Norethisterone is a synthetic hormone which mimics the effect of the body’s naturally occurring hormone progesterone. It can have multiple uses such as treating breast cancer or endometriosis. However, it is often used as a tablet to delay periods. Norethisterone comes as a 5mg tablet and can be taken to delay periods for up to 17 days.
Norethisterone is NOT a method of contraception. It is therefore important that you should continue to use contraceptive methods if you do not want to become pregnant. Norethisterone should also not be taken if you are already taking the combined contraceptive pill. You can, however, take it while taking the mini pill.
Norethisterone is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Taking Norethisterone for Period Delay
If you are taking it to delay your period, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, it’s important that you can predict when your period is due. You should start taking it three days before you expect your period to start. One 5mg tablet is taken THREE times a day.
When you want your period to start, simply stop taking the medication. After stopping, your period should start 2-3 days later. You can take Norethisterone for up to 20 days in total, meaning that you can delay your period for around 17 days.
If you are already taking a combined contraceptive pill such as Microgynon, you can delay your period without the need for Norethisterone or Utovlan.
You will need to have taken the pill for at least a whole month prior to your current menstrual cycle. To delay your period, simply take two months of your combined pill back to back, without having a 7 day pill-free break, or using your inactive pills.
NOTE: This method does not work with other hormonal contraceptives like the ‘mini-pill’ (progestogen only pills), such as Cerazette.
This is a generic product, therefore depending on availability, the brand you receive may not be the same as the one pictured but will be equally effective.
Uses / Instructions
HOW TO TAKE?
1 tablet, three times a day starting three days before your period is expected to start. Your period should occur 2-3 days after you have stopped taking the medicine.
Norethisterone tablets can be used to delay a period for a maximum of 17 days and needs to be started 3 days before your period (a total of 20 days).
Norethisterone should not be used to delay your period more than once every 6 months.
If menstrual bleeding should fail to follow a course of Norethisterone, the possibility of pregnancy must be excluded before a further course is given.
Therapy should be discontinued if the following occur:
– Jaundice or deterioration in liver function
– Significant increase in blood pressure
– New onset of migraine-type headache
Progestogens may cause fluid retention. Special care should be taken when prescribing norethisterone in patients with conditions which might be aggravated by this factor:
– Cardiac dysfunction
– Renal dysfunction
Risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE)
When used for period delay, Norethisterone can cause side effects but these are uncommon. You you may experience nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue, headache Dizziness, breast tenderness, bloating, changes in weight, feeling tired or difficulty sleeping, feeling depressed, lack of interest in sex, skin reactions.
If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious symptoms, stop taking norethisterone and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- Any feeling of pain and tightness in your chest.
- Any disturbances of your vision or hearing.
- Any unusually severe headaches.
Read the patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects.