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Cilest Tablets

Cilest Tablets (63 tablets)

Sorry, this treatment is currently out of stock.

Our UK based support team can help, email us at support@theindependentpharmacy.co.uk

Description for Cilest Tablets

Monophasic 21-day contraceptive pills, like Cilest, contain a combination of the hormones oestrogens and progestogens. They help to make it harder for the sperm to penetrate the womb and to reduce the chance of a fertilised egg implanting in the womb. If taken correctly they are over 99% successful at preventing pregnancy.

Product Information

  • Age: 18 years +

    Maximum per order: 1

  • Pregnancy: Not suitable

    Breastfeeding: Not suitable

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.

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. 
*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

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.

The active ingredients contained in Cilest are:

Norgestimate, ethinylestradiol

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)

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
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gall bladder disease
  • An inflammation of veins under the skin
  • Varicose veins
  • Diabetes
  • Porphyria
  • A family history of blood clots or circulation problems
  • Chloasma


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:

  • Smoke
  • 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)
  • Griseofulvin
  • Aprepitant or fosaprepitant
  • Modafinil
  • Barbiturates
  • Bosentan
  • St John’s Wort
  • Metoclopramide
  • Medical charcoal
  • Colesevelam
  • Etoricoxib

Cilest may impact the effectiveness of the following medicines:

  • Ciclosporin
  • Lamotrigine
  • Prednisolone
  • Selegiline
  • Theophylline
  • Tizanidine

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.

Delivery & Shipping Information


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 2/3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1/2 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 working day - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 1pm) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 1pm - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail orders received before 4pm the same working day. Any orders received after 4pm or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. We aim to dispatch all DPD orders placed before 3pm on the same working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email and in your account.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.



DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 5.30pm the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 5.30pm to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 5.30pm to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Contraceptive Pill?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Cilest Tablets Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should I take my Contraceptive Pill?

    Whether you are a new user or starting Cilest again after taking a break:

    Cilest can either be taken on the first day of your next period, which will provide protection from the first dose. Alternatively, Cilest can be taken up to five days after your period has started, regardless of whether the bleeding has stopped or not. If you opt for the latter option, it will be necessary to use non-hormonal methods of contraception, such as condoms, until the first 7 pills have been taken correctly.

  • Is there anything I should be aware of if changing from a Combined Hormonal Contraceptive, a Contraceptive ring/patch, or a Progesterone-only Contraceptive?

    Cilest should preferably be taken after your last active tablet from your previous contraception. The latest Cilest should be taken is the day following your pill-free break (or after your last active pill if your treatment does not include a seven-day pill-free break).

    If changing from a combined contraceptive, or a contraceptive ring or patch, it is recommended to follow the advice from your doctor.

    If switching from a progesterone only pill, you can switch any day. If you use an implant or an intrauterine system (IUS), Cilest can be started on the day of its removal.

    If you are changing from an injectable method of contraception, Cilest should be commenced on the day your next injection would have been due.

    In all these cases, extra protection, such as condoms, should be used for the first seven days after starting Cilest.

    If you are starting Cilest after a miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth, it is advised to consult with your doctor regarding when to start treatment.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you have missed a dose or have started a strip late, this can affect the effectiveness of your contraception. To what extent your contraception has been compromised will depend on when and how many of your doses have been missed.

    If you miss one pill anywhere in your strip, or if starting a new strip one day late, this should not cause a problem. However, if more than one pill is missed, or if you are starting a new strip more than one day late, this may affect your contraceptive’s effectiveness.

    If you have missed any of the pills in your monthly strip, and do not experience the normal withdrawal bleed during your pill-free break, this may be a sign of pregnancy. If this is the case, contact your GP or family planning clinic. Alternatively, you can purchase and perform a home pregnancy test.

  • What should I do if I suffer a stomach upset?

    If you’ve been sick or have suffered diarrhoea, your body may not have absorbed its usual dose of hormones from your pill.

    If you experience either of these symptoms within two hours of taking Cilest, it is advised to take another pill from a spare strip. If possible, continue to take your pills as normal. You will not need to use additional contraception.

  • Does Cilest have side-effects?

    Cilest, like all medicines, carries the risk of side effects. However, not everybody experiences them. It is important to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you encounter any side effects, especially if they are severe or persistent.

    Common side effects include:

    • Headaches
    • Stomach problems
    • Bleeding and spotting between periods
    • Painful or unusual periods

    Less common and more severe side effects include:

    • Increased blood pressure
    • Convulsions
    • Hives

    Serious side effects can include:

    • Blood clots in a vein or artery
    • Breast cancer
    • Severe liver problems

    If you think Cilest is causing any side effects (including anything that isn’t listed in the patient information leaflet), it is recommended to see a doctor straight away. It may be necessary to stop taking Cilest.

  • Am I at risk of developing Breast Cancer?

    Breast cancer is rare in women under 40. Your risk of developing breast cancer gets higher:

    • As you get older
    • If you have a close relative who has suffered with it
    • If you are very overweight

    The contraceptive pill can slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer. This risk increases the longer you remain on the pill, but will return to normal within ten years of stopping it.

    For more information, consult the patient information leaflet in your Cilest packet.

  • How likely am I to develop Blood Clots?

    Using an oral contraceptive, such as Cilest, will slightly increase your risk of developing blood clots in a vein or artery. However, this risk is proven to be lower compared with the risk of developing blood clots associated with pregnancy.

    It is important to note that the overall risk of developing a harmful blood clot as a result of taking Cilest is relatively small.

    For further information about thrombosis associated with oral contraception, please refer to the patient information leaflet provided with each pack.

  • Are there any medicines I shouldn’t take whilst I am taking Cilest?

    If you need to take other medicines at the same time as Cilest, always check with your GP, pharmacist, or nurse first. It is also recommended to check the medicines accompanying leaflet, which will specify whether it is safe to take alongside hormonal contraception. It is important to check for interactions as some medicines can stop your pill from working properly.

    For a comprehensive list of medicines affected by hormonal contraception, consult the patient information leaflet included with your pill. Alternatively, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Authored By:

A photo of Dr Donald Grant

Dr Donald Grant

MB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.med

Published on: 02-02-2017

Last modified on: 02-02-2019

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan


Reviewed on: 02-02-2019

Next review date: 02-02-2021

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