Start Your Online Consultation

I am Looking for:

Please note some products are PHARMACY only (P) and further questions may be asked and assessed by pharmacist.

Related Products

Period Delay

Norethisterone and Birth Control Pills

If you're currently on a contraceptive pill, it's not recommended to use norethisterone to delay your period.

For those using the combined contraceptive pill, starting a new packet right after finishing the last month's packet can delay your period. However, this isn't applicable if you're on a progestogen-only contraceptive pill (mini pill) or a combined pill with non-active pills at the end of the pack. The method to delay your period depends on the specific combined pill you take – check the NHS guide on "How can I delay my period?" for more details.

It's essential to note that norethisterone is not a contraceptive and won't prevent pregnancy. Avoid taking it during pregnancy.

Norethisterone and Other Contraceptives

You can use norethisterone with non-hormonal contraceptives like the coil (IUD) or barrier methods such as condoms and caps. However, it shouldn't be used alongside hormonal contraceptives like pills, patches, the vaginal ring, implant, contraceptive depot injection, and hormone-releasing coils. If you're considering delaying your period while on these contraceptives, consult your GP or contraception advisor.

Understanding Norethisterone

Norethisterone is a synthetic form of progesterone, a natural female sex hormone, used for various medical conditions. It's not suitable for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Medium-strength tablets can manage heavy periods and may be used for certain female cancers, such as breast cancer.

Norethisterone is no longer under patent and is manufactured by multiple pharmaceutical companies.

How Norethisterone Works

In a natural female cycle, a drop in female hormone levels triggers the menstrual period. Norethisterone maintains high hormone levels, delaying the period until you stop taking the tablets, allowing hormone levels to drop.

When to Take Norethisterone

Norethisterone 5mg tablets can be taken three times daily to delay periods. Start at least 3 days before your expected period and continue as needed. A period usually starts 2 to 3 days, or possibly longer, after stopping norethisterone.

Duration of Use can provide a maximum of 60 tablets for a period delay of up to 17 days. If you need to delay your period for more than 17 days or more frequently, consult your GP.

Possible Side Effects

While all medications may cause side effects, the most common with norethisterone include bloating, breast tenderness, loss of libido, jaundice, and fluid retention. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a severe allergic reaction. Read the manufacturer's patient information leaflet for more details on potential side effects.

Taking Other Medications

Consult your doctor before taking norethisterone if you regularly use medications for epilepsy, antibiotics, antivirals for HIV, anticancer drugs, St. John's Wort, ciclosporin, non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or medicines for high blood pressure, as their effectiveness may be affected.

Additional Cautions

Women face a common risk of blood clots, which is slightly increased when taking norethisterone, especially if certain conditions apply. It should not be taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or in specific medical conditions. Online assessments include checks, but consult your GP if unsure.