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About Utovlan 5mg Tablets
Utovlan period delay tablets are available from The Independent Pharmacy to delay the start of menstruation, following a free consultation. They can be taken to safely and effectively delay the onset of your period by up to 17 days. Utovlan is the branded version of the generic period delay pill Norethisterone.
To find out more about periods and see all the available treatments, see our Period Delay page.
Utovlan 5mg Tablets information
What is Utovlan and what is it used for?
Utovlan is a prescription medication used by women to delay the onset of a period. It is the branded version of the generic period delay pill Norethisterone. The active ingredient contained in Utovlan is the hormone ‘norethisterone’ – a synthetic version that mimics the naturally occurring sex hormone ‘progesterone’.
Utovlan period delay tablets require a prescription, which can be obtained when you buy Utovlan online through The Independent Pharmacy using our online doctor consultation service. It is not available over the counter. Our simple health questionnaire takes just a few minutes to complete, and we can deliver as quickly as the next working day with tracked delivery and plain packaging.
Utovlan period delay tablets are taken three days prior to the start of your menstrual cycle, until the course is completed. A woman’s period will usually resume three days after completing the course.
You can use Utovlan to delay your period for up to 17 this will effectively completely delay your period and all its symptoms such as bleeding.
Utovlan cannot be used to stop your period once it has already started.
While Utovlan pills are commonly used to delay your next period, they may also be used to treat, manage or relieve:
- Heavy, painful or irregular periods
- Premenstrual tension (PMT)
- Breast cancer
How does Utovlan work?
When Utovlan is taken to delay a period, the norethisterone keeps progesterone levels high, which prevents your period from starting as it usually would.
Please note: Utovlan is not a contraceptive pill, so patients are advised to use other forms of protection if they wish to avoid getting pregnant.
Why delay your period?
Periods are healthy and a normal part of being a woman. However, there may be occasions where the timing isn’t ideal, and you’d rather it didn’t arrive when it was due.
Most women have experienced an occasion at some point in their lives where they’ve thought about delaying their period for the sake of convenience. There are no strict criteria that prevent you asking your doctor for period delay medication like Utovlan.
If you’re thinking of delaying your period, ask yourself why you want to delay it, and for how long. Utovlan is designed for one-off, occasional use to postpone your period – not for preventing periods altogether. If you’re trying to delay your period simply because it’s too painful to handle, this is a sign you should visit your doctor.
We don’t recommend ‘alternative’ means of delaying your period – such as drinking gelatin or vinegar – since there’s no evidence that either option works.
Can I use Utovlan with my contraceptive pill?
We don't normally recommend using Utovlan to delay your period if you are also taking the contraceptive pill. For more information on using your contraceptive pill to skip or delay your period, see our Period Delay information page.
What else can cause a missed period?
A missed period on occasion does not usually cause for concern. While it can be a sign of early pregnancy, it may also be caused by stress, extreme exercise, weight loss, low body fat, or a hormonal imbalance. Periods can also start to become irregular when the menopause starts. In rare cases, a missed period can be a sign of something more serious, like ovarian cancer. Speak to your doctor if you are worried.
Bear in mind too that Utovlan is not a form of contraception, so while taking it, you will still need to protect yourself against pregnancy using another method.
Norethisterone as a hormonal replacement therapy
In addition to its use as a period delay medication, Norethisterone can also be used as hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) when taken in combination with oestrogen. HRT replaces the hormones that a woman's body stops producing naturally when she enters the menopause, which can alleviate some of the troublesome symptoms.
HRT most commonly involves taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone (combined HRT), since this option is safer than taking estrogen on its own (linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer). Oestrogen-only HRT may be recommended for women who have had a hysterectomy.
The Independent Pharmacy does not prescribe Utovlan for HRT. You can see our HRT treatments here.
Utovlan weight gain
Although it is listed as a possible side effect, Utovlan weight gain is very unusual.
In fact, any weight gained that may be associated with Utovlan is probably a result of fluid retention and bloating (hormonal changes can change the way that water is held in the body).
In some cases, Utovlan may cause weight loss. Progesterone-based medication can cause both weight loss and weight gain, depending on the situation of the individual using it.
