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BiNovum was a combined oral contraceptive pill made by Janssen. It has been discontinued as of January 2016.

If you are looking for a replacement for BiNovum, Brevinor is an equivalent alternative, and Synphase is a similar pill, but in a different dose. You can consult about these pills and order them through our service by completing our online questionnaire.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

19 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 19 April 2022
Product information

BiNovum was a combined oral birth control pill, manufactured by Janssen. It was discontinued in January 2016. Alternative treatments to BiNovum are available to buy online from our UK pharmacy.

Other pills, such as Brevinor and Synphase, contain the same active ingredients as BiNovum and perform the same function. Brevinor is available in the same dose, but the dosage in Synphase is slightly different.

  1. Combined pill
  2. No longer sold
  3. Alternatives are available

To understand how the pill works, it is first important to understand how the body makes itself ready for pregnancy each month. Ovulation is the process by which the ovary releases an egg, ready for fertilisation. This egg then travels to the uterus. If it is fertilised by sperm on the way, it attaches to the wall of the uterus and develops into an embryo. If it is not, then it simply breaks up in the uterus and is discharged with the uterine wall via menstrual bleeding.

In pills like BiNovum, the active constituents are norethisterone and ethinylestradiol. They simulate the function of certain naturally-occurring hormones in the body, called progesterone and oestrogen. These two hormones are responsible for managing ovulation and the quality of the uterine wall.

When these two synthetic hormones are present in the body, they help to convince it that the process of ovulation does not need to take place; thereby preventing the release of an egg. They also alter the quality of the uterine wall (or endometrium) so that it is not as conducive to receiving an egg; and thicken the fluid in the cervix, so that it is harder for sperm to get through.

BiNovum is no longer available to buy as it has stopped being produced. However, we do stock a range of other pills at our UK-based pharmacy, including Synphase and Brevinor. To order your pill online, simply fill in our medical assessment, and your answers will be checked by a GMC-registered doctor. Confirmed orders are prepared by our reliable pharmacy and shipped by next-day courier, so that you can start taking it the following working day.

Page last reviewed:  19/04/2022


Please note that BiNovum has been discontinued by the manufacturerThe following instructions are only for those who may have existing pill packets.

It is vital to follow the directions your prescriber has issued, so that you can maximise the effectiveness of the medicine and limit the risk of side effects. You should also refer to the patient information leaflet supplied and follow the instructions carefully.

  1. Take as prescribed.
  2. In the pack, you will be supplied with white- and peach-coloured pills.
  3. Swallow one white pill a day, following the days designated on the strip.
  4. Once you have finished the white pills, move on to the peach tablets.
  5. Always take your pill at the same time each day.
  6. Take BiNovum with water if necessary.
  7. Have a seven day rest period after you have finished the 21-day course.
  8. Begin taking the next pack the following week.
  9. If you forget to take your pill, do not double the dose next time. Consult your doctor or family planning nurse for advice. 
  10. For help on starting this pill or switching from another form of hormonal contraceptive, refer to the leaflet provided.

These directions are supplied only as a guide. Make sure you read the instructions prior to use.

Page last reviewed:  19/04/2022
Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

It is essential when using any medication to be aware of the side effects it may cause, so that you can accordingly if they occur.

See your doctor right away if you notice any signs of a blood clot, allergic reaction, heart attack or stroke, liver problems or breast cancer. More information on what these look like can be located in the safety leaflet.

Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headache, being sick, premenstrual syndrome, painful or irregular periods or bleeding and spotting between periods.

Common (1 in 100 people or more):
Depression, stomach ache, dizziness, acne, breast pain or tenderness, diarrhoea, vaginal problems such as discharge, itching, muscle spasms, or back or pelvic pain.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Migraine (speak to a doctor as soon as possible if this is your first migraine or it’s worse than usual), mood swings, anxiety, skin rash, hair thinning, feeling sick, loss of appetite, weight gain, swollen hands, ankles or feet, loss of sex drive, thrush, drowsiness, feeling weak or unwell.

Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Abnormal cells in the cervix, increased appetite, difficulty losing weight, gallstones, excessive hair growth, weight loss, or intolerance to contact lenses.

Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Cancer of the cervix, or vaginal dryness

This is not a complete list of the side effects this product may cause. A more detailed index can be located in the patient information leaflet supplied.

Taking it with other medicines

This pill may affect the function of or interact with other medicines, such as: epilepsy treatments like topiramate, carbamazepine, phenytoin, oxcarbazepine, felbamate, eslicarbazepine acetate, or rufinamide; bosentan; rifampicin and rifabutin; anti-HIV medicines; boceprevir and telaprevir; aprepitant and fosaprepitant; griseofulvin; modafinil; barbiturates; St. John’s Wort; colesevelam; etoricoxib; ciclosporin; lamotrigine; prednisolone; selegiline; theophylline or tizanidine.

Let your doctor know if you are using any other medications during consultation.

Conditions to look out for

Certain conditions may make this product unsuitable for use. You should not use it if: you are breast feeding and your baby is less than 6 weeks old; you have breast or liver cancer; you have an irregular heartbeat, problems with heart valves or heart failure; you have ever had a problem with your blood circulation, including blood clots, or a heart attack or stroke; you have any conditions which put you at increased risk of a blood clot; you have very high blood pressure; you smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day and you are 35 years old or more; you have migraines which affect your vision; you have had diabetes for more than 20 years or have diabetes with secondary problems; you have or have recently had a severe liver disease; or you have the disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

This medication may also not be suitable if: you have problems with your heart, circulation or blood clotting, such as high blood pressure; you have diabetes; you have gallbladder problems; you have porphyria; you have a history of migraines; you have brown patches on your face or body; or have experienced problems with the pill before.

Disclose your medical history to your prescriber during consultation.

Page last reviewed:  19/04/2022

Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. Alcohol is not thought to interfere with the function of this medication.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes. But if you notice any side effects which may make driving dangerous, do not drive and seek medical attention right away.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

No. You should make sure you are not pregnant before taking it. It may also not be suitable for you if you are breastfeeding. Notify our doctor in these cases.

How should I store it?

Keep Binovum in a safe environment below 30°C and away from sources of light or moisture.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Binovum contains norethisterone, ethinylestradiol, anhydrous lactose, magnesium stearate, pregelatinised starch and FD&C yellow No 6 (E110).

Is it available over-the-counter?

This pill has been discontinued and is no longer available.

Can I buy BiNovum online?

No, as this pill has been discontinued by the manufacturer. However other pills containing the same active ingredient, such as Brevinor, are available. If you’re looking to switch to one of these, find the pill you’re looking for on our contraception page, and click ‘buy now’ to complete our medical questionnaire. Our doctor will then review your answers to make sure it is right for you. Following approval from our doctor, your order will be shipped to your door by secure courier, so that you can begin using it the next working day.

Page last reviewed:  19/04/2022
Product review

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