Cilest is an oral contraceptive. When used correctly, it will provide near 100% protection against pregnancy. Its two active ingredients, norgestimate and ethinylestradiol, prevent ovulation from occurring during the menstrual cycle. Cilest is a monophasic combined pill, meaning each pill contains the same dose of norgestimate and ethinylestradiol.
If you have been prescribed Cilest, repeat supplies can be purchased online from The Independent Pharmacy, following a simple medical questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your order on the same working day – if they deem that Cilest is suitable for you, your order will be with you as soon as the next working day.
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. This process is controlled by the female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Cilest contains two synthetic hormones, norgestimate and ethinylestradiol, which imitate these two natural hormones. They control the levels of each hormone in such a way that prevents an egg from being released. The Pill also makes it more difficult for sperm to reach the uterus, by thickening the fluid that is in the cervix.
During a regular menstrual cycle, the endometrium (the wall of the uterus) builds up in preparation for a fertilised egg. Cilest reduces the extent of this buildup, making it less likely that a fertilised egg will develop into an embryo. As a further result, periods become lighter.
Cilest may reduce acne, and protect against conditions such as fibroids, ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease. It will not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
There are 21 Cilest pills in a pack. Once you have finished a pack, you will stop taking the pill for seven days. During this time you will have a normal bleed. Once seven days have passed, begin your next cycle of treatment.
You should not be taking a combined pill like Cilest if you are a smoker, it increases the risk of a blood clot and other complications.
Pharmacist Tip: Cilest should be taken regularly at roughly the same time every day with a 7-day pill-free break after each pack. If you miss one pill anywhere in your pack, 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 you will lose your contraceptive cover and extra contraception will be required for at least 7 days.
If possible, begin taking Cilest on the first day of your period - if you begin taking the Pill in the first five days of your cycle, you will be immediately protected from pregnancy.
There are 21 Cilest pills in a pack. Take one tablet at a similar time each day. Once you have finished a pack, you will stop taking the pill for seven days. During this time you will have a normal bleed. Once seven days have passed, begin your next cycle of treatment.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, even if it is nearly time for your next pill. If you have missed one day, you should still be protected from pregnancy. If you miss multiple days, you are advised to use additional contraception for the following seven days.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Cilest, however if you do they may include:
Headache, nausea, breakthrough bleeding, irregular periods, fluid retention, mood swings, depression, dizziness, stomach pain, acne, problems sleeping, muscle spasms, rash
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Cilest is unsuitable for you if you have:
- An allergy to any of the ingredients of Cilest
- A history of breast cancer
- A blood clotting disorder
- Ever had a blood clot
- A history of heart attack or stroke
- Angina pectoris
- Very high blood pressure
- Severe diabetes
- High levels of lipids in the blood
- Impaired liver function
- Severe migraines
You may be advised not to take Cilest if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- Crohn’s disease or chronic inflammatory bowel disease
- Kidney failure
- Sickle-cell anaemia
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Gall bladder disease
- An inflammation of veins under the skin
- Varicose veins
- A family history of blood clots or circulation problems
Do not use Cilest 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 Cilest 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.
You may be more susceptible to blood clots while taking Cilest, especially during the first year of use. Talk to your GP before having any operation while taking the Pill. You may need to stop using Cilest in advance of the operation to avoid the increased risk of a blood clot. You are also at a heightened risk of developing a blood clot if you:
- Are obese
- Have a family history of blood clots
- Do not exercise regularly
- Have had a miscarriage in the past
- Have recently given birth
Cilest may increase your chance of developing cervical cancer. For this reason, you should have regular smear tests while taking the Pill.
If you require any blood test, inform your doctor of which medicines you are taking – Cilest may alter the results of some blood tests.
The following medicines may impact the effectiveness of Cilest:
- Epilepsy medicines (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
- Certain antibiotics
- HIV medicines
- Hepatitis C medicines (e.g. telaprevir, boceprevir)
- Aprepitant or fosaprepitant
- St John’s Wort
- Medical charcoal
Cilest may impact the effectiveness of the following medicines:
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.
The active ingredients contained in Cilest are:
Cilest also contains the following inactive ingredients to make up the complete product:
Lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, carnauba wax, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, purified water, titanium dioxide, FD&C blue no2 aluminium lake (E132)