Utovlan are branded norethisterone tablets that can delay your period for travel, events or whatever you need it for.

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from £17.99

Product details

Utovlan is a period delay tablet, which helps you to delay your period until a more suitable or convenient time. You need to take 3 tablets a day and start taking them 3 days before your next period is due. Your periods will return to normal 3 days after you stop taking it.

You can request period delay tablets like Utovlan online from Superdrug Online Doctor. You will first need to complete a short online medical form for our doctors to review and check it is safe for you to take.

Dr Louisa Draper

Medically reviewed by

Dr Louisa Draper

Last reviewed: 21 Jul 2021

Utovlan prices

Pack Size Price
5 mg - 30 tablet(s) £17.99
5 mg - 60 tablet(s) £26.99
5 mg - 90 tablet(s) £40.00

How it Works

About Utovlan

What is Utovlan?

Utovlan is a type of synthetic (man-made) progestogen hormone used to delay periods. It works in a similar way to the natural hormone in the body, known as progesterone.

Utovlan can also be prescribed to treat other medical conditions including heavy periods, painful periods, irregular periods and endometriosis. In such cases, the prescribed dose and duration of treatment will be different, depending on the medical condition.

How does Utovlan work?

Utovlan contains the active ingredient norethisterone (5mg), which is a type of synthetic (man-made) progestogen. It works like the natural female body’s progesterone hormone, which helps the womb prepare for a fertilised egg to implant, by making the womb thicker.

Progesterone hormone levels increase after ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovary). This happens to prepare the womb for an embryo after fertilisation (when the sperm reaches the egg). If fertilisation does not happen, the progesterone levels decrease. This makes the womb shed its lining as a menstrual period.

If you take Utovlan a few days before your next period is due, it will keep your progestogen levels high, and stop the lining of your womb from shedding, which is what causes your period. Your period should return about 2 to 3 days after you stop taking Utovlan.

How long does Utovlan take to work?

For Utovlan to work effectively, you should aim to take it about 2 to 3 days before your next period is due. This would give it time to increase the levels of progestogen in your body and delay your period.

Is Utovlan a contraceptive?

No. Utovlan contains 5mg of the active ingredient norethisterone, a man-made progestogen, and should only be taken for a short time to delay your period.

It is important to remember that Utovlan 5mg works to delay periods and does not provide contraceptive cover. You should also use other forms of contraception like condoms to prevent pregnancy. If you are already using the contraceptive pill, you should talk to your doctor about ways you can take this to delay your period instead.

Although norethisterone is also used as a progestogen-only contraceptive pill under other brand names, like Brevinor or Norimin, the dose is much lower (350 micrograms) and it is usually taken every day.

Does Utovlan help with heavy periods?

Utovlan contains the synthetic (man-made) progestogen known as norethisterone, which can also be prescribed to treat heavy or painful periods. The dose is usually 5mg but it is prescribed in different ways depending on if it is used to prevent periods or to treat heavy bleeding. If you want to treat heavy periods, you should ask your doctor about the options.

How to take Utovlan

Your doctor will advise you on the right dose of Utovlan to take and for how long. The usual dose prescribed is one 5mg tablet to be taken 3 times a day.

Your doctor would also advise you to take Utovlan at least 2 or 3 days before your next period is due, for it to work effectively in delaying your period.

Can you take Utovlan when your period has started?

Your doctor can prescribe Utovlan to stop heavy or prolonged periods but it will still take about 2 days to start working.

If you would like to delay your period, the most effective way of using Utovlan is to take it about 2 or 3 days before your next period is due.

How long can you take Utovlan for?

You can take Utovlan to delay your period on a short term basis, for up to 1 month.

If you would like to delay your period long term, speak to your doctor. They would advise you on more suitable long term methods to delay your periods.

When should I stop taking Utovlan?

You should stop taking Utovlan when you no longer want to delay your period. Your period should return 2 to 3 days after you stop taking Utovlan.

You should also stop taking Utovlan if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have:

  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, hands or feet
  • an itchy, red and painful skin rash
  • difficulty breathing
  • a wheezing feeling
  • a dizzy or faint feeling
  • pain in your chest

Utovlan may increase your risk of developing blood clots which is a medical emergency.

Stop taking Utovlan and seek immediate medical attention if you have:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • pain or swelling in your leg (especially the calf area)
  • palpitations (fast heartbeat)
  • a numb or weak feeling in any part of your body
  • severe headaches
  • coughing up blood
  • a dizzy or faint feeling

What happens when you stop taking Utovlan?

Your period should return in about 2 to 3 days after you stop taking Utovlan.

Can I take Utovlan if I am flying?

Yes. You can take Utovlan when flying unless your doctor advises against it because you have certain risk factors. Utovlan may increase your risk of blood clots, especially if you have other risk factors for blood clots (family history, high blood pressure or heart disease). You should always talk to your doctor before flying, if you are taking any medication.

So, if you are taking Utovlan and are about to fly, you can reduce your risk of developing blood clots by:

  • drinking lots of water
  • moving your feet and legs regularly when you are sitting
  • taking a walk around the cabin when you can
  • drinking less alcohol or caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration
  • wearing compression stockings while travelling

Where can I buy Utovlan?

You can buy Utovlan conveniently online from UK registered pharmacies like Superdrug Online Doctor. You just have to complete a short and easy medical form so our doctors can make sure it is right for you.

Can I buy Utovlan over the counter?

No. Utovlan can only be bought with a doctor’s prescription. As Utovlan may not be suitable for everyone due to certain health risk factors, it is important a doctor first checks that Utovlan is safe for you before prescribing it.

Can I get Utovlan on the NHS?

You may be able to get Utovlan on the NHS from your local GP. You will first have to book a face to face appointment so your GP can check Utovlan is right for you before issuing a prescription. You can then use the prescription to get Utovlan from your local pharmacies.

Utovlan side effects

Utovlan may cause some side effects although not everyone will have them.

Side effects of Utovlan include:

  • irregular periods
  • itching and rash
  • headaches
  • vaginal bleeding
  • breast pain and tenderness
  • breast discharge
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • vision problems
  • diarrhoea and vomiting (being sick)
  • yellowing of the white part in your eyes due to jaundice
  • blood clots
  • fast heartbeat
  • acne
  • hair loss
  • feeling bloated
  • weight gain
  • change in appetite
  • change in sex drive

You should tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects when taking Utovlan. If you think you might have a blood clot, seek medical advice as an emergency.

Utovlan drug interactions

Utovlan may not be suitable for everyone, especially for people who have certain medical conditions.

Some medications may also interact negatively with Utovlan so you should tell your doctor about all medicines you are taking, including those bought over the counter.

Tell your doctor if you have any medical problems, including:

  • vaginal bleeding without a known cause
  • blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
  • heart attack or heart disease
  • problems with your liver including jaundice during pregnancy
  • pruritus (severe itching all over your body)
  • epilepsy
  • migraine headaches
  • asthma
  • kidney problems
  • depression

You should also tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to synthetic (man-made) progestogens such as norethisterone.

If you are pregnant (or might be pregnant) or you are breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before taking Utovlan.

As it may interact negatively with Utovlan, you should tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • medicines used to treat epilepsy
  • antibiotics such as tetracyclines and rifampicin
  • medicines used to treat HIV (ritonavir and nelfinavir)
  • high blood pressure medications
  • medicines used to treat cancers
  • ciclosporin (for suppressing the immune system)
  • herbal medicines like St John’s wort

The full list of all known Utovlan side effects, drug interactions and cautions can be found in the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine package.


Patient Reviews

Further Reading on Period Delay