Utovlan Tablets (5mg)

  • Also available as generic Norethisterone
  • Can delay a period for up to 7 or 17 days
  • Start taking 3 days before your period is due
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From As low as £19.99

Disclaimer: The prices displayed should only be used as a reference of our prices for this medicine. If you are approved for treatment, our prescribers will decide on a suitable treatment for you to jointly consider.

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About Utovlan Tablets (5mg)
  1. What is Utovlan?

    Utovlan is the branded version of the period delay treatment Norethisterone.

    Norethisterone is a synthetic progestogen that simulates the natural female sex hormone progesterone. Utovlan can be taken occasionally to delay periods to prevent them from occurring at inconvenient times. It is also prescribed for problems like heavy, painful or irregular periods.

    You need a prescription to buy Utovlan tablets.

    What is Utovlan used to treat?

    Utovlan is generally prescribed to delay your period for holidays, weddings and other specific events. Women should begin taking the tablets three days before the start of their period until the course of tablets has been completed.

    Aside from being a period delay medicine, Utovlan can also be taken to treat or manage the following:

    • Breast cancer
    • Heavy periods
    • Painful periods
    • Endometriosis
    • Irregular periods
    • Premenstrual tension (PMT)

    Why is Utovlan recommended for period delay?

    Utovlan contains a synthetic progestogen called norethisterone, which has been clinically researched and found to be a highly effective medicine for delaying periods. 

    How does Utovlan delay periods?

    Norethisterone mimics the body’s natural progesterone hormone, which thickens the womb lining in preparation for a fertilised egg to be implanted.

    The level of progesterone increases after you have ovulated so the womb can prepare for an embryo after an egg has been fertilised. If an egg has not been fertilised, the progesterone levels decrease and the womb lining sheds; this causes a menstrual period.

    Taking Utovlan a few days ahead of your next period means that the progestogen levels remain high and the womb lining does not shed. Once you stop taking Utovlan, you should get your period after about two or three days.

    How long after taking Utovlan will my period start?

    After you have taken the course of tablets, you will normally get your period three days later. If you finish your course of tablets and still don’t get a period, you should speak to your doctor as you may be pregnant.

    Who can take Utovlan?

    Utovlan can be used for a range of issues, but it is not suitable for all women to take.

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

    • You are allergic to norethisterone or any of the other ingredients contained in this medication
    • You are currently pregnant or think you might be pregnant (your doctor may ask you to take a pregnancy test to make sure)
    • You have any liver problems
    • You have pruritus
    • You have porphyria
    • You have or have ever had angina or a heart attack
    • You have ever had a pregnancy where you had jaundice or pemphigoid gestationis
    • You or anyone in your family has ever had issues with blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    • You have ever had any unexplained vaginal bleeding

    Can you buy Utovlan over the counter?

    Utovlan is only available on prescription and cannot be bought over the counter.

    Can you buy Utovlan online in the UK?

    To buy Utovlan online, you should only order it from a regulated pharmacy like Medicine Direct. This will ensure you are ordering a genuine and safe version of this medication.

    As Utovlan is a prescription-only medicine (POM), you will first need to complete a confidential online consultation before you can purchase it. One of our doctors, pharmacists or prescribers will review your answers to make sure that this medicine is suitable for you. Next day delivery is available if you order by 2pm.

    Utovlan alternatives

    Utovlan is the branded version of norethisterone. You can also purchase generic norethisterone tablets from our online pharmacy by filling out an online consultation questionnaire. These tablets will work in the same way as Utovlan to delay your period.

    Alternatively, we also sell Provera tablets for period delay, which contain medroxyprogesterone acetate. This medicine is most effective when used to delay a period for a short time.

    View all of our period delay treatments online.

  2. How to take Utovlan 5mg tablets

    When taking Utovlan to delay your period, your doctor will normally instruct you to take one tablet three times a day (15mg). Begin taking Utovlan three days before you are supposed to start your period.

    Swallow Utovlan tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or crush them.

    See the patient information leaflet for comprehensive instructions before you begin treatment.

    Utovlan dosage

    The table below shows the usual dose of Utovlan, depending on why you need to take it:



    Period delay

    1 tablet 3 times a day. Start taking them 3 days before you are due for your period.

