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Feanolla Contraceptive Pill
Feanolla is a contraceptive pill (or mini pill) that’s intended to be taken daily. Using the active ingredient of the sex hormone progesterone, it safely and reliably protects against pregnancy, allowing you to maintain an uninterrupted sex life.
If you’re over 18 years old, you can easily get a prescription from The Independent Pharmacy following a brief online consultation. Your order will be swiftly shipped and delivered in discreet packaging for your convenience.
What is Feanolla and what is it used for?
Feanolla is an oral contraceptive pill in a category known as mini pills. These are pills that rely entirely on the active ingredient of progesterone (or at least a synthetic version of it called desogestrel). A progesterone-only contraceptive pill alone is enough to reliably prevent pregnancy, even if taken up to 12 hours after sex.
What makes the Feanolla contraceptive pill so valuable is that many other contraceptive pills (some of which are listed here) function through the inclusion of oestrogen, a sex hormone (technically a category of sex hormones) that not all women can safely ingest. Going without it affords greater flexibility and convenience. It’s completely safe to use this contraceptive pill while breastfeeding, for instance.
Feanolla is manufactured by Lupin Healthcare and comes in packs of 84 tablets.
How does Feanolla work?
Feanolla’s active ingredient of desogestrel replicates the functionality of progesterone, a natural sex hormone that causes the thickening of cervical mucus. Thickened mucus prevents sperm from entering the uterus and prevents ovulation, stopping pregnancy from occurring in 99% of cases.
How long does Feanolla take to work?
This depends on two things in particular: your position in your menstrual cycle when you start taking it, and whether you’re using it to replace another contraceptive. If you start using it during your period, for instance, you may need to use additional protection for a week while it takes effect. You’ll find more detail on this in the directions for use further down the page.
Is Feanolla the same pill as Cerezette?
Feanolla, Cerazette and Cerelle are all branded versions of the same progesterone-only-pill sold generically as Desogestrel (see Desogestrel 75mcg tablets). Cerazette was the first branded desogestrel contraceptive pill, but more sprang up after the patent expired, which is why there are now many similar products (such as Zelleta).
- The NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/the-pill-progestogen-only/
- Patient.info: https://patient.info/sexual-health/hormone-pills-patches-and-rings/progestogen-only-contraceptive-pill-pop#nav-4
- Cochrane: https://www.cochrane.org/CD008815/FERTILREG_effects-progestin-only-birth-control-weight
- Feanolla Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/11274/pil
How to take Feanolla
Feanolla is intended solely as a contraceptive and must be taken orally. You’ll need to get a prescription from a GP to receive your first tablets, but you can order repeat supplies through The Independent Pharmacy provided you meet the basic criteria.
Before you start taking Feanolla, you should read the full directions provided in the Patient Information Leaflet. For your convenience, though, we’ve summarised them below.
- Take one Feanolla pill every day (at a similar time, and with a glass of water if needed) until the packet is empty.
- Start each packet on the top row, taking the tablet that correlates with the right day of the week (this is printed on the pack) and following the direction of the arrows.
- When you finish a pack, which should be every 28 days, you should start a new pack on the next day. It’s important that you don’t take a break.
How should you start taking Feanolla?
You haven’t used any hormonal contraception within the last month.
- Take your first Feanolla tablet on the first day of your period. You won’t need any other contraception.
- If you start Feanolla after the first day of your period, use barrier contraception for 7 days to be safe.
You’re stopping another type of contraceptive. It could be a combined pill, a vaginal ring, a transdermal patch, an injection, an implant, or a hormonal IUS (such as the coil).
- Take your first Feanolla tablet on the first day after discontinuing your previous form of contraception, and continue to take one pill each day.
- If you take a break after your previous form of contraception, use barrier conception for 7 days after you start taking Feanolla.
You’re changing from another progestogen-only pill.
- Swap to Feanolla at your leisure. Provided you continue to take one pill each day, you’ll have no issues.
You’ve recently given birth.
