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Clinical data
Synonyms(8R,9S,10R,13S,14S,17S)-17-ethynyl-17-hydroxy-13-methyl-1, 2,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15, 16-dodecahydrocyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one
ATC code
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding>95%
Elimination half-life7 hours
CAS Number
PubChem CID
E number{{#property:P628}}
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Chemical and physical data
Molar mass298.419 g/mol

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Norethisterone (or norethindrone) (or 19-nor-17α-ethynyltestosterone) is a molecule used in some combined oral contraceptive pills and in some progestogen only pills. It is a progestogen and can be used to treat premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, abnormal heavy bleeding, irregular periods, menopausal syndrome (in combination with oestrogen), or to postpone a period. Norethindrone was the first orally highly active progestin to be synthesized. It was synthesized for the first time by chemists Luis E. Miramontes, Carl Djerassi, and George Rosenkranz at Syntex in Mexico City in 1951.[1] It was the progestin used in one of the first two oral contraceptives. It is often used as the related ester, norethisterone acetate.


  1. Djerassi C, Miramontes L, Rosenkranz G, Sondheimer F (1954). "Steroids. LIV. Synthesis of 19-Nor-17α-ethynyltestosterone and 19-Nor-17α-methyltestosterone" (abstract page). J Am Chem Soc. 76 (16): 4089&ndash, 4091. doi:10.1021/ja01645a009.

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