Norethisterone Tablets

Norethisterone Tablets

Start noresthisterone tablets just a few days before your period and they can successfully delay it until around 3 days after your last tablet. Perfect for travel and more.

In stock
from £17.99

Product details

Norethisterone tablets are pills you can take to stop and delay your period. Norethisterone tablets need to be taken 3 times a day and started 3 days before you expect your period to begin. They will delay your period until about 3 days after you have taken the last tablet.

To place your order, fill in our brief assessment questionnaire. Our online doctor will review your answers and just like your GP check whether it is safe for you to take a period delay treatment such as norethisterone tablets.

Please note: Norethisterone is available for pharmacy pick up only, for delivery, please select Utovlan at the end of your assessment.

Dr Louisa Draper

Medically reviewed by

Dr Louisa Draper

Last reviewed: 16 Sep 2021

Norethisterone prices

Pack Size Price
5 mg - 30 tablet(s) £17.99
5 mg - 60 tablet(s) £26.99
5 mg - 90 tablet(s) £43.00

How it Works

About Norethisterone Period Delay Tablets

How to stop your period

There’s two main ways to stop your periods:

  • Period delay tablets, like norethisterone
  • Hormonal contraception, like the pill

You can use period delay tablets to stop your period from coming for as long as you need to, up to 30 days at a time. This can be useful if you’re going on holiday or for any other reasons that you might want to push back getting your period.

You can also stop your period using a few different types of hormonal contraception. Some are more likely to stop your period than others though, and generally they aren’t for short-term use.

Hormonal contraceptives that can stop your periods include:

  • The combined contraceptive pill – can stop your period over a longer period of time but you can get light bleeding (spotting) if you don’t take a break every month. So if you want to guarantee no period bleeding, you’ll need to have a 7-day break every month when you might sometimes have period-like bleeding.
  • The mini pill – can stop periods over a long period of time, but there is still some risk of light bleeding (spotting).
  • The hormonal coil – can stop your periods, but it takes a few months before they stop.
  • The contraceptive injection – about half of people who use the injection will stop having periods.
  • The contraceptive implant – about a third of people with the implant stop having periods, but this only applies from one year after getting the implant.

Please note: where a generic product has been ordered we may use a range of manufacturers to provide you with your medication, in order to maintain our service levels.

What do period delay tablets do?

Period delay tablets are a treatment used to stop your period for a set amount of time (up to 30 days with norethisterone). Period delay tablets are not contraceptives, so you can’t use them to protect against pregnancy.

There’s 2 main types of period delay tablet available in the UK:

  • Norethisterone 5mg (brand name Utovlan)

  • Medroxyprogesterone 10mg (brand name Provera)

Both of these types of period delay tablets use a version of the hormone progesterone. This hormone is used by your body to help time your periods. When the level of progesterone in your body drops, that’s the signal to start another period. If you’re taking progesterone tablets then you trick your body into waiting a little longer before starting the next period.

Norethisterone is licensed specifically for period delay, but medroxyprogesterone technically isn’t. This doesn’t mean medroxyprogesterone isn’t safe, though. From a doctor’s point of view they’re both safe to use for period delay. Period delay is an ‘off-label’ use for medroxyprogesterone (Provera). 

All medications we offer are fully licensed within the UK. Some medications, such as this, we prescribe for conditions, or circumstances that are outside of the licence also known as ‘off-label’. Prescribing ‘off-label’ is common practice by healthcare professionals to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible. This is always based on updated information and evidence since the product first became available.

Can you get period delay tablets on the NHS?

Yep – if you want to go through your GP to get period delay tablets you can. You’ll need to make a usual appointment and your GP will talk you through your options and prescribe the best treatment for you. Then you can take the prescription to get filled at most pharmacies.

Full price or NHS prescription? – norethisterone for period delay is not a ‘blacklisted medication’ which means a GP can give you an NHS prescription for it. But, not all GPs will definitely do this. If your GP does give you an NHS prescription then you will only have to pay the flat NHS prescription charge. If not, you’ll get a private prescription and you’ll have to pay full price for your tablets.

Can you get period delay tablets over the counter?

