Important Facts About Period Delay
Most frequent questions and answers about period delay tablets.
Period Delay Tablets are a prescription treatment, used to delay your next period for up to 17 days. They contain an ingredient called a progestogen, which is similar to the natural female hormone progesterone.
Do NOT take period delay tablets if:
- You are allergic to norethisterone or other similar hormone medicines, or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
- You are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test before starting treatment or if you miss a period during treatment
- You have now or have ever had any vaginal bleeding (not a period) for which your doctor could not find a cause.
- If you or a member of your family have ever had a problem with blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- you have now or have had in the past, a heart attack or angina
- You have liver problems.
- If you have ever had a pregnancy where you had jaundice, or an itchy rash known as pemphigoid gestationis. This rash appears as small blisters on your abdomen.
- You have severe generalised itching all over your body (pruritis)
- You have a condition known as porphyria (a rare inherited blood disease).
e-Surgery offers period delay tablets for up to 17 days.
These are normally taken THREE times DAILY, starting from 3 days before the expected onset of period.
Always make sure you follow the directions given to you by the prescribing doctor.
Your period should return after 2-3 days of stopping period delay pills.
If it does not, or is unusually heavy or light please consult your GP.
Some women using hormonal contraceptives including period delay pills have reported depression or depressed mood. Depression can be serious and may sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. If you experience mood changes and depressive symptoms contact your doctor for further medical advice as soon as possible.
Risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
All women have a small chance of having a blood clot in the veins of the leg, in the lung or other part of the body. The chances of getting a clot are very slightly higher if you are taking a hormone medicine. You are more likely to get a clot whether or not you are taking period delay tablets if you:
– are very overweight
– have systemic lupus erythematosus. (This is a condition where the immune system attacks healthy tissues, typically causing symptoms such as painful joints and muscles, tiredness, fever and rashes).
– have had a blood clot in the veins or lungs before
– have relatives who have had blood clots
– are unable to move for long periods of time (for example after an operation)
– have a serious injury or have major surgery
– have a history of repeated miscarriage.
Tell your doctor if you have just had an operation or if you are going to have an operation while taking period delay tablets. Section 4 of this leaflet (‘Possible side effects’) also has more information on the warning signs of blood clots.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
This includes the following medicines, as the effect of period delay tablets may be altered when they are taken at the same time:
– Medicines to treat epilepsy (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
– Antibiotic medicines to treat an infection (e.g. tetracyclines, rifampicin, co-trimoxazole) – Antiviral medicines to treat HIV (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir)
– Anticancer medicines
– Herbal preparations containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
– Aminoglutethimide, sometimes used in Cushing’s Syndrome.
– Ciclosporin (for suppressing the immune system)
– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treating pain and inflammation – Medicines for high blood pressure.
Period delay tablets can also interfere with some laboratory tests, so tell your doctor if you are having any blood tests or hospital investigations.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines not listed above, including those bought without a prescription.
Like with all medication, there is a risk of side effects when taking period delay tablets.
Very rarely, period delay tablets may cause a severe allergic reaction which can be life-threatening in some cases. You can get some or all of the following symptoms:
swelling of the face or tongue
swelling of the hands and feet
intense itchy skin rash.
If you think you are reacting badly to the medicine, get emergency medical help immediately.
For a full list of side effects associated with period delay tablets, read the patient information leaflet here.