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(948 posts)
Sun Oct 15, 2023, 08:56 AM Oct 2023

On This Day: First synthesis of an oral contraceptive - Oct. 15, 1951

(edited from Wikipedia)
Luis Miramontes

Luis E. Miramontes (1925–2004) was a Mexican chemist known as co-inventor and the first to synthesize an oral contraceptive, progestin norethisterone.

The scientific contributions of Luis Miramontes are extensive, including numerous publications and nearly 40 national and international patents in different areas such as organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, petrochemistry and atmospheric chemistry and polluting agents.

First Synthesis of an Oral Contraceptive

On October 15, 1951, under the supervision of Carl Djerassi and the direction of George Rosenkranz at Syntex laboratory in Mexico City, Miramontes completed the first ever synthesis of an oral contraceptive: progestin norethisterone.

In the words of Djerassi, "On 15 October 1951, Luis Miramontes, a young Mexican chemist doing his undergraduate bachelor's thesis work at Syntex completed the synthesis of the 19-nor-17?-ethynyltestosterone or, for short 'norethisterone'—which turned out to be the first oral contraceptive to be synthesized."


In 1964, the contraceptive pill was chosen by the US Department of Patents as one of the 40 registered more important inventions between 1794 and 1964. The name of Luis Miramontes appeared next to Pasteur, Edison, Bell, the Wright brothers and others of equal stature. It was included in the "USA Inventors Hall of Fame".


Norethisterone, also known as norethindrone and sold under many brand names, is a progestin medication used in birth control pills, menopausal hormone therapy, and for the treatment of gynecological disorders. The medication is available in both low-dose and high-dose formulations and both alone and in combination with an estrogen.

Norethisterone was discovered in 1951 and was one of the first progestins to be developed. It was first introduced for medical use on its own in 1957 and was introduced in combination with an estrogen for use as a birth control pill in 1963. It is sometimes referred to as a "first-generation" progestin. Along with desogestrel, it is one of the only progestins that is widely available as a progestogen-only "mini pill" for birth control. Norethisterone is marketed widely throughout the world. It is available as a generic medication.

In 2020, it was the 137th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 4 million prescriptions. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.



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On This Day: First synthesis of an oral contraceptive - Oct. 15, 1951 (Original Post) jgo Oct 2023 OP
That's nice. But Jesus don't like interfering with birthing. 3Hotdogs Oct 2023 #1
And the bassackwards so-called "supreme" court of USA is about to make it illegal. CousinIT Oct 2023 #2
Speaks to the character of Carl Djerassi... WestMichRad Oct 2023 #3


(12,510 posts)
1. That's nice. But Jesus don't like interfering with birthing.
Sun Oct 15, 2023, 09:13 AM
Oct 2023

Less people means less money in the collection basket.


(9,304 posts)
2. And the bassackwards so-called "supreme" court of USA is about to make it illegal.
Sun Oct 15, 2023, 09:37 AM
Oct 2023

Hows about THAT?

1963. Too bad it wasn't approved by FDA before that. Could have saved me and others in my family a LOT of trouble.


(1,356 posts)
3. Speaks to the character of Carl Djerassi...
Sun Oct 15, 2023, 11:39 AM
Oct 2023

… that he gave primary credit to Miramontes, an undergraduate, rather than himself. ‘Tis rare in the sciences for an eminent researcher to do that… egos usually don’t allow for it.

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