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About Mercilon Tablets
Monophasic 21-day contraceptive pills, like Mercilon, 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.
If you have been prescribed Mercilon, 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 Mercilon is suitable for you, your order will be with you as soon as the next working day.
What is Mercilon & what is it used for?
Mercilon is an oral contraceptive. When used correctly, it will provide 99% protection against pregnancy. Its two active ingredients, desogestrel 150 micrograms and ethinylestradiol 20 micrograms, prevent ovulation from occurring during the menstrual cycle. Mercilon may also help reduce acne, and protect against conditions such as fibroids, ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease. It will not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Mercilon is a monophasic combined pill, meaning each pill contains the same dose of desogestrel and ethinylestradiol. Mercilon contains a lower dose compared to most other versions of the Pill, so it may be appropriate for you if you are particularly susceptible to side effects.
There are 21 Mercilon 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. Mercilon should be taken regularly at roughly the same time every day. 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.
How does Mercilon 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. This process is controlled by the female sex hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Mercilon contains two synthetic hormones, desogestrel 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. Mercilon 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.
Alternatives to Mercilon
There are several other brands of monophasic combined pills that contains the same active ingredients as Mercilon, however, unlike most others on the market, Mercilon contains a lower dose of oestrogen. Containing only 20 micrograms rather than 30 micrograms. This helps to minimise side effects in those people who are particularly sensitive to pills containing oestrogen.
Alternative combined pills containing both desogestrel and ethinylestradiol include:
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.
- Mercilon, Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/e...
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Mercilon is unsuitable for you if you have:
- An allergy to any of the ingredients of Mercilon
- A history of breast cancer, or cancer of the uterus or ovary
- A blood clotting disorder
- Ever had a blood clot
- A history of heart attack or stroke
- Angina pectoris
- Very high blood pressure
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- High levels of lipids in the blood
- Impaired liver function
- Severe migraines
You may be advised not to take Mercilon 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
- An inflammation of veins under the skin
- Varicose veins
- Severe depression
- Gall bladder disease
- Sydenham’s chorea (a movement disorder)
- A family history of blood clots or circulation problems
- Herpes gestationis (a rash associated with pregnancy)
Mercilon and cancer
Do not use Mercilon 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 Mercilon 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.
Mercilon may increase your chance of developing cervical cancer. For this reason, you should have regular smear tests while taking the Pill.
Mercilon and blood clots
You may be more susceptible to blood clots while taking Mercilon, 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 Mercilon 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
Mercilon and other medicines
The following medicines may impact the effectiveness of Mercilon:
- Epilepsy medicines (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
- HIV medicines (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir)
- Tuberculosis medicines (e.g. rifampicin)
- Some antibiotics
- St John’s Wort
Please read all packaging and the Patient Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
The Independent Pharmacy can prescribe Mercilon for women over the age of 18 years for oral use only.
Take 1 Mercilon tablet for 21 days and then have a pill-free break for 7-days. After the 7-days start your next strip of tablets.
During your 7-day pill-free break your hormone levels will drop causing you to have a withdrawal bleed, similar to a period. You will still be protected from pregnancy within this week as long as you have taken your pills correctly, as detailed in the Patient Information Leaflet.
If you have not used any contraceptive with hormones in the previous month:
Start Mercilon on the first day of your period. You are immediately protected against pregnancy and do not need to use additional barrier contraceptives.
If you start Mercilon any time after day 1 of your period you must use additional barrier contraceptives such as condoms for 7 days.
Switching from another combined hormonal contraceptive pill:
Start Mercilon the day after your last pill from your previous pill packet. Do not have a 7-day pill-free break. If you start Mercilon after your 7-day break you will need to use an additional barrier contraceptive such as condoms for 7 days.
Changing from a progestogen-only pill, injection, implant or a progesterone-releasing IUD:
You may switch to Mercilon, any convenient day, from the progestogen-only pill, from the day of removal of an implant or an IUD and the due date of the injection. In all of these cases, you must use an additional barrier contraceptive such as condoms for 7 days.
After having a baby:
You can start taking Mercilon 3 weeks after having a baby. If you start taking Mercilon later than day 28 you must use an additional barrier method of contraception such as condoms for the next 7 days.
What do I do if I miss a Mercilon pill?
If you forget to take your daily Mercilon tablet or you are sick or have diarrhoea within 3-4 hours after taking your tablet, take it as soon as you remember or when you feel better, even if this means taking 2 tablets on the same day.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your Mercilon tablet:
- You will not be protected from getting pregnant and should use additional barrier contraception such as a condom for 7 days.
You are at more risk of becoming pregnant if you miss multiple tablets within one packet or if the missed pill is at the start or the end of your packet. If you think you have become pregnant while taking Mercilon you should speak to a doctor for advice as soon as possible.
If you are less than 12 hours late taking your Mercilon tablet:
- You will be protected from getting pregnant. You will not need to use additional contraception.
The active ingredients contained in Mercilon are: 150mcg desogestrel, 20mcg ethinylestradiol
Mercilon also contains the following inactive ingredients: dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid, aerosol, lactose.
Mercilon side effects
Mercilon may cause some women to experience side effects but all medicines affect people in different ways. Most side effects will improve within the first 3 months of taking oral contraception but if they do not get better you should speak to a doctor for advice.
Some of the common side effects of Mercilon include:
- Sickness and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Headaches and migraine
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
If you experience any severe side effects or symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling to the lips, face and tongue you must seek immediate medical attention either by calling 999 or attending your nearest emergency department.
Please ensure that you have read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before taking Mercilon or any other form of hormonal contraceptive.
Mercilon Tablets FAQs
If possible, begin taking Mercilon 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. If you begin later in your cycle, you will need to abstain from sex or use alternative contraception for the first seven days of taking Mercilon.
If you have a menstrual cycle of less than 24 days, you may need to use alternative contraception for your first seven days regardless of when you start.
If you have just given birth, begin taking Mercilon on day 21 following the birth. If you begin taking the Pill later than this, you will not be immediately protected against another pregnancy.
Begin taking Mercilon immediately following an abortion or miscarriage. If more than seven days have passed, you will need to use additional contraception for your first seven days of using the Pill.
Yes – we understand that sometimes you will want your treatment as soon as possible. If ordered before 4pm Monday to Friday, Mercilon is available for next-day delivery.
Yes – as long as you are buying from a website that is a legally operating and regulated pharmacy, it is perfectly safe to buy Mercilon online.
The Independent Pharmacy is an NHS Online Pharmacy based in Bristol and has all the necessary regulation to be able to safely provide convenient access to genuine prescription treatments through our Online Pharmacy and Online Doctor.
All of our contraceptives are supplied by the same UK-based wholesalers used by the large high-street chains.
Just select ‘Start Consultation’ next to the product above, or on the links below.
You will need to fill in a simple health questionnaire so that our GPs and Pharmacists can ensure it is safe for us to supply your Mercilon to you. It only takes a few minutes, and your treatment can be delivered to your door as soon as the next working day.
The price includes the medication you have selected, the private consultation with our doctor or pharmacist and, if the purchase is over £40, it also includes free standard delivery. Under £40, standard delivery is £2.95 and all items are sent using a Royal Mail Tracked Service.
There are many advantages to buying the Pill online, some include:
- It's quick and easy- there is no need to spend time at the doctor or pharmacy.
- Fast delivery- We offer same day dispatch before 4pm and fast delivery to your address of choice with Royal Mail.
- Great prices- we are able to offer very competitive prices and we guarantee to beat any other Online Doctor service.
- Wealth of information - we provide all the information you could need on Mercilon and other contraceptives, in easy to digest formats, at a time that suits you.