Norethisterone 5mg - how it works
Norethisterone 5mg tablets can be taken three times daily to delay periods. Start tablets at least 3 days before the start of a period and continue for as long as needed. A period bleed will normally start 2 to 3 days, and possibly longer, after stopping norethisterone.
The balance of hormones changes during the menstrual cycle. During the time norethisterone tablets are being taken a period (shedding of the womb lining) will be delayed.
Women currently taking a contraceptive pill should not use norethisterone to delay their periods. Information about delaying periods whilst taking contraceptive pills can be found on the NHS Choices page for Norethisterone.
Norethisterone is NOT a contraceptive and will not prevent pregnancy.
[POM] Norethisterone 5mg is a prescription only medicine.
Length of treatment
We can supply sufficient norethisterone tablets to delay a period for up to 17 days, a maximum of 60 tablets. If period delay of less than 17 days is required, norethisterone is taken for fewer days and fewer tablets are required.
Norethisterone is routinely prescribed to delay periods; however it is only for occasional use and should not be requested more than once in 4 months. If more frequent treatment is required or period delay of more than 17 days is needed, a doctor should be consulted face-to-face.
Patients MUST read manufacturer's patient information leaflets supplied with tablets.
Norethisterone Side Effects
As with all medications, norethisterone can cause side effects, although these are usually not troublesome. The most commonly reported side effects are bloating, breast tenderness, and loss of libido. Side effects are more likely if norethisterone is taken long term, rather than in a short course to delay periods.
Some women taking norethisterone experience fluid retention which can worsen pre-existing migraine, epilepsy, blood pressure and asthma.
Further information about side effects can be found in the manufacturer's patient information leaflet supplied with norethisterone tablets.
Sensitivity Reactions to Norethisterone
Very rarely, norethisterone may cause a severe allergic reaction which can in some cases be life-threatening. Sudden onset of some or all of the following require emergency treatment (very rare):
Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
All women have a small chance of having a blood clot in the veins of the legs or in the lungs or other parts of the body. The risk of a clot is very slightly increased if norethisterone is being taken. The risk of clots is also increased if the following apply:
Patient Information Leaflet
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment. Patient information can be found here.
HOW IT WORKS
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