Norethisterone Tablets - 5mg

  • Commonly prescribed to women to delay a period
  • Can be used to delay your period for up to 17 days
  • To be taken 3 days before your period is due to start

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What is Norethisterone?

Norethisterone is a progestin medication that is used in birth control pills; it is often prescribed to women to delay a period. Typically, norethisterone is used to delay a period for a holiday, wedding or a specific event.

Norethisterone is a synthetic progestogen, designed to mimic the naturally occurring hormone of the body, progesterone. During a menstrual cycle, the level of progesterone in the body drops, which causes the lining of the womb to shed and a period to commence. Norethisterone tops the naturally occurring levels of progesterone up which prevents a period from taking place.

What is Norethisterone used to treat?

Norethisterone is commonly prescribed to women as period delay tablets. It is also prescribed to help women who suffer from irregular periods, or painful or heavy periods.

It is part of a group of medicines known as Progestogens, which are similar to the natural female sex hormone progesterone.

Before a woman gets her period, the progesterone levels in her body will normally fall. Taking Norethisterone will sustain the lining of your womb and delay a period until you stop taking the tablets.

These tablets can be used safely to delay your period for up to 17 days.

Norethisterone tablets are available in two different packet sizes:

  • Packets of 30 pills to delay period bleeding for 7 days.
  • Packets of 60 pills to delay your period for up to 17 days.

Who can take Norethisterone?

Norethisterone may not be suitable for all women to use. Speak to your doctor if you are not sure if this medication is suitable for you.

Do not take Norethisterone if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have or have had angina and/or a heart attack
  • You have any liver problems
  • You are allergic to norethisterone or any of the other ingredients contained in this medicine (see the Ingredients tab for full details)
  • You have or have ever had vaginal bleeding, which your doctor could not find a cause for
  • You or anyone in your family has had a problem with blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis
  • You have ever been pregnant and suffered from jaundice, or an itchy rash called pemphigoid gestationis
  • You have severe generalised itching all over your body
  • You have been told by your doctor that you have an allergy to certain types of sugar
  • You are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant
  • You have a rare inherited blood disease called porphyria

Speak to your doctor before taking this medicine if you have any of the following conditions. This will help them to decide whether Norethisterone is suitable for you:

  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Migraine headaches

Possible side effects

As is the case with all medicines, Norethisterone comes with the risk of side effects, although not all women who use it will get them.

The following side effects could be symptoms of thrombosis (a blood clot), which will require treatment urgently.

Symptoms of a blood clot in the lungs may be:

  • Coughing up blood
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Sudden, severe, sharp chest pain
  • You suddenly become short of breath

Symptoms of a blood clot in the brain (stroke) include:

  • You have an unusually long or severe headache
  • Your sight is affected in any way
  • You faint or collapse
  • You feel numbness or weakness in any part of your body
  • You are finding it difficult to speak

Symptoms of deep-vein thrombosis are:

  • Purple discolouration of the skin on your leg, or the skin becomes red and warm to the touch
  • You have serious pain in your calf, foot or ankle

You should stop taking Norethisterone immediately and seek medical attention straight away if you exhibit any of the above symptoms.

Please note, these lists are not exhaustive. Refer to the Side Effects tab for other reactions you may experience while taking this medication.

Where can I buy Norethisterone safely online?

Never order medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct.

All of our doctors are registered with the General Medical Council, just like your local GP. This means they can impartially advise and prescribe you the most suitable medicine to treat your condition.

Order with us before 2pm and you can have your medication the very next day.

Provera is another medication used to delay periods in women and is available online.

Norethisterone Indications and Dose

All our Doctors and Pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Norethisterone.

Always take Norethisterone 5mg tablets exactly as instructed by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start taking Norethisterone; speak to your doctor if you are not sure how to take it.

How much you will need to take will depend on the condition you are being treated for. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage.

To delay your period

Your doctor will usually tell you to take 1 tablet three times a day.

Start taking this medication 3 days before your period is due to start.

Once you stop taking the tablets, your period will normally start within 3 days.

Norethisterone can delay your period safely for up to 17 days.

For heavy bleeding and other period problems

You will usually be instructed to take 1 tablet three times a day for 10 days.

Usually, around 3 days after you stop taking these period delay pills, you will have a normal period.

To prevent any further period problems, your doctor might tell you to use these tablets for two or three days after your next two periods.

If you do not have a period after you have finished your course of Norethisterone, speak to your doctor as soon as possible to make sure you have not become pregnant.

What if I forget to take it?

If you accidentally miss a dose of Norethisterone, take it as soon as you remember, then continue taking it as normal.

Do not double dose to try and make up for missing a previous dose.