    Premenstrual tension

    1 tablet each day for 10 days, starting 16 days after the last period began.

    Heavy bleeding or other period issues

    1 tablet 3 times a day for 10 days.


    1 tablet 3 times a day for at least 6 months.

    Breast cancer

    8 tablets each day, which your doctor may increase to 12 tablets.


  3. Utovlan Side Effects

    The most common side effect while taking Utovlan is menstrual cycle irregularities.

    Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of the side effects listed below:

    Effects on the nervous system: depression, dizziness, headache, vision problems, loss of concentration, feeling sleepy, euphoria, nervousness, confusion.

    Effects on reproductive system or breasts: bleeding and spotting between periods, no period at all, milky discharge from the breast, cervical erosions, changes in cervical discharge, unexplained vaginal bleeding, breast pain and tenderness, cycles where you do not ovulate.

    Effects on the stomach and intestines: nausea and/or vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhoea or constipation.

    Cysts and tumours: liver disorders (such as benign liver tumours). This may cause severe abdominal pain.

    Effects on metabolism: altered blood sugar levels, altered levels of fat in the blood, increased levels of insulin between meals and existing diabetes getting worse, decreased tolerance to certain sugars, sugar in the urine, cloudy vision, effects on the adrenal glands.

    Effects on your heart and circulation: blood clots, including clots in the lung, swelling in the veins from a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, cognitive heart failure, increased blood pressure, clots in the retina's blood vessels, heart beating faster.

    Effects on skin and hair: increased body or facial hair growth, acne, itching, hives, rash, hair loss.

    Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Read the patient information leaflet for a full list of side effects. 

  4. Utovlan Warnings

    Before you start to take Utovlan, please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other prescription or non-prescription medicine, including herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

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

    The medicines listed below may have an impact on how well Utovlan works:

    • Medicines to treat epilepsy
    • Antibiotics used to treat infections
    • Antivirals to treat HIV
    • Anticancer medications
    • Medicines to treat high blood pressure
    • Medicines to treat pain and inflammation known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Naproxen
    • Herbal remedies that contain St. John's wort
    • Aminoglutethimide
    • Ciclosporin

    Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    You must not use Utovlan if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. Utovlan is not a contraceptive medicine, so you should not take it to stop you from getting pregnant.

    Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using Utovlan if you are breastfeeding. They may advise you to use an alternative method of feeding your baby.

  5. Utovlan Ingredients

    The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Norethisterone

    For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.

  6. How much does it cost to buy Utovlan tablets online in the UK?

    Dosage Quantity Price
    Utovlan 5mg tablets 30 tablets - 7 day delay £19.99
    Utovlan 5mg tablets 60 tablets - 17 day delay £29.99
  7. How long does Utovlan take to work?

    It normally takes Utovlan around two days to start working, which is why you should start taking it three days before your period is due.

    Can I still get pregnant while I’m taking it?

    Yes, you can still become pregnant while taking Utovlan. If you wish to have sexual intercourse while using Utovlan and do not wish to become pregnant, you should use contraception.

    Can Utovlan cause mood swings?

    Some women have reported a depressed mood or depression while taking Utovlan. If this affects you, speak to your doctor straight away.

    Is it safe to delay your period?

    Using a norethisterone medicine like Utovlan to delay your period is safe when used rarely. However, you should not use it to delay your period on a regular basis.

    Can Utovlan cause bloating?

    Bloating is a side effect that can occur while taking Utovlan, as is weight gain, fluid retention and swelling of the ankles and hands. If these problems bother you, speak to your doctor.

    What happens if I miss a dose?

    If you forget to take Utovlan, take it as soon as you remember and then continue with your treatment as usual. Never take an extra dose to make up for missing an earlier one.

    Can you still have a bleed while taking Utovlan?

    Bleeding and spotting between periods can occur while taking Utovlan.

    When will I get my next period?

    If you take Utovlan to delay a period, it will normally come two or three days after you stop taking the medicine.

    Can I drink alcohol with it?

    Alcohol is not known to interact with Utovlan.

    Is Utovlan a contraceptive?

    No, this medicine is not a contraceptive pill and should not be taken as a means of preventing pregnancy.

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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