How to take the Zelleta pill
Zelleta 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 Zelleta, you should read the full directions provided in the Patient Information Leaflet. For your convenience, though, we’ve summarised them below.
- Take one Zelleta mini 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 mini pill 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.
Note: if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea within 3-4 hours of taking Zelleta, you may not absorb the active ingredient fully and the contraceptive might not be 100% effective.
How should you start taking Zelleta?
You haven’t used any hormonal contraception within the last month.
- Take your first Zelleta pill straight away when your period begins. You won’t need any other contraception.
- If you start Zelleta 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 Zelleta pill straight after the last day using 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 Zelleta.
You’re changing from another progestogen-only pill.
- Swap to the Zelleta pill straight after your last day on the other pill. Provided you continue to take one mini pill each day, you’ll have no issues.
You’ve recently given birth
- Take your first Zelleta tablet between 21 and 28 days after the birth of your baby. You won’t need any other contraception.
- If you start taking Zelleta tablets after day 28, use barrier conception for 7 days.
Taking Zelleta 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 Zelleta while breastfeeding (vitally, your breast milk will be unaffected), 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 Zelleta tablet, or you’ve taken a Zelleta tablet but vomited or suffered a spell of diarrhoea within 3-4 hours, you’re considered to have missed that pill. Unlike with many medications, you should take a mini 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.