To properly delay a period, Norethisterone tablets should be taken consistently. To make sure you do not forget to use this medicine, it is best if you take it at the same times every day. Some people find it helpful if they set an alarm as a reminder.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

If you have accidentally taken more Norethisterone 5mg tablets than you are supposed to, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Do not take this medicine for longer than 17 days.

Norethisterone FAQ's

Are there any Norethisterone alternatives?

Yes, other period delay medicines are available to buy, as well as medications to ease a painful or heavy menstrual cycle. You should speak to your doctor about the alternatives.

How much does Norethisterone cost?

When you order Norethisterone 5mg from Medicine Direct, it costs £12.99 for packets of 30 tablets. For 60 tablets, it costs £18.99.

Can I get Norethisterone at the pharmacy?

You can buy Norethisterone 5mg from Medicine Direct's online pharmacy when you have had an online consultation with one of our certified doctors. Once a doctor has prescribed this medicine, you can purchase it from our online pharmacy.

How does Norethisterone delay periods?

This period delay medication sustains the lining of your womb, which means there will be no blood from a period. Norethisterone is a progestin medication, which mimics the female hormone progesterone. You can safely use this period delay medicine for up to 17 days.

Is it a contraceptive pill?

No, Norethisterone is not a contraceptive pill. You must not take this medication if you are pregnant, so make sure you are using an effective contraception before you start to use Norethisterone.

How should I use this medicine?

To delay your period, you should take 1 tablet three times a day. Start taking this medication 3 days before your period is due to start. Once you stop using this period delay medicine, your period will normally start within three days. You can safely use Norethisterone to delay your period for up to 17 days.

Norethisterone Side Effects

Speak to your doctor straight away if:

  • You get yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow
  • You have a disturbed liver function
  • You get constipation or diarrhoea
  • You get dry mouth
  • You get fluid retention and swelling in your hands and ankles
  • You gain weight or bloat
  • You suffer fatigue or changes in your sex drive
  • You have a change in appetite
  • You have hair loss, or an increase in body or facial hair
  • You get acne, hives or an itchy skin rash
  • You get a decreased tolerance to certain sugars
  • You have altered fat levels in your blood
  • You have cloudy vision
  • You have sugar in your urine
  • You have increased levels of insulin between meals and your existing diabetes gets worse
  • You get a migraine headache for the very first time
  • You get depression, dizziness, confusion, nervousness or difficulty sleeping
  • You have an intense feeling of happiness (euphoria)

If your blood pressure gets too high, your doctor may tell you to stop using this medicine.

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction to Norethisterone. If this happens, you might require immediate treatment in hospital.

You must either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • You have tightness in your chest or throat
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You get swelling in your face, throat, lips, tongue or mouth
  • You are wheezing
  • You are finding it hard to speak or breathe

This list may not be exhaustive. Please, read the patient information leaflet thoroughly for a full list of side effects.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to discuss these with your doctor.

Norethisterone Warnings and drug interactions

Norethisterone may interact with other medicines and increase your risk of side effects.

It is very important that you tell your doctor if you are currently taking any other medicines before you start using a new one. This includes prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

In particular, make sure your doctor is aware if you are currently taking any of the following:

  • Anticancer medications
  • Any antibiotic medicines to treat infections
  • Any herbal remedies that contain St. John's Wort
  • Aminoglutethimide
  • Any medicines used to treat HIV
  • Any medicines to treat epilepsy
  • Ciclosporin, which suppresses the immune system
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure
  • Any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating pain and inflammation

Always read the patient information leaflet for complete lists.

Norethisterone may also interfere with certain laboratory tests, so be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking it if you are required to have any tests.

Make sure you tell your doctor if you have recently had an operation.

Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

All women have a small chance of developing a blood clot in the veins of the leg, in the lung, or other part of the body.

If you are taking a hormone medicine like Norethisterone, your chances of developing a blood clot is raised slightly. This risk is raised even further if you:

  • Are very overweight
  • You have had a blood clot in the veins or lungs before
  • You have systemic lupus erythematosus
  • You have a history of repeated miscarriages
  • You are unable to move for long periods of time
  • You have major surgery or a serious injury
  • You have relatives who had blood clots

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Make sure your doctor is aware if you are currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant. Hormonal medicines can affect the development of an unborn baby, so pregnant women must not take Norethisterone. You must use some form of contraception while using this medication.

Norethisterone is not a contraceptive pill.

You should also inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding, as an alternative period delay medicine may be more suitable for you to use.

Norethisterone Ingredients

Norethisterone is the active substance in this medicine.

Inactive ingredients also contained in Norethisterone are: lactose, maize starch and magnesium stearate.

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
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DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

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Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written bySonia Khan MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 04/06/2021

This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


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