JINTELI — norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablet
Physicians Total Care, Inc.


Estrogens and progestins should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders and Dementia.)

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5 mg) relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders and Malignant Neoplasms, Breast Cancer.)

The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of WHI, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens plus medroxyprogesterone acetate relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women.

(See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins were not studied in the WHI clinical trials and, in the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar. Because of these risks, estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.


JinteliTM (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, USP) is a continuous dosage regimen of a progestin-estrogen combination for oral administration.

Each white tablet contains 1 mg norethindrone acetate [19-Norpregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one, 17-(acetyloxy)-, (17α)-] and 5 mcg ethinyl estradiol [19-Norpregna-1,3,5(10)-trien-20-yne-3, 17-diol, (17α)-]. Each tablet also contains the following ingredients: calcium stearate, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, and sodium starch glycolate.

The structural formulas are as follows:

chemical structure
(click image for full-size original)

Norethindrone Acetate Ethinyl Estradiol C22 H28 O3 Molecular Weight: 340.47 C20 H24 O2 Molecular Weight: 296.41


Endogenous estrogens are largely responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. Although circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions, estradiol is the principal intracellular human estrogen and is substantially more potent than its metabolites estrone and estriol at the receptor level.

The primary source of estrogen in normally cycling adult women is the ovarian follicle, which secretes 70 to 500 mcg of estradiol daily, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, most endogenous estrogen is produced by conversion of androstenedione, secreted by the adrenal cortex, to estrone by peripheral tissues. Thus, estrone and the sulfate conjugated form, estrone sulfate, are the most abundant circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women. The pharmacologic effects of ethinyl estradiol are similar to those of endogenous estrogens.

Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. To date, two estrogen receptors have been identified. These vary in proportion from tissue to tissue.

Circulating estrogens modulate the pituitary secretion of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) through a negative feedback mechanism. Estrogens act to reduce the elevated levels of these hormones seen in postmenopausal women.

Progestin compounds enhance cellular differentiation and generally oppose the actions of estrogens by decreasing estrogen receptor levels, increasing local metabolism of estrogens to less active metabolites, or inducing gene products that blunt cellular responses to estrogen. Progestins exert their effects in target cells by binding to specific progesterone receptors that interact with progesterone response elements in target genes. Progesterone receptors have been identified in the female reproductive tract, breast, pituitary, hypothalamus, bone, skeletal tissue and central nervous system. Progestins produce similar endometrial changes to those of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone.



Norethindrone acetate (NA) is completely and rapidly deacetylated to norethindrone after oral administration, and the disposition of norethindrone acetate is indistinguishable from that of orally administered norethindrone. Norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol (EE) are rapidly absorbed from norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets, with maximum plasma concentrations of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol generally occurring 1 to 2 hours postdose. Both are subject to first-pass metabolism after oral dosing, resulting in an absolute bioavailability of approximately 64% for norethindrone and 55% for ethinyl estradiol. Bioavailability of norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets is similar to that from solution for norethindrone and slightly less for ethinyl estradiol. Administration of norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets with a high fat meal decreases rate but not extent of ethinyl estradiol absorption. The extent of norethindrone absorption is increased by 27% following administration of norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets with food.

The full pharmacokinetic profile of norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets was not characterized due to assay sensitivity limitations. However, the multiple-dose pharmacokinetics were studied at a dose of 1 mg NA/10 mcg EE in 18 post-menopausal women. Mean plasma concentrations are shown below (Figure 1) and pharmacokinetic parameters are found in Table 1. Based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis, mean steady-state concentrations of norethindrone for 1 mg NA/5 mcg EE and 1/10 are slightly more than proportional to dose when compared to 0.5 mg NA/2.5 mcg EE tablets. It can be explained by higher sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations. Mean steady-state plasma concentrations of ethinyl estradiol for the norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol 0.5/2.5 tablets and norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol 1/5 tablets are proportional to dose, but there is a less than proportional increase in steady-state concentrations for the NA/EE 1/10 tablet.

figure 1
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Figure 1: Mean Steady-State (Day 87) Plasma Norethindrone and Ethinyl Estradiol Concentrations Following Continuous Oral Administration of 1 mg NA/10 mcg EE Tablets

Table 1: Mean (SD) Single-Dose (Day 1) and Steady-State (Day 87) Pharmacokinetic Parameters Following Administration of 1 mg NA/10 mcg EE Tablets
ND = Not determined
Cmax tmax AUC(0-24) CL/Ft½
Norethindrone ng/mLhrng·hr/mLmL/minhr
Day 16.0 (3.3)1.8 (0.8)29.7 (16.5)588 (416)10.3 (3.7)
Day 8710.7 (3.6)1.8 (0.8)81.8 (36.7)226 (139)13.3 (4.5)
Ethinyl Estradiol pg/mLhrpg•hr/mLmL/minhr
Day 133.5 (13.7)2.2 (1.0)339 (113)ND *ND *
Day 8738.3 (11.9)1.8 (0.7)471 (132)383 (119)23.9 (7.1)

Based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis, average steady-state concentrations (Css) of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol for norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol 1/5 tablets are estimated to be 2.6 ng/mL and 11.4 pg/mL, respectively. Css values of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol for norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol 0.5/2.5 tablets are estimated to be 1.1 ng/mL and 5.4 ng/mL, respectively.

The pharmacokinetics of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone acetate were not affected by age, (age range 40-62 years), in the postmenopausal population studied.

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