What do Utovlan tablets look like?
They are white, flat tablets that contain 5mg of norethisterone. They come in blister strips of 30 and 90 tablets. Other active ingredients are:
- Magnesium stereate
- Lactose monohydrate
- Maize starch
What are the normal functions of progesterone?
Progesterone hormone is in charge of regulating the inner lining of the uterus. It is produced by the ovaries, placenta and adrenal glands. Progesterone is a hormone produced after ovulation. It regulates the inner lining of the uterus so that when an egg has been fertilized it will prepare the uterus for a pregnancy. It is produced 14 days after ovulation and will decrease if there is no pregnancy. Progesterone decreases the cell growth of breasts which is important in the prevention of cancer. It also will act producing new bone cells to replace the old ones.
Progesterone also plays an important role in the brain. It decreases symptoms of insomnia and depression acting as a natural antidepressant.
What is Utovlan used for?
Utovlan has many uses, but mostly have to do with menstrual irregularities. They are prescribed to treat:
- Irregular periods: Regular periods last between 28 to 35 days. Utovlan is prescribed to treat women who have periods shorter than 21 days and bleed for more than 8 days.
- Menorrhagia: heavy periods: Women normally bleed 80 ml during their period. Women who suffer from heavy periods will lose more than 80ml in each menstrual cycle and might last over 7 days. Measuring the quantity isn’t easy so you can tell you might suffer from this condition if:
- Need to use to types of menstrual products to prevent passing blood through clothes such as sanitary pads plus tampons.
- You need to change your sanitary products every one or two hours
- You observe blood clots larger than 2.5cm
- You bleed through your clothes
- Breast cancer: As stated before, progesterone plays an important role in the prevention of cancer, therefore your doctor might prescribe this medication for you.
- Dysmenorrhea: Which is the presence of painful pelvic cramps that occur during menstruation.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: Also known as premenstrual tension. It is a medical condition that occurs days before and during menstruating cycle. It includes physical and psychological symptoms such as:
- Physical: pelvic cramps, bloating, headaches, fatigue, breast tenderness
- Emotional: Depression, moodiness, and anxiety.
- Endometriosis: Is the presence of endometrial cells, which are cells that are normally found in your uterus or womb and are found somewhere else in your body. Mostly ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.
- Period delay: This medicine is safe to use if you want to delay your period for a certain period of time.
It is important to know that this medication is not to be used as a type of contraceptive method.
Who should consider other alternatives over Utovlan?
Like all medicines, Utovlan may not be suitable for you if you suffer from the following conditions.
- Allergic to Utovlan´s components or ingredients.
- Family history or previous personal incidents of Thrombosis or history of blood clots
- If you are pregnant or believe you are pregnant
- If you had Pemphigoid gestation: Presence of jaundice (yellowish skin color) and generalized itching that occurs while pregnant.
- Cardiovascular disease such as previous heart attacks or angina.
- If you suffer from liver problems
- If you suffer from Porphyria: A rare blood disease that affects your nervous or cutaneous (skin) system.
- Migraine headaches
- Uncontrolled diabetes
If you suffer from these conditions it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication.
Are there medicines that interact with Utovlan?
There are certain medications that have interactions with Utovlan. Be sure to tell your GP every medication you take, before starting to take Utovlan. Certain medications make the efficacy of the this medication diminish, therefore if you are taking any of these medications be sure to consult your GP about it.
- Medicines for Epilepsy treatment: Phenytoin,Carbamazepine, Oxcarbazepine, Topiramate, barbiturates
- Medicine to treat depression: St. John’s Wort herbal remedy
- Antibiotic treatments such as: Rifampicin, tetracyclines, ampicillin, oxacillin
- Antiviral medicines used to treat HIV: Ritonavir, nelfinavir
- High blood pressure medicines
- NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen
- Immunosupressive treatments: Ciclosporin
- Other hormonal medicines: progestogens, oestrogens
How should you take Utovlan?
Since this medicine can treat different illnesses, the dosage and treatment will differ depending on what you are using it for. Always follow your GP’s instructions on how to take this medication.
- Period delay: If you want to delay your period, Utovlan should be taken three days before the expected day your period will begin. The usual dosage is one tablet of 5 mg, three times a day for the period you want to delay it, for no more than 14 days. After you stop the treatment, your period will occur around two or three days you stopped taking the medication.
- Heavy bleeding and other menstrual irregularities: Usual dosage is 1 tablet of 5 mg three times a day for 10 days. Treatment starts 19 days after your last period. After the 10 days of treatment your GP will probably recommend you to take 1tablet of 5mg two times a day for 8 days. This will prevent any irregular bleeding from occurring.
- Premenstrual syndrome: Treatment begins 16 days after your last period. Usual dosage consists of 1 tablet of 5 mg every day for 10 days.
- Endometriosis: Usual dosage consists of 1 tablet of 5 mg three times a day for no less than 6 months. Dosage may be increased to 4 or 5 tablets a day if your irregular bleeding hasn’t stopped.
- Breast cancer: Usual dosage consists of 1 tablet of 5 mg every 3 hours (40 mg a day). Dosage may be increased by your doctor to 12 tablets a day (60mg).
Tablets can be taken with water before or after meals. Best to take them at the same hour every day so that you do not forget to take a dosage.
What happens if you forget to take a dosage?
If you forget to take a tablet of Utovlan, take the medication as soon as you remember to take it. Do not take double doses to make up for the one you forgot to take since it won’t have any effect on your treatment.
Is there a risk of overdose from taking Utovlan?
If you have taken too many pills seek immediate help in case of an overdose. Usual syptoms include:
- Breathing problems: wheezing and shortness of breath
- Vaginal bleeding
- Breast enlargement
- Signs of anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction to the pill which includes signs and symptoms such as:
- Swelling of your mouth, throat, face
- Cutaneous reaction: Itching and rash
What should you do if you become pregnant while taking this medication?
If you are pregnant while taking this medication, be sure to stop taking it and consult immediately your doctor for evaluation. It is not recommended to to use this medication while breastfeeding.
Like all medicines, Utovlan 5mg can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Reasons for stopping Utovlan treatment immediately
Very rarely, Utovlan may cause a severe allergic reaction which can be life-threatening in some cases. You can get some or all of the following symptoms:
- difficulty breathing
- feeling faint
- 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.
The following symptoms could be warning signs of thrombosis (a blood clot) which will need urgent treatment:
Symptoms of a blood clot in the lungs:
- Sudden, severe, sharp pain in your chest
- Coughing up blood
- You suddenly become short of breath
- Your heart beats more rapidly
Symptoms of a blood clot in the brain (‘a stroke’):
- You have an unusually severe or long headache
- Your sight is affected in any way
- You find it difficult to speak
- You collapse or faint
- Any part of your body feels weak or numb
Symptoms of a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT):
- You have severe pain, tenderness or swelling in your calf, ankle or foot
- You have purple discolouration of the skin of the leg or the skin becomes red and warm to touch
If you get any of these symptoms, you should stop taking the tablets and see your doctor immediately.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.