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Progestogen-only contraceptive pills, like Cerazette, contain progestogens but not oestrogens. They help to make it harder for the sperm to penetrate the womb by thickening the cervical mucus. Some can also help to stop ovulation depending on the type of progestogen they contain. If taken correctly they are over 99% successful at preventing pregnancy.
What is Cerazette and what is it used for?
Cerazette is a progesterone-only oral contraceptive pill. Its active ingredient is desogestrel, a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progesterone. Combined contraceptive pills contain a form of oestrogen, whereas progesterone-only pills such as Cerazette can be used by women who cannot take oestrogen. For example, progesterone-only pills are safe to use if you are breastfeeding, you smoke or you are overweight. If used correctly, Cerazette is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Cerazette can be purchased online from The Independent Pharmacy, following a simple medical questionnaire. One of our medical team will review your order on the same working day – if they deem that Cerazette is suitable for you, your order will be with you as soon as the next working day.
There are 28 tablets in each pack of Cerazette. There is no interval in this treatment cycle – take the first pill of your next pack the day after finishing the first. Cerazette should be taken regularly at roughly the same time every day within a 12-hour window. If you miss one pill anywhere in your pack and it is less than 12 hours late, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking two pills in a day. You should continue taking your pills as normal and you will not need additional contraception. If you miss more than one pill or it is more than 12 hours late you will lose your contraceptive cover and extra contraception will be required for at least 7 days.
How does Cerazette work?
Pregnancy occurs when an egg released from the ovaries is fertilised by sperm. In a normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries release one egg each month – this is the process of ovulation. Cerazette increases progesterone levels in such a way that prevents the release of an egg. It also thickens the fluid in the cervix, preventing sperm from entering the womb and fertilising any eggs which are released.
Periods & bleeding whilst taking Cerazette
Most women, who take Cerazette or any other mini-pill, will experience changes to their periods but most irregular bleeding will resolve within the first few months. It is, however, not uncommon for some women to experience no monthly period for the whole time they are taking any progesterone-only pill.
If you carry on experiencing constant bleeding, spotting or irregular bleeding after the first few months of taking Cerazette, or you are worried, you should speak to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice.
Does Cerazette cause weight gain?
Weight gain is one of the more commonly reported side effects of taking Cerazette, however, there is very little evidence to suggest that there is a specific link between the progesterone-only pill and weight gain.
If you are taking Cerazette or are taking any other contraceptive, and you are worried about your weight you should discuss this with a doctor or practice nurse.
Does Cerazette cause acne?
Cerazette may cause some women to develop breakouts or spots due to an increase in oil production in the skin. Some women will find that their skin settles after a few months. If you continue to experience spots or acne or are concerned about any side effects you should discuss this with a doctor or pharmacist.
Alternatives to Cerazette
Cerazette contains the same active ingredient (desogestrel 75mcg) as generic desogestrel tablets and Cerelle. It is also equivalent to the other branded POPs Cerelle, Feanolla, and Zelleta
Non-Medicinal Contraception Alternatives
- Female Condoms - Not only do they prevent pregnancy they also prevent STIs. There is currently only one brand available in the UK, called Femidom. Shown to be 95% effective.
- Male Condoms - Prevent pregnancy and also prevent STIs. Shown to be 98% effective.
- Cerazette, Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/e...
How to use Cerazette
Before starting Cerazette you must ensure that you have read and understood how to take this medication, which is detailed in the Patient Information Leaflet.
Cerazette is for oral use only, to prevent pregnancy. It can be prescribed online by our medical team at The Independent Pharmacy for women over the age of 18 years who have had it previously prescribed by their GP.
- Take 1 Cerazette tablet every day at the same time with a glass of water until the packet is empty. Each pack contains 28 pills.
- Start each new packet on the top row and take the tablet that correlates with the right day of the week printed on the pack over each tablet and follow the arrows.
- When you finish a pack, start a new pack, in the same way, on the following day. Do not have a break.
How do you start taking Cerazette?
If you are not currently using or have not used any hormonal contraception in the past month:
- Wait for your period to start and take your first Cerazette tablet on day 1 of your period.
- You will not need to use any barrier contraceptives such as condoms to prevent pregnancy.
- If you start taking Cerazette anytime after day 1 of your period you will need to use a barrier method of contraception for 7 days.
If you are switching from a combined pill, vaginal ring or transdermal patch:
- Take your first Cerazette tablet, on the first day after your tablet, ring or patch-free break of your previous contraceptive and use barrier contraception such as condoms for 7 days.
- Do not have a tablet, ring or patch-free break and start taking Cerazette the day after you take your last tablet from your present pack, or on the day of removal of your vaginal ring or patch. You will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
If you are changing from any other progestogen-only-pill:
- You can switch on any day and you will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
If you are changing from an injection or implant or hormonal IUS such as the coil:
- Take your first Cerazette tablet the day your next injection is due or on the day that your implant or your IUS is removed. You will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
If you are using Cerazette after having a baby:
- Start taking Cerelle between day 21 and 28 after your baby is born. You will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
- If you start taking Cerazette after day 28 you will need to use a barrier contraceptive such as a condom, during the first 7 days.
What if I missed a Cerazette pill?
