Nomegestrol acetate-17b-estradiol for oral contraception
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Oral contraceptives remain a popular method of contraception over 50 years after their introduction. While safe and effective for many women, the failure rate of oral contraception is about 8%. Concerns about the risk of venous thromboembolism continue to drive the search for the safest oral contraceptive formulations. The oral contraceptive NOMAC-E2 contains nomegestrol acetate (NOMAC) 2.5 mg + 17b-estradiol (E2) 1.5 mg. The approved dosing regimen is 24 days of active hormone, followed by a 4-day hormone-free interval. NOMAC is a progestin derived from testosterone, which has high bioavailability, rapid absorption, and a long half-life. Estradiol, though it has a lower bioavailability, has been successfully combined with NOMAC in a monophasic oral contraceptive. Two recently published randomized controlled trials demonstrate that NOMAC-E2 is an effective contraceptive, with a Pearl Index less than one pregnancy per 100 woman-years. The bleeding pattern on NOMAC-E2 is characterized by fewer bleeding/spotting days, shorter withdrawal bleeds, and a higher incidence of amenorrhea than the comparator oral contraceptive containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. The adverse event profile appears to be acceptable. Few severe adverse events were reported in the randomized controlled trials. The most common adverse events were irregular bleeding, acne, and weight gain. Preliminary studies suggest that NOMAC-E2 does not seem to have negative effects on hemostatic and metabolic parameters. While no one oral contraceptive formulation is likely to be the optimum choice for all women, NOMAC-E2 is a formulation with effectiveness comparable with that of other oral contraceptives, and a reassuring safety profile.
Keywords: oral contraception, nomegestrol acetate, estradiol
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