What is Norethisterone and how does it work?
Norethisterone is a medication that is used to treat menstrual cycle problems and can help you delay your period. The active ingredient is norethisterone, a synthetic version of the sex hormone progesterone. Rather than allowing the levels of progesterone to fall as they normally would before your period, Norethisterone mimicking the effects of the female hormones in the body and keeps the levels of progesterone up, sustaining the uterus lining. This inhibits ovulation, delaying the uterus shedding its lining and preventing menstrual period.
How and when should I take Norethisterone?
The recommended dose for women of childbearing potential is 5mg three times a day, swallowed with water. You should start taking the tablets three days before you expect to get your period. Do not take the pills for more than 17 days as over an extended period of time it can have side effects and affect your hormone balance.
How soon after stopping will I get my period?
You should get your period 2-3 days after you stop taking Norethisterone tablets.
What if I don't get my period after stopping treatment?
After ceasing the tablets, it takes a few days for the body to adjust the change in the levels of hormones. If you do not get your period a week after stopping the tablets, take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy. If you still don’t observe your period, contact your GP.
Can I take Norethisterone?
Not if you have asthma or migraines as it may trigger an attack. Also, it is not recommended to take this medication if you are already taking some contraceptives such as the combination pill. However, it is fine to take with the mini pill.
Will Norethisterone protect me against pregnancy?
As Norethisterone is not a contraceptive, it will not protect you from pregnancy. Even though it alters the hormone levels in your body, it is recommended that you use contraception such as a condom.
You should start taking Norethisterone 3 days before your period is due. Usually you will get your period 2-3 days after taking the last tablet.
What are the side effects of Norethisterone?
As you would not be taking the tablets for an extended amount of time, side effects are limited. However, if there are some, the following are common: rashes, itching, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
- The patient information leaflet can be found here.