Comparative Review of Recently Introduced Oral Contraceptives Containing Norgestimate, Desogestrel, and Gestodene and Older Oral Contraceptives

  • Thomas H. Schwend
  • Joel S. Lippman
Part of the Hormones in Health and Disease book series (HHD)


In the 30 years that oral contraceptives (OCs) have been available, they have undergone a remarkable evolution with respect to both the dosage of estrogen and progestin used, as well as the type of progestational agent. There is considerable interest today in oral contraceptive formulations containing the progestins norgestimate, desogestrel, and gestodene; some formulations of these agents appear to offer particularly favorable clinical and metabolic profiles when used in combination with low doses of ethinyl estradiol. An extensive review of the OC literature reveals that these formulations provide contraceptive efficacy and cycle control commensurate with that of the older formulations. A substantial body of data attest to their lower androgenicity and favorable effects on lipid metabolism. In the search for compounds that offer women both efficacy and contraceptive benefits with the lowest incidence of adverse effects, the introduction of the norgestimate and desogestrel-containing OCs represents an important milestone. The following discussion focuses specifically on the clinical advantages of these three progestins versus the older agents that may potentially affect considerations for prescribing.


Oral Contraceptive Ethinyl Estradiol Combine Oral Contraceptive Ethinyl Estradiol Cyproterone Acetate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Schwend
    • 1
  • Joel S. Lippman
    • 1
  1. 1.Ortho PharmaceuticalsRaritanUSA

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