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Norethisterone Period Delay Tablets

Norethisterone Tablets



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Norethisterone, is a synthetic hormone. It can have multiple uses, however is often used as a tablet to delay periods. Norethistrone comes as a 5mg tablet, and can be taken to delay periods for upto 17 days.


Norethisterone is not a method of contraception. Is is therefor 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.




How Do I Take Norethisterone?

To delay your period, Norethisterone should be taken three days before your period is due. It should be taken three times daily for each day you want to delay your period. This should be done for a maximum period of 17 days. After stopping norethisterone, your period should start 2-3 days after.

How Does Norethisterone Work?

Norethisterone works by keeping levels of the female hormone, progesterone, in the body up. This in turn stops your womb lining from shedding, and so delaying your period. Norethisterone is basically a synthetic version of progesterone.


You can not take Norethisterone, if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you are allergic to norethisterone, or any other progesterone
  • you have or have had unexplained vaginal bleeding (other than a normal period)
  • you have had a heart attack or angina
  • you have ever suffered from jaundice or a rash called pemphigoid gestationis during pregnancy
  • you have ever experienced pruritus (an itchy rash all over your body)
  • you have the blood disease porphyria
  • you or members of your family have a history of blood clots or thrombosis
  • you have or have had liver problems

Side Effects of Norethisterone

Norethisterone is generally a well tolerated medicatoin, and most women will not experience side effects.

With any medication you take however, there is always a risk of side effects occuring. Some are more common than others, and often side effects may subside with the regular usage of the medicine. If the side effects do not subside, you should report them to us, or your GP.

Possible Side Effects

  • bleeding or spotting between periods
  • unusual vaginal bleeding
  • changes in vaginal discharge cervical erosions (may show in a smear test)
  • breast pain or tenderness discharge from the breast headaches
  • dizziness and confusion problems concentrating
  • visual disturbances fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping stomach problems such as being sick, feeling sick, constipation or diarrhoea
  • dry mouth
  • liver problems jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • water retention bloating swelling of hands and ankles changes in appetite
  • changes in sex drive

The side effects listed below are more serious, and you should stop taking Norethisterone, and report these to your GP immediately.

  • itchy skin rash
  • facial swelling / tongue swelling
  • swelling of hands and feet
  • wheezing
  • feeling faint
  • difficulty breathing

Norethisterone and blood clotting.

Norethisterone can increase your risk of developing a blood clot or thrombosis. You must STOP taking this medicartion and visit your local doctor or A+E immediately if you experience:

  • sudden sharp pain in your chest
  • coughing blood
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid heart beat
  • difficulty speaking
  • fainting or collapse
  • weakness or feeling numb
  • pain, swelling or tenderness of calf or foot
  • purple discolouration of skin
  • unusually long or severe headache
  • visual disturbance

These symptoms can be signs of a blood clot and must not be ignored.

For a full list of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet.

Before taking norethisterone or any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet.


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