to get pregnant while taking the drug, you may have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside the uterus (often called a "tubal pregnancy"). Be sure to report any signs of an ectopic pregnancy, such as severe abdominal (stomach) or back pain, to your healthcare provider.
- Nor-QD does not protect against HIV, AIDS, or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many cases, women are advised to use condoms in addition to Nor-QD.
- It is normal to experience irregular menstrual bleeding while taking Nor-QD. Your period may be early or late, and you may have bleeding or spotting between periods. If your period is late and you missed any pills or took them late, you should take a pregnancy test. Also, if you miss two periods in a row, you should take a pregnancy test.
- Nor-QD can cause ovarian cysts (noncancerous fluid-filled sacs in the ovary). Usually, these cysts go away without treatment and rarely cause problems.
- Combined oral contraceptives may increase the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer. It is not clear whether progestin-only contraceptives such as Nor-QD also increase these risks, but it may be a good idea to avoid any hormonal contraceptives if you have a history of these cancers.
- Nor-QD can interact with a number of different medications (see Nor-QD Drug Interactions). Some of these interactions are severe enough to lead to unintentional pregnancy.
- When taken correctly, Nor-QD is effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it becomes much less effective if taken incorrectly. Make sure you understand exactly how to take Nor-QD, including how and when to start it and what to do if you miss pills. It is important to take Nor-QD at the exact same time each day, since taking it just a few hours late can increase the risk of pregnancy.
- Oral contraceptives increase the risk of benign (noncancerous) liver tumors. In rare cases, these tumors can rupture and cause serious problems.
- Nor-QD may increase blood sugar, which can be a problem for women with diabetes. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you start having migraines or other unusual or severe headaches while taking Nor-QD (or if headaches you previously had begin to get worse). You may have to stop taking the drug.
- Nor-QD is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used during pregnancy (see Nor-QD and Pregnancy).
- Although Nor-QD is usually considered okay for breastfeeding women, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Nor-QD and Breastfeeding).