No, period delay tablets are prescription-only. There are some serious health risks for certain people if they were going to take progesterone medications like period delay pills. So it’s important that a doctor can check to make sure they’re safe for you to take.

Although you need a doctor to check you for period delay treatment, you don’t have to do it face-to-face. With services like Superdrug Online Doctor, you can get checked online instead using a quick and easy healthcare question that one of our doctors checks for you.

What is norethisterone?

Norethisterone is a man-made version of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is used by your body to do a few different things, including controlling your periods. Norethisterone is used in a few different medications, including:

  • Combined pills:

    • Brevinor

    • Loestrin

    • Norimin

    • Norinyl-1

    • Synphase

  • The mini pill – Noriday

  • Period delay pills – Utovlan

Norethisterone can be used to delay periods from coming because it stops your progesterone levels dropping after one cycle, which normally triggers the next period. It can also help protect against you getting pregnant if you don’t want by making it harder for an egg to get fertilised and cause a pregnancy.

But, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t rely on Norethisterone to avoid pregnancy if you’re using it for period delay. You need to use contraception as well if you don’t want to get pregnant.

How does norethisterone work to delay my period?

How does norethisterone work to delay my period?

Norethisterone is an artificial (man made) version of the female hormone progesterone. During your menstrual cycle, your levels of progesterone fall which causes your womb lining to shed and your period to come. Taking norethisterone means your levels of progesterone do not change and you do not get your period. This is called delaying your period.

As norethisterone balances the progesterone in your system, it is also used to treat painful, heavy or irregular periods, endometriosis and breast cancer. We only sell norethisterone for period delay.

How long does norethisterone take to work?

How well norethisterone works varies between women. You need to take it 3 days before your period is due to be sure your levels of progesterone do not fall and to have the best chance of it working to delay your period.

How long can you take norethisterone to delay your period?

We prescribe up to 30 days of norethisterone. It needs to be taken 3 times a day. If you need to delay your period for longer than a month, we would suggest asking your doctor about using a combined contraceptive pill instead. This only needs to be taken once a day. The pill may be a better solution if you want to delay your period for longer than a couple of weeks, if you want contraception, or if you want to delay your period more regularly. We recommend discussing the options with your doctor.

Does norethisterone reset your cycle?

Your period will come 2 to 4 days after you stop taking norethisterone. Some women report that their cycle changes after taking norethisterone but this usually settles down. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about changes to your cycle.

Can you get pregnant while taking norethisterone?

Yes. This is because norethisterone does not stop an egg from being fertilised (when sperm reaches the egg) in the way that the contraceptive pill does. If you do not want to get pregnant, you must use contraception while taking norethisterone.

What are reviews of norethisterone like?

You can see reviews of norethisterone (called norethindrone here) on There are only reviews available for contraception and not for period delay. Generally our patients rate our norethisterone tablet service highly – you can see TrustPilot reviews further down this page.

Hormonal medications like norethisterone affect different people differently, so it’s hard to predict how you will react. If you have any problems or concerns about your period delay treatment, you should get in touch with your GP or message a doctor directly through your account if you ordered online.

How to take norethisterone

Norethisterone is a tablet that you swallow.

Always follow the instructions on your prescription for how and when to take your norethisterone tablets.

When norethisterone is used to delay your period, you usually take a tablet 3 times per day.

  • Start taking the tablets 3 days before your period is due to start
  • Once you stop taking the tablets your period usually starts again within 3 days.

Can I start taking norethisterone to delay my period on the first day of my period?

No, you need to start taking norethisterone 3 days before your period is due if it is going to work and delay your period.

What should I do if my period does not come back?

If your period does not come back within the 3 days, talk to your doctor in case you are pregnant. Remember that norethisterone does not stop you from getting pregnant, so if you want to delay your period and also have contraception, you should ask your doctor about a suitable contraceptive pill.

What should I do if I take more tablets than I should?

Contact your doctor straight away if you have taken more tablets than you should.

What should I do if I forget to take my norethisterone tablet?

If you forget to take a dose of norethisterone, take the tablet as soon as you remember and then continue to take your other tablets at the normal time. However, do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

Who can take norethisterone?

