The hormone medication Norethisterone (Primolut N, Utovlan and various other names) is used for a variety of different purposes, notably in the treatment of conditions like acne and heavy menstrual bleeding. It’s also known to be used for treating conditions like endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasia and hypogonadism. Besides those uses, it’s also used as a contraceptive.
How it works
Norethisterone contains a type of synthetic hormone that’s similar to the naturally occurring hormone known as progestogen. Due to that, it can be used in the treatment of many types of disorders related to the menstrual cycle. In some cases, it treats breast cancer.
When use in low doses, it works as a contraceptive, as it’s effective for preventing pregnancy; it also works as an effective medication for hormone replacement therapy. As a contraceptive, Norethisterone works like other contraceptives, mainly through changing the womb lining, the cervix mucus and the body’s hormonal balance, to prevent pregnancy.
At medium strength, it mainly treats heavy menstrual bleeding (heavy periods or menorrhagia). Treatment using Norethisterone here typically aims to stop the heavy blood loss. At higher strengths, it’s primarily used to treat female-related cancers like the aforementioned breast cancer.
Who should use this medication?
Norethisterone is best used in women with any of the aforementioned conditions. As mentioned, it helps prevent heavy menstrual bleeding and acts as a contraceptive in lower doses for women who can’t use other types of birth control or have an intrauterine device installed.
Ultimately, the main use of Norethisterone is determined by what a woman may need to treat any of their menstrual disorders. Women should always consult with their doctor about determining whether Norethisterone is the best medication to use in the treatment of their menstrual-related conditions.
How to take this medication
Women who take Norethisterone should always read the information provided with their medication before taking it. They should also always follow their doctor’s instructions regarding the right dosage to take when on Norethisterone.
Norethisterone should be taken as instructed by a doctor. Doctors and/or pharmacists will provide instructions regarding the right amount of Norethisterone tablets to take every day, including the appropriate days of the month to take the medication.
Women should take Norethisterone at the same time of day, each day, to prevent themselves from missing any doses. Norethisterone can be taken with or without food. Forgotten doses should be taken as soon as remembered; if it’s too close to the next dose, the forgotten dose should be skipped.
After taking the first course of Norethisterone, most women should have their period a few days after taking their last tablet. Women that don’t should consult their doctor before continuing to take the medication. In addition, women taking Norethisterone should notify medical providers that they’re taking the medication, specifically if they’re about to undergo dental treatment or another surgical operation.
Side effects and some warnings
Like similar medications, Norethisterone may cause side effects in women, though not all women will experience the same side effects. Women that do experience side effects are advised to speak to their doctor as soon as possible for advice and treatment.
Norethisterone generally causes side effects like nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, weight changes, bloating, fatigue, skin reactions and a decreased sex drive. While uncommon, women who have serious symptoms like chest pain and/or tightness, hearing/vision disturbances and/or severe headaches should see immediate medical attention.
Women who are pregnant shouldn’t use Norethisterone, as it’s not appropriate for use during pregnancy due to its side effects. Women also shouldn’t use this medication if they’re allergic to any of the ingredients used in this medication or have conditions that may be aggravated by fluid retention. That also applies to women who have had pregnancy-related problems, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding or any other blood-related problems.