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Lizinna Contraceptive Pill
The Lizinna contraceptive pill is a combined oral medication which is taken daily to prevent pregnancy. One tablet is taken each day for 21 consecutive days followed by a 7-day break, providing up to 99% effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.
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What is the Lizinna pill?
Lizinna is a combined oral contraceptive pill which is up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. It contains two types of female sex hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) which prevent an egg from being released from your ovaries and minimise the chance of becoming pregnant.
The benefits using the Lizinna combined pill:
- Up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
- Can also reduce period pain and severity
- May help to reduce premenstrual symptoms
What is the Lizinna pill used for?
Lizinna is an oral contraceptive pill which is taken to prevent pregnancy in women. When taken consecutively over 21 days (followed by a 7-day break) the pill minimises the chance of becoming pregnant by overriding the menstrual cycle. However, taking Lizinna may also help to treat irregular, heavy, or painful periods, as well as reduce premenstrual symptoms.
How does the Lizinna combined pill work?
Lizinna contains two active ingredients called ethinylestradiol and norgestimate, which are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Like other combined pills, Lizinna primarily works by preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs (known as ovulation) as well as making the fluid in your cervix thicker, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb.
How effective is Lizinna?
Providing you take Lizinna correctly (ensuring you take one pill every day for 21 days, followed by a 7-day break), Lizinna is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, the effectiveness of the Lizinna pill will be reduced if you regularly miss a dose, vomit, have diarrhoea, or take other medications that may impact its effectiveness.
Does the Lizinna pill help acne?
Taking Lizinna has been shown to improve acne symptoms for some users; while this is not a guarantee, more women who take Lizinna see an improvement in their acne than those that don’t. That said, if you’re looking to improve the condition of acne-affected skin, we’d recommend a dedicated acne treatment rather than using a contraceptive pill as a primary treatment option.
Alternatives to the Lizinna combined contraceptive pill
Finding the most suitable method of contraception for you is important, so you should discuss your needs thoroughly with your doctor to ensure you make the right choice.
Lizzina is a combined pill which contains both female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Other combined pills include:
- Microgynon & Levest (monophasic pills — like Lizinna — which deliver the same level of hormones throughout the entire pill pack)
- Logynon (a triphasic pill that contains different amounts of hormones throughout the pill pack)
- Microgynon ED (a combined pill which contains a lower dose of oestrogen and is taken every day without a break)
If you are unable to take oestrogen (for example, because you have high blood pressure), your doctor may recommend a progesterone-only pill (POP) which is commonly known as the ‘mini pill’. Progesterone-only pills include:
It’s important to remember that Lizinna — or any other oral contraceptive pill — is not an emergency contraception method. If you’ve had sex without using contraception and you’re worried you may become pregnant, consider using the morning-after pill (though this should only be used in emergency situations).
If you are unable to take a contraceptive pill, barrier contraception methods such as condoms may be recommended. Your GP can provide professional advice as to which type of contraception is most suited to your needs, lifestyle, and medical history.
You can learn more about different types of female contraception in our helpful guide, including other combined oral contraceptive pill options.
How to use the Lizinna contraceptive pill
The Lizinna pill contains 21 pills per pack and each pill is marked with a day of the week. To take Lizinna, simply follow these steps:
- Take 1 Lizinna pill every day at the same time. Start by taking the first Lizinna pill marked with the correct day of the week.
- Swallow the tablet whole with water.
- After all 21 pills have been taken, take a 7-day break before starting your new strip. This means if you take your last pill on a Friday, the first pill of your next pack should be taken on the following Saturday. During this break, you will have a withdrawal bleed — extra contraception isn’t required during this time.
- Start taking Lizinna again after the seven pill-free days, even if you’re still bleeding.
Will I get pregnant if I miss one pill?
Lizinna is an effective method of contraception when taken correctly. However, missing two or more pills frequently will reduce its effectiveness and increase the chance of you becoming pregnant, even if you have a withdrawal bleed. Missing a pill or starting a new strip more than one day late may also affect the pill’s effectiveness.
For more information, refer to the patient information leaflet.
Lizinna pills contain synthetic versions of two female hormones — 250 micrograms norgestimate and 35 micrograms ethinylestradiol.
Other ingredients include Lactose Anhydrous, Lactose, Monohydrate, Povidone K-25, dl-a-tocopherol, Microcrystalline cellulose, Croscarmellose sodium, Starch Pregelatinised (starch 1500), Magnesium Stearate, Indigo carmine aluminium lake (E 132).
Lizinna pill side effects
As with all medicines, including the combined contraceptive pill, some patients may experience side effects when taking Lizinna.
There is an increased risk of blood clots for those taking Lizinna or other combined oral contraceptive pills. If you think you may have a blood clot, you should seek urgent medical assistance.
The most common symptoms of blood clots include:
- Swelling of the leg along with tenderness — this could be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Increased warmth in the affected leg
- Sharp chest pain which may increase with deep breathing
- Painless blurring of vision which can progress to loss of vision (retinal vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the eye)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Upper body discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, arm and stomach
Other Lizinna side effects may include:
- Mood changes
- Stomach aches and bloating
- Painful breasts
- Vaginal infections such as thrush
It is also important to note that while the combined pill may reduce your risk of cancer of the ovary and womb if taken over a long period, it may slightly increase your risk of breast cancer.
If you have any concerns about any of the information listed above (including the risk of blood clots) then you should consult with your doctor or pharmacist. When serious side effects occur such as difficulty breathing, seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
Not all contraceptive pills are safe for everyone. It’s important to discuss your medical history with your GP, who will determine the risk factors and help you find a method of contraception that’s best suited to you.
Before taking Lizinna, you should speak to your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- You have problems with your heart, circulation or blood clotting, such as high blood pressure
- You have diabetes without secondary problems.
- You have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (chronic inflammatory bowel disease)
- You have a history of migraines
- You need an operation, or you are off your feet for a long time
- You have inflammation in the veins under the skin (superficial thrombophlebitis)
- You have (or have ever had) breast cancer
Can you take Lizinna while breastfeeding?
If you’re breast-feeding, your doctor or health advisor may advise you not to take Lizinna. Alternative contraceptive methods may be recommended. These include:
- Male and female condoms
- An intrauterine device (known as the ‘coil’)
- A diaphragm or cap