Norethisterone 5mg tablets postpone the onset of periods by up to 17 days, for special occasions.
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 or with Norethisterone can be found on the NHS page How can I delay my period?.
Norethisterone is NOT a contraceptive and will not prevent pregnancy.
Length of treatment
Dr Fox 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.
Other medications – interactions
If regular medication from the list below is being taken, patients should check with their doctors before taking norethisterone. The dose of regular medication may need to be adjusted.
- Medicines to treat epilepsy (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
- Antibiotic medicines to treat an infection (e.g. tetracyclines, rifampicin, co-trimoxazole)
- Antiviral medicines to treat HIV (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir)
- Anticancer medicines
- Herbal preparations containing St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Aminoglutethimide, sometimes used in Cushing's syndrome
- Ciclosporin (for suppressing the immune system)
- Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating pain and inflammation
- Medicines for high blood pressure
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):
- difficulty breathing
- feeling faint
- swelling of the face or tongue
- swelling of the hands and feet
- intense itchy skin rash
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:
- very overweight
- previous blood clot in the veins or lungs
- relatives have had blood clots
- immobility for long periods of time, for example after an operation or during a long haul flight
- after serious injury or have major surgery
- history of repeated miscarriage
Dr Fox supplies period delay tablets on prescription – you are required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed.
Authored 17 November 2012 Dr Tony Steeleby
Last updated 18 June 2019
|Norethisterone 5mg||30 tablets (delay period for 7 days)||£9.50|
|Norethisterone 5mg||60 tablets (delay period for 17 days)||£15.50|
Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.
Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.
If you have your own private or NHS paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).
Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.
|Order value||Prescription fee|
|up to £10||£1.00|
|up to £20||£2.00|
|up to £40||£3.00|
|Period delay tablets||Dr Fox*||Lloyds Pharmacy||Med Express||Superdrug||Express Pharmacy||Pharmacy2U|
|Norethisterone 5mg x 30||£9.50||£24.99||£18.99||£29.00||£18.99||£20.00|
|Norethisterone 5mg x 60||£15.50||£28.95||£27.99||£45.00||£27.99||£26.00|
|UK delivery||£2.90||Collect in-store||£2.90||included||included||£3.45|
UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).
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The order process
Answer short medical questionnaire
Choose treatment, register, and pay
Doctor issues prescription online
Medicine posted direct from pharmacy
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