Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 Oral Contraceptives

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.

Description (Brief)

The Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical of Raritan, New Jersey, produced this Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 oral contraceptive around 2000. The pills are contained in a peach and white plastic compact. There is a black arrow in the center that points to the various days of the week around the wheel. This allowed the user to set the day of her first pill and track her daily use from there. The prescription includes directions for use. The 7/7/7 in the brand name referred to the three weeks of taking active pills. Each week consisted of varying doses of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol, followed by seven inert pills to finish the 28 pill cycle. Each week of pills is differentiated by color.

Date Made: 1999-2000Product Expiration Date: 2002-09

Maker: Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New Jersey, Raritan

Subject: Birth Control/ContraceptionWomen's Health


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine, Birth Control


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Company, Inc

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2000.0090.11Accession Number: 2000.0090Catalog Number: 2000.0090.11

Object Name: contraceptive, oral

Physical Description: norethindrone, 0.5 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)norethindrone, 0.75 mg (drug (light peach tablet) active ingredients)norethindrone, 1 mg (drug (peach tablet) active ingredients)ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)plastic (packaging material)foil (packaging material)paper (insert material)Measurements: overall: 9.3 cm x 8.6 cm x 1.3 cm; 3 11/16 in x 3 3/8 in x 1/2 inoverall: 5/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 1.5875 cm x 8.5725 cm x 9.2075 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-c028-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_557426

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.