Norethisterone 5mg Tablets
- Used to delay a woman’s period
- Can delay for up to 17 days
- Generic version of Utovlan
Norethisterone 5mg Tablets
Norethisterone is an artificial version of a hormone that behaves like the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. It is used to delay a woman’s period for up to 17 days if necessary. Norethisterone tablets are not a form of contraception, so a woman must continue to take precautions. It is safe to use whilst a woman is taking the mini-pill; however, it isn’t safe whilst using a combined contraceptive pill.
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What is Norethisterone?
Norethisterone is a prescription medicine that can delay menstruation for up to 17 days. It can be prescribed to anybody who has a period and wants to delay it for a reason - the reason does not have to be medical, but a doctor does need to clear it.
Norethisterone is a hormone that keeps progesterone levels high. This elevation in progesterone levels means that menstruation is unable to start like it normally would. When taken correctly, Utovlan also prevents all period symptoms, such as cramps, mood swings, nausea, and headaches.
Some people take Norethisterone for other reasons, including dealing with heavy or painful periods, irregular periods, endometriosis, or breast cancer.
If taken for periods, Norethisterone should only be a temporary solution. If your periods are too difficult to deal with, it’s important to speak to a doctor about other treatments.
How do period delay tablets work?
Norethisterone (Utovlan), a synthetic progesterone hormone, can manipulate your body into delaying your period. This medication is able to delay your period because it causes the womb to hold on to the womb lining for longer, by working in the same way as your body's natural supply of progestogen. This occurs because Norethisterone has the ability to stimulate the womb lining, so that it keeps on growing for as long as you take it.
Utovlan or Norethisterone?
Norethisterone and Utovlan are the same thing. Both cause the same effect (delaying your period) using the same drug. Utovlan is simply the brand name of Norethisterone.
Norethisterone is the drug that is present in Utovlan and other period delay medication.
Is Norethisterone safe?
Norethisterone is generally safe for most people who take it occasionally. However, the dose should not be exceeded, and it should not be taken for longer than 17 days.
Norethisterone can cause some side effects, and it is not suitable for some people with certain conditions or those that take specific medications (please refer to side effects drop down for more information about these conditions and types of medication). This is why it is important to always consult a medical professional before embarking on a course of Utovlan or any medication.
Can Norethisterone stop your period once it’s started?
No, Norethisterone cannot stop your period once it has already started. For full effectiveness, the course of Norethisterone should be started three days before your period. Please see the patient leaflet for further information.
Does Norethisterone stop you from getting pregnant?
Norethisterone is not a form of contraception, and women who take it should also use a form of contraception, such as condoms, to stop getting pregnant. All Utovlan does is prevent your womb lining from shedding, meaning that it is still possible to get pregnant while taking this tablet.
Norethisterone reviews are generally very positive. Most people try Norethisterone for occasions when they don’t want to experience their period - such as a holiday, a wedding, or a spa day.
Most people who have tried them reported that they worked well to delay their period, and it arrived within 2-3 days afterwards ceasing to take the medication.
Some reviewers did report a few cramps after their course of Norethisterone, which may be a more common side effect. However, most Utovlan reviews reported little or very mild side effects and note that the tablets work as stated.
Of course, as with any medication, different people can react very differently to Norethisterone. Therefore, it’s important to recognise the side effects and be prepared for them, even though the chance of them occurring is minimal.
How do I use period delay tablets?
If you are taking norethisterone to delay your period, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, it's important you can predict when your period is due. As long as this is known, you should start taking norethisterone three days before your period is due to start. One 5mg tablet is taken THREE times daily. When you want your period to start, simply stop taking the medication. After stopping, your period should start 1-2 days later.
You can take Norethisterone for up to 20 days in total, meaning that you can delay your period for around 17 days.
Norethisterone side effects
Most people who take Norethisterone do not have any issues. However, some common side effects of Utovlan have been reported:
- Bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Breast pain
- Nausea, constipation or diarrhoea
- Dry mouth
More serious Norethisterone side effects include:
- Erosions in the cervix (this does not usually cause any pain but may show up in a smear test)
- Liver issues
- Feeling confused
Contact a doctor immediately if you have any of these side effects when taking Utovlan. You may need to stop taking it.
If you experience any of these Utovlan side effects, you should stop taking the tablets instantly:
- An itchy rash on the skin
- Feeling faint
- Issues with breathing
- Swelling on the face, hands or feet
There is also a slightly higher risk of developing a blood clot or thrombosis if you take Norethisterone. These can be fatal if not treated. If you experience any of these blood clot warning signs, stop taking Norethisterone immediately and seek emergency healthcare:
- Sudden chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing blood
- Pain and swelling in your calf or foot
- Rapid heartbeat
- Severe headache
- Numbness and weakness
- Purple skin
- Difficulty speaking
Ensure that your next of kin are aware that you are taking Utovlan so that they can tell medics if required.
People with some conditions should not take Utovlan. These include:
- Heart conditions, including previous heart attack or angina
- Liver problems
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- A history or family history of blood clots or thrombosis
- A history of pruritus
- A history of jaundice
- Pemphigoid gestationis
- Allergies to any progesterone, including norethisterone or another ingredient in Utovlan
- Women should also not take Utovlan if there is any chance that they could be pregnant
People with these conditions should only take Utovlan after consulting with their doctor:
- Kidney problems
Consult your doctor before taking Norethisterone if you take any other medicines. Utovlan is known to interact with the following:
- Some high blood pressure medicines
- HIV antiviral medications
- St John’s Word
- Some painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines
- Some antibiotics
- Some epilepsy medicines
- Some cancer medicines
For more information about Norethisterone tablets, please take a look at the information leaflet below: