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Primolut N

Primolut N

Primolut N is a drug which contains the active ingredient Norethisterone. Norethisterone is a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, it is similar to the progesterone produced by the body and is used to correct hormone imbalance.  Norethisterone can be used to help with a variety of period disorders and endometriosis. However it should only be used for short periods under the guidance of a doctor. 

Periods are no fun at the best of times and they often come at the most irritating times. If you suffer from particularly heavy periods, or any kind of period disorder then it can really get you down. Heavy periods are described as a blood loss of more than 80ml per period or a period that lasts more than 7 days, if you are changing your pad or tampon every hour or two then it’s a sign your periods are heavy. There could be an underlying cause for this so it’s worth doing some investigation. Drugs that contain norethisterone may be able to provide temporary relief from some period disorders and can also be used to delay an inconvenient period for around two weeks. 

What is Primolut N? 

Primolut N is a drug which contains the active ingredient Norethisterone. Norethisterone is a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, it is similar to the progesterone produced by the body and is used to correct hormone imbalance. 

Norethisterone can be used to help with a variety of period disorders and endometriosis. However it should only be used for short periods under the guidance of a doctor. 

When is Primolut N used? 

Primolut N is used by women who are of childbearing age. It can be used to treat the following conditions: 

  • Endometriosis – excessive growth of the lining of the womb; 
  • Irregular, heavy or painful periods; 
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMT or PMS); 

It can also be used to delay your period, for example, if you are going on holiday or have a special event and your period would get in the way. 

How do you use Primolut N? 

As with all medicines, you should follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist and if you are unsure about how to take your medication, go back and check with them. 

  • Primolut N comes as a small white tablet; 
  • It can be taken with or without food or drink; 
  • Simply swallow the tablet whole at the correct time; 
  • Primolut N is usually taken 2-3 times a day. 

What dosages are there? 

The doses for Primolut N will vary according to the reason you are taking it. Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. 

  • Each tablet contains 5mg of the active ingredient norethisterone; 
  • A standard dose would be 2-3 tablets per day; 
  • Some conditions require you to take Primolut N every day, for others there are a specific number of days, again your doctor will advise you. 
  • You will usually have a break from taking Primolut N in order to have your period. 

When taking Primolut N to delay your period, some common advice your doctor may suggest: 

Start taking the tablets 2-3 days before your period is due; 

  • Take 1 tablet 2-3 times a day for up to 14 days; 
  • Your period will start 2-3 days after you stop taking Primolut N;  
  • Do not take this medication for more than 14 days when using it to delay your period. 
  • To stop dysfunctional uterine bleeding – take Primolut N, 3 times a day for 10 days; 

What are the side effects of Primolut N? 

As with all medicines, Primolut N comes with a warning of some side effects, not everyone who takes Primolut N will experience them. 

If you experience any of the following side effects for the first time when taking Primolut N, then stop taking it and contact your doctor straight away as they may have serious consequences. 

  • Migraine or unusually strong or frequent headaches; 
  • Sudden changes in eyesight, hearing, speech, smell, taste or touch; 
  • Any signs of a blood clot: 
  • sharp pains in your chest or shortness of breath 
  • coughing with no obvious cause 
  • a feeling of heaviness or tightness in your chest 
  • unusual pains in your leg 
  • unusual swelling of the arms or legs 
  • loss of feeling or weakness down one side of the body 
  • Severe itching (pruritus); 
  • Jaundice or other liver problems; 
  • High blood pressure. 

You should also stop taking Primolut N if you become pregnant. 

Very common side effects that may affect more than 1 in 10 people include: 

  • Shorter periods with reduced blood flow; 
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting. 

Common side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10 people include: 

  • Nausea; 
  • Swelling; 
  • Headaches; 
  • Lack of periods. 

Uncommon side effects that may affect up to 1 in 100 people include: 

  • Migraine. 

Rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people include: 

  • Allergic reactions, including hives and skin rashes. 

Very rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people include: 

  • Breathing issues; 
  • Problems with vision. 

The frequency of the following side effects is unknown: 

  • Abdominal pain; 
  • Dizziness; 
  • Worsening of depression; 
  • Cholestasis; 
  • Jaundice. 

