Brevicon 21-Day Oral Contraceptive

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Description (Brief)
The popularity of “the Pill” created a new market for pharmaceutical companies. For the first time, healthy women would be taking medication for an extended period of time. Pill manufacturers developed unique packaging in order to distinguish their product from those of their competitors and build brand loyalty. Packaging design often incorporated a “memory aid” to assist women in tracking their daily pill regimen, as well as styled cases to allow pills to be discreetly carried in bags and purses. The National Museum of American History’s Division of Medicine and Science’s collection of oral contraceptives illustrates some of the changes that the packaging and marketing of the Pill underwent from its inception in 1960 to the present.
Syntex Incorporated produced this Brevicon brand oral contraceptive in Humacao, Puerto Rico, around 1972. The Brevicon 21-Day tablet is in a trademarked Memorette tablet dispenser. The dispenser is in a blue plastic compact case embossed with a profile bust of a woman. This pill pack was distributed by the manufacturer as a “Professional Sample” and includes an informational booklet for the first-time user.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1974
Syntex F.P. Inc.
place made
Puerto Rico: Humacao, Humacao
Physical Description
norethindrone, 0.5 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)
cardboard (package material)
paper (booklet material)
plastic (tablet dispenser material)
overall: 12.2 cm x 9.4 cm x 1.7 cm; 4 13/16 in x 3 11/16 in x 11/16 in
overall: 3/4 in x 3 3/4 in x 4 7/8 in; 1.905 cm x 9.525 cm x 12.3825 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Gladys Abell and Lester D. Johnson, Jr., M.D.
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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