Norethisterone 5mg tablets work by mimicking the effects of the natural hormone, progesterone.
Through your menstrual cycle levels of progesterone will naturally rise and fall. Taking norethisterone tablets a few days before your period is due to start can temporarily stop the shedding of the womb lining, which helps to stop/delay your period.
Once you stop taking Norethisterone, your progesterone levels will return to normal and your next period will usually start again within 2-3 days.
Norethisterone should only be used occasionally to delay a period. If you find that you need to use this regularly then please speak with your GP as a low-dose hormonal contraceptive (like the pill) might be more suitable for controlling frequent or heavy uncomfortable periods.
Please note: this medicine is not a contraceptive.
Each Norethisterone 5mg tablet contains the following:
Active Ingredient: Norethisterone 5mg
Inactive ingredients (excipients) can include, but vary between brands:
Lactose, Maize starch, Magnesium stearate
Norethisterone 5mg is often available unbranded but some common brands include:
On occasion we may use one of these brands when generic is unavailable.
You should always take this medicine as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. Period delay tablets should be taken with water. The normal dosage for these tablets is:
Delay your period - 1 tablet three times a day starting at least three days before your period is due. Your period should occur 2-3 days after you have stopped taking the medicine.
This medicine is intended for short-term occasional use to delay a period during times of inconvenience, therefore the maximum number of tablets we will prescribe is 60 tablets which would be sufficient to delay your period for up to 17 days.
For occasional use, we recommended that Norethisterone is not taken any more frequently than 2-3 times per year with regular normal periods between use.
What side effects could I expect?
Norethisterone is generally well tolerated but the following side effects tend to be the most common:
- Bleeding disorders eg Breakthrough bleeding, spotting, amenorrhea
- Breast tenderness
- Dizziness, Fatigue
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Fluid retention, bloating
If you notice any of the symptoms below, discontinue Norethisterone immediately and speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling faint
- Swelling of the face or tongue
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Intense itchy skin rash
Rarely patients who use Norethisterone to delay a period may experience a blood clot called a thromboembolism. These occur with all hormonal treatments that contain an oestrogen including the combined contraceptive pill. Symptoms of a blood clot include difficulty breathing, and a tender, hot-to-touch calf. If you experience any of these symptoms discontinue the medicine immediately and seek medical help.
Who should not use Norethisterone?
This medicine should not be used by the following groups of patients:
- if you or a member of your family have ever had a problem with blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- if you have now or have had in the past, a heart attack or angina.
- if you have liver problems.
- if you have ever had a pregnancy where you had jaundice or an itchy rash known as pemphigoid gestationis. This rash appears as small blisters on your abdomen.
- if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test before starting treatment or if you miss a period during treatment
- if you have now or have ever had any vaginal bleeding (not a period) for which your doctor could not find a cause.
- if you have severe generalised itching all over your body (pruritis)
- if you have a condition known as porphyria (a rare inherited blood disease).
- If you are at risk of blood clots, for example very overweight, suffer from systemic lupus, are over 35 and smoke.
Norethisterone is not suitable if you use any of the following medicines without first speaking with your GP or Pharmacist for medical advice:
- Use oral or injectable contraceptives, for example, the pill and depo-injection.
- Medicines to treat epilepsy (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
- Antibiotic medicines to treat an infection (e.g. tetracyclines, rifampicin, co-trimoxazole)
- Antiviral medicines to treat HIV (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir)
- Anticancer medicines
- Herbal preparations containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Aminoglutethimide is sometimes used in Cushing’s Syndrome.
- Ciclosporin (for suppressing the immune system)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating pain and inflammation
- Medicines for high blood pressure.
If you have any questions about how this product may interact with your current medicines or conditions don't hesitate to get in touch with us and one of our pharmacists will be more than happy to help.
View the Patient Information Leaflet
Frequently asked questions
Can I buy Norethisterone over the counter?
This medicine is not available to buy over the counter. You need a prescription to buy Norethisterone. If you would like to buy Norethisterone from our Online Pharmacy then you will be asked some questions about your health. Our prescriber will check your consultation before dispatch to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you.
You can start your period delay consultation by following this link.
How to purchase
Norethisterone period delay tablets are a prescription-only medicine meaning the supply of this product is strictly controlled by a medical or non-medical prescriber like a doctor or prescribing pharmacist. Like an online doctor service, our handy online consultation will allow you to securely submit your details to our prescriber who will (if suitable) authorise the supply of the medicine.
This product is a medicine, and the sales are monitored to ensure the safety of our customers. From time to time we may impose limits on the amounts you purchase and apply restrictions to the frequency of orders. Please helpful advice please read Our Policies in the footer of the site to understand more.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children and below 25 degrees in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product and if you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our pharmacists for more information.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
Product Images: Whilst we try to keep our product images up to date we may, particularly for non-branded products ship the same medicine but in different packaging. If you have any questions about this policy please get in touch.
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