What is Norethisterone?
Norethisterone is an effective period delay tablet that belongs to a group of medicines called progestogens. They replicate the properties of the naturally-occurring female hormone progesterone, which is responsible for halting periods. Norethisterone treatment contains 5mg of the active ingredient norethisterone.
How does Norethisterone work?
During a menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormone progesterone can fluctuate. Progesterone levels drop near the end of the menstrual cycle, causing the womb lining to break down. The lining is expelled in the form of a period. The active ingredient norethisterone mimics the naturally-occurring progesterone, indicating to the body that there is no need for a breakdown of the womb lining. This prevents ovulation and a period from occurring.
How do you take Norethisterone?
For Norethisterone to work effectively in delaying your periods, you will need to take one 5mg Norethisterone tablet three times a day. Start taking the Norethisterone tablets three days before you expect your period to start.
How quickly after stopping treatment will your period return?
Your period should usually return within 2-3 days after finishing your course of Norethisterone tablets.
What do you do if your period does not return after stopping Norethisterone?
If your period does not return three days after finishing your course of Norethisterone, contact a doctor straight away. You should not take Norethisterone tablets for more than 17 days.
Who shouldn’t take Norethisterone?
Norethisterone is not suitable for all women, so make sure to read this list or speak to a doctor before taking a dose.
You should not take Norethisterone if:
- You are allergic to norethisterone or any other hormonal medication, or any of the ingredients of this treatment.
- You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- You have ever experienced vaginal bleeding for which your doctor was unable to find a cause.
- You or a family member have ever experienced blood-clot related health issues, including deep vein thrombosis.
- You have ever experienced angina or a heart attack.
- You have liver problems.
- You have ever had a pregnancy in which you experienced jaundice, or an itchy rash known as pemphigoid gestationis on your abdomen.
- You have severe generalised itching over your whole body (known as pruritus).
- You have the rare inherited condition porphyria.
Is Norethisterone a contraceptive?
Norethisterone tablets will not stop you from getting pregnant, so do not use them as a contraceptive. Seek advice from your GP or pharmacist about a suitable alternative contraceptive.
Can you take Norethisterone whilst pregnant or breastfeeding?
Talk to your doctor before taking any Norethisterone if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as hormonal medicines can affect the development of your baby.
How do you store Norethisterone?
Norethisterone tablets should not be kept in temperatures above 25℃. The treatment should be kept in a cool, dark place to protect them from the light. Stop taking Norethisterone immediately if you notice any signs of discolouration on the tablets - they should be white in colour.
What are the ingredients of Norethisterone?
Norethisterone tablets contain 5mg of the active ingredient norethisterone, as well as lactose, maize starch and magnesium stearate.
How do you dispose of Norethisterone?
If you need to discontinue your course of Norethisterone, do not throw away the tablets via wastewater or household waste. Instead, contact a pharmacist to advise you on how to correctly dispose of the Norethisterone tablets you are no longer using. This will help to protect the environment.
What if you forget a dose of Norethisterone?
If you forget to take your dose of Norethisterone, take a tablet as soon as you remember and then continue taking your doses at normal times. Do not take a double dose of Norethisterone to make up for a missed 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.
Important: We advise you to always read the patient information leaflet inside the medication box, as the generic medication may not always entirely match the patient information leaflet listed. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Content last updated: 16 May 2023