American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Norgestimate: a clinical overview of a new progestin.

PMID 1605287


The efficacy and safety of a new monophasic oral contraceptive, norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol, containing the third-generation progestin, norgestimate (250 micrograms), and ethinyl estradiol (35 micrograms), are reviewed. Norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol demonstrates excellent contraceptive efficacy, with a Pearl index of 0.25. Cycle control is reliable, with a low incidence of breakthrough bleeding and spotting. Because of the minimal androgenicity of norgestimate, norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol has a low impact on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. It neither reduces the vasodilatory and antiaggregatory prostacyclin nor increases its endogenous antagonist, thromboxane. Norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol has no significant effect on blood coagulation factors. All these characteristics suggest that norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than other oral contraceptives currently available. Epidemiologic data, however, are not available, and physicians should be reluctant to prescribe it or any oral contraceptive to patients who have a history of vascular or thrombotic disorders.