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Norethistherone is a drug primarily used as a hormonal replacement therapy when in used in conjunction with estrogen or as a means to delay one’s menstrual period. Also known as norethindrone, this medication is a highly effective progestogen hormone which affects the uterus by stopping it from bleeding. Since it is a synthetic and pure form of progestogen, it also has a bit of androgenic effects as well as some weak estrogenic effects in the body.

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How does Norethisterone work?

The body also produces progestogen normally and this hormone is the one responsible for maintaining the lining of the uterus. Right before a menstrual period of a woman, the progestogen levels fall dramatically and this, in turn, causes the shedding of the uterine walls which is what we call as menstruation. This means that by taking this medication, the progestogen levels won’t drop so the uterine lining won’t shed. Thus your period can be delayed.

It doesn’t have any effect on the egg cells or the ovary which means that it shouldn’t be used as a form of contraception. Its primary purpose is to delay your period although it can be used in conjunction with oral contraceptives to schedule your period. This is useful for busy periods such as sports meets, vacations, or holidays since you can spend these events without the problem of having a period. You can simply reschedule your period to after these events.

How do I take Norethisterone?

To delay your period, you will need to take the drug three times a day. It will require some precise scheduling as you will need to take the first dose three days before your expected period. This is easy for females who have a regular menstrual cycle but women who have irregular cycles will have difficulty. As for how long, it will depend on when you want to have your period since if you stop taking the medication, you will have your menstrual period in two to three days. You can take the drug for up to 20 days which means that you can delay your menstruation for up to 17 days.

Side effects and precautions

As with any medication, it is expected that they will have some side effects to the body. These are rare for Norethistherone but if you experience any of them, it is best to contact your doctor immediately:

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Jaundice or changes to the liver
  • Consistent Migraine
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Breast discomfort
  • Pre-menstrual symptoms
  • Swelling or Edema
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Stomach Aches
  • Appetite Changes

It is important to take note if you are experiencing an allergic reaction to the medication as this can be fatal if left untreated. Allergic reactions to drugs may happen without reason and spontaneously so you need to be alert when it comes to these. Difficulty in breathing, skin rashes or itchiness, swelling in the face or tongue, and other signs of an allergic reaction should be noted. If these happen, stop taking the drug and visit your doctor immediately.

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