If you are worried about Utovlan weight gain or you think that this is something that is affecting you, then speak to your GP about your concerns. If you are taking Utovlan for a longer time to help with painful periods or any other condition, they may suggest changing your dosage or trying lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.
However, if you’re taking Utovlan short-term to delay your period (it can be used for a maximum of 17 days), then it is unlikely that weight gain is going to substantially impact you during this time.
Utovlan dosage: how to take Utovlan
Utovlan’s dosage might vary depending on what it is being used to treat.
If you’re taking Utovlan to delay your period you should:
- Take one 5mg tablet three times a day
- Start taking the tablets three days before your period is due to start
Your period will usually start within three days of finishing the tablets.
Do not exceed the stated dose of your prescription. If you do, contact your doctor immediately.
Should you forget to take Utovlan, take your tablet as soon as you remember and then continue as normal, taking it at the same time every day. Do not double dose.
If you are taking Utovlan for purposes other than to delay your period (for example premenstrual tension or endometriosis), you should consult your doctor for dosage information.
Utovlan ingredients list
The active ingredient contained in Utovlan is norethisterone. Each tablet contains 5 mg of norethisterone.
Other ingredients include:
- Lactose monohydrate
- Maize starch
- Magnesium stearate
Utovlan side effects: what to expect from the period delay pill
Menstruating is a healthy and normal part of life for many people. However, sometimes there may be times or occasions when you’d prefer not to have your period — such as if you’re going on holiday or taking part in a sporting event.
In these circumstances, taking period-delay tablets like Utovlan can delay the onset of your period. But are there any Utovlan side effects that you need to know about first?
It is best to look into any new medicine you are thinking of taking so that you know what to expect when using it, including any possible side effects you may experience as well as the positive results you will benefit from.
In this section, we’ll be taking a closer at the side effects of Utovlan that you need to know about, including more common side effects, more serious effects and allergic reactions. Read on to find out more (or you can just skip to the side effects here).
Summary list of Utovlan side effects
All medicines have the potential to cause side effects, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. Side effects can vary from person to person, even when taking the same medication. Side effects will not necessarily affect everyone who uses a treatment either.
Progestogen pills like Utlovan are generally well tolerated by the body, and side effects are usually rare. Most users will not experience Utovlan effects at all.
However, it’s worth being aware of the possible side effects of Utovlan tablets just in case you encounter them.
Here is a summary list of the known Utovlan side effects:
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting between periods
- Unexpected or unusual vaginal bleeding
- Changes in vaginal discharge
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Milky discharge from the breast (when not pregnant or breastfeeding)
- Mood changes such as depression, confusion, nervousness or euphoria
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in sex drive
- Lack of concentration
- Nausea or being sick
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
- Increase in body or facial hair
- Hair loss
- Fluid retention and bloating
- Weight gain
- Change in appetite
As you can see, the possible side effects of Utovlan are not generally serious or dangerous.
The likelihood of experiencing any of the above side effects will vary from user to user; what one individual may encounter could be completely different from another. However, you are unlikely to have a negative experience with Utovlan. To find out what real users think of this medication, you can read our Utovlan customer reviews.
If you’re worried about any Utovlan side effects — whether they are listed above or not — then it’s a good idea to discuss this with your GP or pharmacist.
Generally speaking, if you are using Utlovan to delay your period for a week or two and you experience side effects, it will only be for a short time and they will stop once you have stopped taking the tablets.
If you are using Utovlan for a longer period of time to treat any other conditions such as endometriosis or heavy periods and you are worried about side effects continuing, speak to your GP about your options.
More common side effects and symptoms
The most common Utovlan side effects are changes in your period such as irregular bleeding or spotting, headaches or feeling sick. These side effects may affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 users.
These more common side effects do not usually need medical attention — they are just a result of your body adjusting to the changing levels of hormones.
Serious side effects and symptoms
Serious side effects of Utovlan are very unusual but they may happen.
Norethisterone medications like Utovlan have been linked to an increased risk of blood clots in the blood vessels, which can lead to a number of more serious dangers to health, including stroke (a blood clot in the brain) and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).