You need a prescription to take norethisterone. This is because people with certain health conditions should not take norethisterone. For instance, you should not take norethisterone if you:

  • are allergic to norethisterone or any other ingredients in the tablets
  • are pregnant or think you might be
  • have or have had unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • have issues with blood clots (or there are issues within your family)
  • have or have had a heart attack or angina
  • have liver problems
  • have had Issues in pregnancy with jaundice or an itchy rash known as pemphigoid gestationis
  • have ever had severe generalised itching all over your body known as pruritus
  • have a condition called porphyria

You must tell your doctor if you have:

  • epilepsy
  • migraine
  • asthma
  • heart problems
  • kidney problems

Some medicines interact with norethisterone and may make it less effective. Always tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal supplements. You must tell your doctor if you are taking medication for:

  • Infections
  • HIV
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Pain medication such as NSAIDS

This is because these medication for these conditions may interact with norethisterone.

Can you take norethisterone when pregnant?

No, you cannot take norethisterone if you are pregnant or trying for a baby.

Can you take norethisterone while breastfeeding?

Talk to your doctor about alternative ways of delaying your period or feeding your baby if you did decide to take norethisterone.

Can you drink alcohol when taking norethisterone?

You can drink alcohol when taking norethisterone. If you drink too much and vomit (be sick) within 2 hours of taking a tablet, it will not have been absorbed into your system. Drinking can also affect your ability to remember to take norethisterone as prescribed.

Can you take paracetamol with norethisterone?

Yes, you can take painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen while taking norethisterone.

Can you take antibiotics with norethisterone?

You should tell your doctor that you are taking norethisterone if you are prescribed antibiotics. This is because some antibiotics interact with norethisterone.

Can I buy norethisterone to delay my period online?

You can buy norethisterone online if you want to use it to delay your period. You need a prescription to do so and should always buy from a registered and reputable online doctor, like Superdrug Online Doctor.

If you are using a website to buy medication, the Government’s online checker can reassure you that the site you are using is operating legally and safely.

You can buy norethisterone from Superdrug Online Doctor using the following simple steps:

  1. Fill in the brief medical questionnaire on our site.
  2. Our doctors will then review your answers and make sure it is safe to prescribe you norethisterone.
  3. You then decide how you would like to receive your medication, either as a discreet package through the post or you can ‘Click and Collect’ it from your local Superdrug pharmacy.
  4. At any point, you can message our doctors for advice through your Patient Account.

What are the side effects of taking norethisterone tablets?

You must be prescribed norethisterone, to ensure it is safe for you to take. As with any medication, side effects are possible and they can vary from person to person and in severity.

Seek medical help right away if you have symptoms of:

  • an allergic reaction
  • a blood clot in the lungs or brain
  • deep-vein thrombosis

You can check the patient information leaflet for symptoms of these serious conditions.

You should also seek medical advice if you experience yellowing of your skin or have a migraine for the first time. All period delay treatments may not be 100% effective. Both norethisterone and medroxyprogesterone can still cause breakthrough bleeding during use. Making sure you take your treatment exactly as prescribed is the best way to get the most out of it.

Less serious side effects that have been reported by women taking norethisterone include:

  • breast tenderness
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • feeling sick
  • headache
  • changes to mood and sex drive
  • breakthrough bleeding

Talk to your doctor if the side effects are causing you concern. It is not recommended to take norethisterone to delay your period regularly.

There is detailed information on potential side effects and their symptoms in the Patient Information Leaflet.


Birth Control (2018). What birth control stops your period? [online] Available at: [accessed 28th November 2018].

Pfizer Limited (2018). Utovlan ® 5 mg tablets. [online] Available at: [accessed 2nd August 2019].

Pfizer Limited (2016). Provera® 2.5mg, 5mg and 10mg tablets. [online] Available at: [accessed 2nd August 2019].

Norethisterone 5mg tablets EMC [accessed 12th July]

How to delay period: Norethisteron Patient Info [accessed 12th July]

Norethisterone Net Doctor [accessed 12th July]

How can I delay my period NHS 2019 [accessed 12th July]

Patient Reviews

Further Reading on Period Delay