When shouldn’t you use Primolut N? 

You will need to discuss your medical history with a doctor to see if Primolut N is suitable for you. Do not take Primolut N if any of the following apply to you: 

  • You have a high risk of blood clots; 
  • You have any symptoms of a blood clot (chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, unexplained cough); 
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding; 
  • You have ever had a migraine with visual disturbances; 
  • You have liver tumours; 
  • You have liver disease; 
  • You have any type of cancer which may be affected by female hormones (breast/cervical cancer); 
  • You have diabetes; 
  • You have endometrial hyperplasia; 
  • You are pregnant; 
  • You are breastfeeding; 
  • You are allergic to Norethisterone or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet; 
  • You had jaundice or pruritis (severe itching) during pregnancy. 

You should also take care with Primolut N if any of the following apply, and ensure you discuss them with a doctor before starting treatment as you may require more regular check-ups:  

  • You have a BMI of over 30; 
  • You suffer from migraine, asthma or kidney problems; 
  • You have inflammation of your veins; 
  • You have varicose veins; 
  • You have epilepsy; 
  • You smoke; 
  • You’ve had a thrombosis or an embolism or a close relative has; 
  • You have a heart rhythm problem or heart valve disorder; 
  • You have suffered from depression 
  • You have a high level of fat in your blood; 
  • Anyone in your immediate family has had breast cancer; 
  • You have liver or gall bladder disease; 
  • You have hereditary angioedema; 
  • You have haemolytic uremic syndrome; 
  • You suffer from a rare medical condition like sickle cell disease; 
  • You have a condition that occurred for the first time or worsened during pregnancy; 
  • You are intolerant to some kinds of sugar. 

Does Primolut N interact with other medications? 

Primolut N can interact with some medicines, some medicines can make it less effective or cause unexpected bleeding, others can have an influence on the blood levels of Primolut N. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medication you are taking or have recently taken, including vitamins and herbal supplements. 

Take special care with the following: 

  • Medicines used to treat HIV or Hepatitis C infections (like ritonavir, nevirapine and efavirenz); 
  • Medicines for tuberculosis (rifampicin or similar); 
  • Medicines for epilepsy (primidone, barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, topiramate, felbamate oxcarbazepine); 
  • Medicines for fungal infections (azole antifungals like itraconazole, voriconazole etc. griseofulvin); 
  • Medicines for bacterial infections (macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin or erythromycin); 
  • Certain medicines for heart disease and high blood pressure (bosentan); 
  • Medicines for arthritis or arthrosis (etoricoxib); 
  • St John’s Wort or remedies containing it (usually taken to help with low mood); 
  • Theophylline (for breathing problems); 
  • Tizanidine (for muscle pain). 

You should also avoid drinking too much grapefruit juice as it can increase the blood levels of norethisterone. 

Where can you buy Primolut N? 

You can buy Primolut N from any reputable pharmacy. The best idea is to pick the option that’s easiest for you. Try your local pharmacy or supermarket pharmacy, or order online and have it discreetly delivered to your home or office or a local collection point. The choice is yours. 

Can I get Primolut N without a prescription? 

No, you cannot get Primolut N without a prescription. You will need to get a prescription from a doctor before you can purchase Primolut N. There are specific risks associated with this kind of medicine and how it is taken and for how long, so you will need to discuss your reasons for wanting to take Primolut N to determine whether it is the best option available for you in line with your family history and any current health issues or medication.  

You can make an appointment at your regular doctor’s or you can arrange an online consultation to discuss this with a qualified doctor who will then issue a prescription if they believe it to be the right option for you. Once you have your prescription you can purchase Primolut N wherever is convenient for you. 


Bayer Plc (2018). Primolut N. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020]. (2020). Can Primolut N stop or delay a period if the period has already started?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Feb. 2020]. 

NICE Excellence (2020). NORETHISTERONE | Drug | BNFc content published by NICE. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020]. 

NHS UK (2018). Heavy periods. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].  

Uknown (2020). Norethisterone on the NHS for Period Delay on the NHS using Norethisterone. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].