Look out for any of the below symptoms of these more serious side effects including:
- Having an unusually severe, sudden or long-lasting headache
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Fainting or collapsing
- Any part of your body feeling weak or numb
- Sharp chest pains
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty speaking
- Sudden problems with your eyesight (impaired vision or eyesight affected in any other way)
- Pain, swelling, tenderness, discolouration or heat in the lower legs
Tell your doctor straight away and stop taking the tablets if you notice any of these unlikely but serious symptoms.
You should also consult a medical professional if you experience:
- Yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turning yellow (jaundice) — this could be indicative of liver or gallbladder problems
- Migraine-like headaches that appear for the first time
If you have been taking Utovlan and you are concerned about any side effects you are experiencing (particularly if they feel severe, long-lasting or painful), then you should consult a medical professional for further guidance.
If you feel like your symptoms are dangerous or life-threatening in any way, you should call emergency services.
Utovlan allergic reactions
A serious allergic reaction to Utovlan is very rare, but it can happen.
You should stop taking this medication and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing or talking
- Tightness in the chest or throat
- Feeling faint
- Severe dizziness
- Swelling (particularly in the face, tongue, throat, hands or feet)
- Any skin irritations such as rashes, or skin that is itchy, red, swollen, or blistered
These are the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction and you should treat this as an emergency and seek immediate medical attention.
Utovlan warnings and precautions
Taking Utovlan can be a useful aid, but it isn’t necessarily suitable for everyone. Before you start taking norethisterone medication, read the following warnings to check that none of them apply to you.
You should not take Utovlan if:
- You’re allergic to norethisterone or any of the other ingredients
- You are or could be pregnant
- You have ever had unexplained vaginal bleeding that wasn’t a period
- You have a family history of blood clots or DVT
- You’ve ever had a heart attack or angina
- You have liver problems
- You had jaundice while pregnant
- You have pruritus
- You have porphyria
- You suffer from any of the following:
- Migraine headaches
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
Hormone-based medicines like Utovlan slightly increase your risk of developing a blood clot in the leg, lungs or brain. However, this risk is compounded if you:
- Are very overweight
- Have systemic lupus erythematosus
- Have had a blood clot before (or it runs in the family)
- Are immobile or recently had major surgery
- Have had more than one miscarriage
Utovlan drug interactions
If you’re taking any of the following medicines, as the effect of Utovlan may be altered. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking the two together:
- Epilepsy medication
- HIV antiviral medicines
- Anticancer medicines
- St John’s Wort
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- High blood pressure medication
Norethisterone and pregnancy
Hormonal medicines like Utovlan should not be taken while pregnant, as they can affect the developing baby. Utovlan is also not a contraceptive, therefore other precautions must be taken if you do not plan to get pregnant. If you wish to take Utovlan while breastfeeding, consult your doctor for advice.
Utovlan 5mg Tablets reviews
Utovlan 5mg Tablets FAQs
After you finish your course, you will usually start your next period within 2-3 days. If you don’t, make sure you are not pregnant before taking more.
Once you start taking Utovlan, bleeding usually stops within 24-48 hours.
To postpone your period, you’ll take 1 tablet 3 times a day, starting three days before your period is due. Each tablet contains 5mg of norethisterone. Do not exceed the stated dose.
There are no known risks associated with consuming alcohol when taking Utovlan. But as always, it’s important to drink responsibly.
Norethisterone mimics progesterone, which prevents your womb lining from shedding. However, it is not a contraceptive, and should not be used to prevent pregnancy.
While Utovlan is not recommended for prolonged use, it's perfectly safe to delay your period for up to and around 17 days. Longer term use may cause more side effects and affect your natural hormone balance.
The Independent Pharmacy can prescribe enough Utovlan tablets to delay your period for up to 17 days. It is not recommended to take Utovlan for longer than 20 days.
Buy Utovlan online at The Independent Pharmacy from just £0.50p per tablet. Delivery from just £2.95 with same-day dispatch on orders placed before 4pm.
Norethisterone can be taken alongside your normal hormonal contraceptive. Both Utovlan and the mini pill contain forms of progesterone – but the dose is higher in Utovlan.