- Take your first Feanolla tablet between 21 and 28 days after the birth of your baby. You won’t need any other contraception.
- If you start taking Feanolla tablets after day 28, use barrier conception for 7 days.
Taking Feanolla while pregnant or breastfeeding
You shouldn’t take any hormonal contraceptives if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. It’s safe to take Feanolla while breastfeeding, but it’s best to discuss your contraceptive options with a doctor, midwife or health visitor before making a decision (particularly due to the noted elevation, however slight, in risk of developing breast cancer).
What to do when you’ve missed a pill
If 12 hours have passed since you were scheduled to take a Feanolla tablet, or you’ve taken a Feanolla tablet but vomited or suffered a bout of diarrhoea within 3-4 hours, you’re considered to have missed that pill. Unlike with many medications, you should take a pill in place of that one as soon as you can, even if you need to take two on the same day to make that happen.
Even if you make up for the missed pill, though, the disruption to your routine will introduce a notable risk. To be careful, you should use barrier contraction for 7 days — and if you had sex while you were overdue for your missed pill, you can use emergency contraception.
Each Feanolla tablet contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel, its one active ingredient. It also contains the following inactive ingredients: stearic acid, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide (E 171), lactose monohydrate, and soya oil.
For a full list of the ingredients included in Feanolla tablets, please read the Patient Information Leaflet.
Feanolla side effects
Like other medications, Feanolla can produce side effects. All known side effects are listed in the Patient Information Leaflet, and all common side effects are likely to clear up within months. These include the following:
- Period disruption (bleeding can be constant, inconsistent, or stop entirely).
- Mood changes (anxiety and even depression).
- General discomfort (typically in the form of headaches and nausea).
- Skin oil production (spots and acne outbreaks are possible).
- Breast pain and/or tenderness.
- Loss of sexual appetite.
- Weight gain.
If you experience any severe side effects, suffer an allergic reaction, or find that mild side effects persist after a few months, get medical assistance.
In addition to heeding the following warnings, be sure to read the Patient Information Leaflet so you know the full details of Feanolla tablets.
- Feanolla, like other hormonal contraceptives, does not protect against any sexually transmitted infections.
- If you suffer from liver disease, diabetes, and/or high blood pressure, you should speak to a doctor before taking Feanolla.
- Feanolla contains desogestrel which may increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Check your breasts for changes on a regular basis, read up on the symptoms of breast cancer, and see a doctor if you’re concerned.
- In very rare circumstances, Feanolla can increase your risk of developing a blood clot. If you notice any symptoms of a blood clot, seek urgent medical attention.
- If you are (or have been) taking other medications (prescription or non-prescription), consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking Feanolla.
- Feanolla contains soy and lactose. If you have an allergy to (or intolerance of) either ingredient, you should look for a different contraceptive.
Feanolla & depression
Users of Feanolla have been known to suffer significant mood dips, with some even noting that it’s led to outright depression. Feanolla depression should clear up like any other side effect, but any impact on your mental health must be taken seriously. If you start to feel overwhelmed or out of control, seek medical assistance as a matter of urgency.
Feanolla & acne
One of the most commonly reported side effects of taking a progesterone-only pill is an increase in the production of the skin oil, leading to spots and/or acne outbreaks. Some women, however, experience the opposite, finding that Feanolla actually improves the condition of their skin.
Feanolla & weight gain
Although some women report weight gain as a side effect of taking Feanolla, research into the effects of taking oral contraceptives suggests that there is very little evidence indicating a link. Regardless, if you’re greatly concerned about your weight, you should discuss the matter with a doctor or practice nurse. They should be able to provide you with some relevant assistance.
Feanolla & period changes
It’s very common for women who take Feanolla to experience changes to their menstrual cycles. Many women will see their periods stop altogether while taking their daily pills, while others will experience irregular bleeding. These issues are likely to stop within a few months.
If you continue to experience bleeding (whether constant or irregular) after taking Feanolla contraceptive pills for a few months, seek advice from a doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.