If you are over 12 hours late taking Cerazette or you vomit or have diarrhoea with 3-4 hours, this counts as a “missed pill”:
- Take the “missed pill” as soon as you remember or as soon as you feel well enough and then continue to take your pills at the usual time the next day. You may need to take 2 on the same day.
- You should use a barrier method of contraception such as a condom for 7 days to protect you from pregnancy.
- If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill and have had sex, you can use emergency contraception to protect you from pregnancy.
If you are less than 12 hours late taking your Cerazette tablet:
- Take the late pill as soon as you remember and take the next tablet at the usual time.
- You will still be protected from pregnancy.
The active ingredients contained in Cerazette are: 75mcg desogestrel
Cerazette also contains the following inactive ingredients: Colloidal anhydrous silica, all-rac-a-tocopherol, maize starch, povidone, stearic acid, hypromellose, macrogol 400, talc, titanium dioxide (E171), lactose monohydrate.
Cerazette side effects
Before taking Cerazette tablets, you should take time to familiarise yourself with all side effects detailed in the Patient Information Leaflet.
Like other medications, Cerazette may cause some people to experience side effects. These normally improve after the first few months of taking a progesterone-only pill.
If you experience severe side effects or an allergic reaction while taking Cerazette you should get immediate medical advice from a doctor or your nearest emergency department.
If you are concerned about any side effects or you find they do not improve after the first few months or after you stop taking Cerazette you should speak to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice.
The most common side effects linked to taking Cerazette are:
- Irregular periods, spotting or no periods.
- Changes to your mood
- Less sexual desire
- Feeling sick
- Acne and spots
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Weight gain
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Cerazette is unsuitable for you if you have:
- An allergy to any of the ingredients of Cerazette
- Ever had a blood clot in the leg or lungs
- Impaired liver function (including jaundice)
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
You may be advised not to take Cerazette if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- A history of breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- High blood pressure
- A history of blood clots
Cerazette and cancer
Do not use Cerazette if you have breast cancer, or if you have had it before. Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives may slightly increase your chance of developing breast cancer. Once you have stopped using the Pill for at least 10 years, your risk levels will come back down. Women who are elderly and/or overweight are more vulnerable to breast cancer. Take care using Cerazette if a close relative has suffered from breast cancer before. Check your breasts and nipples regularly for any changes or lumps. If you notice anything abnormal, visit your doctor as soon as you can.
Cerazette and other medication
The following medicines may impact the effectiveness of Cerazette:
- Epilepsy medicines (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
- Tuberculosis medicines (e.g. rifampicin)
- HIV medicines (e.g. ritonavir)
- Medical charcoal
- St John’s Wort
Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
Cerazette Tablets reviews
Cerazette Tablets FAQs
Cerazette is a progesterone-only contraceptive pill. Its active ingredient is Desogestrel, which is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. Cerazette primarily works by preventing an egg from ripening. It also has the effect of hindering the sperm’s entry into the womb.
If you haven’t taken any other form of hormonal contraception in the last month, then take your first dose of Cerazette on the first day of your normal menstrual cycle. The pills are then taken every day, at the same time each day, until you reach the end of the blister strip.
You can start using Cerazette on days two, three, four, or five on your menstrual cycle. If this is the case, ensure you use additional non-hormonal contraceptive methods for the first seven days of pill taking.
If you are switching to Cerazette from another contraceptive pill, then you should refer to the patient information leaflet for advice. Alternatively, you can speak to your doctor or pharmacist. The same applies if changing from a contraceptive patch, vaginal ring, implant, injection or intrauterine device.
If starting the contraceptive pill following childbirth, a miscarriage, or an abortion, then it is advised to consult with your doctor first.
If you should miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills on the same day. If your missed dose is less than twelve hours late, your contraceptive cover shouldn’t be affected. If the missed dose is more than twelve hours late, your contraceptive protection may be compromised. If this is the case, it is advised to use additional protection, such as condoms.
If you have missed more than one dose in a pack, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Consult the patient information leaflet for further details.
If you have vomited within 3-4 hours after taking Cerazette, or if you suffer severe diarrhoea within the same timeframe, your body may not have absorbed the full dose from your pill. Under these circumstances, the advice regarding missed pills should be followed.
Cases of breast cancer have been observed slightly more often in women who take the contraceptive pill, compared to women of the same age who do not take the pill. Taking a progesterone only contraceptive, such as Cerazette, is not believed to increase said risk any more than taking the combined contraceptive pill.
Using a progesterone only pill, such as Cerazette, does carry an increased risk of developing thrombosis. However, this risk is lower compared with users of the combined contraceptive pill.
Contraceptive failure can occur from using certain medicines designed to treat; epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV, and fungal infections. Also, St John’s Wort can also compromise Cerazette’s effectiveness.
Before taking any new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you may need to use additional contraceptive cover.
The contraceptive pill can also interfere with how other medicines work. This can lead to either an increase or decrease in their effectiveness. If you are unsure about taking other medicines alongside your contraceptive pill, speak to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for advice.
There are many varying brands and combinations of oral contraception. If Cerazette isn’t suited to you, then likely a suitable alternative will be available. Consult with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for further advice.