Side effects of Norethisterone: is period delay safe?

period delay calenbar dateWhat should you do if your period is due during your holiday at the beach? You want to be frolicking in the waves without having to worry if your tampon string is showing! You may be looking forward to a romantic weekend with your long distance love or have a sports event coming up and there’s just no way you can do it with menstrual cramps; there are a number of reasons why women want to delay their periods.

Norethisterone is a way to delay your period for up to 17 days, but as with any medication that alters your body’s natural functions it should be used with care. Read on to learn more about possible side effects and whether period delay with norethisterone is right for you.

What is norethisterone?

Norethisterone is closely related to the naturally occurring female hormone progesterone. It belongs to the group of medicines called progestogens. Norethisterone tablets can be used to treat painful or every heavy periods, certain female cancers, symptoms of PMS, endometriosis and other conditions. They can also be used to delay periods on special occasions.
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What are the side effects?

All medicines carry the risk of side effects, meaning that norethisterone is not unique in the sense that side effects are possible. The drug can have different reactions in different patients, meaning that not all women experience side effects; but, the effectiveness of norethisterone can also vary from woman to woman.

In very rare instances norethisterone can result in an allergic reaction that can even be life-threatening. If you begin to experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, faintness or swelling of the tongue or face or other severe allergic symptoms you should contact emergency services immediately.

The more common side effects reported include stomach pains, changes in mood and sex drive, bloating, nausea and breast tenderness.

Norethisterone can also have adverse reactions if combined with some medications. It is important to notify your doctor of any other medications you may be taking.

Is it safe?

Side effects are more likely to occur when norethisterone is taken for longer periods of time. To delay your period it should not be requested more often than once in four months, and is taken for a limited number of days. This reduces your risk of side effects.

When used for period delay, one 5mg norethisterone tablet should be taken three times a day started three days before you expect your period. Clearly this is easier to gauge if your periods are normally regular and you keep track of when you get them. Your period should come just two to three days after you stop taking the tablets.

It is important to note that norethisterone does not serve as a form of contraception and cannot be taken in conjunction with contraceptive pills. To avoid unwanted pregnancy you need to use another form of protection such as condoms. Norethisterone should not be prescribed or used more than once during a four month period, and it cannot be used by anyone other than the intended patient.