A synthetic progestational hormone with actions similar to those of progesterone and about twice as potent as its racemic or (+-)-isomer (norgestrel). It is used for contraception, control of menstrual disorders, and treatment of endometriosis. It is usually supplied in a racemic mixture (Norgestrel, 6533-00-2). Only the levonorgestrel isomer is active. Levonorgestrel is marketed mostly as a combination oral contraceptive under several brand names such as Alesse, Triphasil, and Min-Ovral.
A semisynthetic alkylated estradiol with a 17-alpha-ethinyl substitution. It has high estrogenic potency when administered orally and is often used as the estrogenic component in oral contraceptives. Ethinyl estradiol is marketed mostly as a combination oral contraceptive under several brand names such as Alesse, Tri-Cyclen, Triphasil, and Yasmin. The FDA label includes a black box warning that states that combination oral contraceptives should not be used in women over 35 years old who smoke due to the increased risk of serious cardiovascular side effects.