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Desogestrel 75mcg - 84 Tablets (3 month course)
- Desogestrel is a genetic contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy
- Contains a small amount of one type of female sex hormone
- Progestogen-only-pill (POP), or a mini-pill, does not contain an oestrogen hormone
- Can be used by women who do not tolerate oestrogens and by women who are breastfeeding
- Pack of 3 months course
Contraception Doctor Service
Desogestrel is an oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It is a progestogen-only pill, called POP, which doesn’t contain oestrogen. It contains the active ingredient desogestrel 75 micrograms. This is a synthetic version of the natural progestogen sex hormones produced in the body.
- Desogestrel contains a small amount of one type of female sex hormone, the progestogen desogestrel.
- Most POPs work primarily by preventing the sperm cells from entering the womb but they do not always prevent the egg cell from ripening, which is the main way that combined pills work.
- Desogestrel is different from most POPs in having a dose that in most cases prevents the egg cell from ripening. As a result, Desogestrel is a highly effective contraceptive.
In contrast to the combined pill, Desogestrel can be used by women who do not tolerate oestrogens and by women who are breastfeeding.
A disadvantage is that vaginal bleeding may occur at irregular intervals during the use of Desogestrel . On the other hand you may not have any bleeding at all.
Desogestrel works mainly by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also increases the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb, as well as thinning the womb lining (endometrium), making it more difficult for any successfully fertilized eggs to implant there.
The risk to develop Deep venous thrombosis is a rare occurrence, although is higher in Pill-users than in non-users. The risk with progestogen-only pills like Desogestrel is believed to be lower than in users of Pills that also contain oestrogens (combined Pills).
Desogestrel tablets are not recommended for use in adolescents under 18 years. The safety and efficacy of this contraceptive tablet in this age group has not been established.
Why Would I Choose The Progestogen-only Pill?
- Taking the POP does not interfere with sex
- You can take it any time after childbirth, including immediately after delivery
- You can take it when you are breastfeeding
- It has a lower dose of hormone than the combined pill
- The POP does not give you a higher risk of blood clots (unlike the combined pill). It can therefore be used by some women who cannot take the combined pill. For example, if you are aged over 35 and smoke, if you have migraines, or if you have high blood pressure
Which pill is right for me?
Prescribers will take a thorough medical history before choosing the right contraceptive pill for you. For most people, the combined contraceptive pill works best. For those who are over 35, smoke, suffer from migraine or have other risk factors your doctor will look into, the Progesterone-only pill may be more suitable.
How do you take Desogestrel and how long after taking it are you protected?
You should take Desogestrel each day around the same time.
- Swallow the tablets whole, with water.
- It is important to take the tablets at the same time every day.
What are the side effects of Desogestrel?
Like all medicines, Desogestrel can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Tell your doctor if you notice any unwanted effect, especially if severe or persistent.
- Uncommon (affecting less than 1 in 100 women) infection of the vagina, difficulties in wearing contact lenses, vomiting, hair loss, painful periods, ovarian cysts, tiredness.
- Common (affecting less than 1 in 10 women): mood changes, depressed mood, decreased sexual drive (libido), headache, nausea, acne, breast pain, irregular or no periods, weight increase.
- Rare (affecting less than 1 in 1000 women) skin conditions such as: rash, hives, painful blue-red skin lumps (erythema nodosum)
Apart from these side effects, breast secretion or leakage may occur.
You should see your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of angioedema, such as
- Swollen face, tongue or pharynx
- Difficulty to swallow
- Hives and difficulties breathing.
Can Desogestrel help you lose weight?
Desogestrel is a hormonal contraceptive which may affect your appetite as a side effect. Everyone is affected differently. For some people it causes an increased appetite and resulting weight gain and for some it causes appetite reduction and weight loss. It is common, however, to gain weight while taking the contraceptive pill.
Are Desogestrel, Cerazette and Cerelle the same thing?
Yes, they are different brands of the same drug. They both contain the active ingredient Desogestrel which is a female contraceptive hormone.
Do I need to use a condom with Desogestrel?
Although you will not need to use a condom to prevent pregnancy while using Desogestrel, it is still advisable to use one to prevent sexually transmitted infections. The contraceptive pill does not protect you from infections such as Chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
How do I take Desogestrel?
Take one Desogestrel tablet daily at around the same time every day. Once one strip of tablets is completed, you should immediately move onto the next without a break.
I am experiencing bleeding when taking Desogestrel, what do I do?
It is possible that you experience irregular vaginal bleeding when taking Desogestrel. This does not mean that it is not working, and you should continue to take your pills as normal. You may need to use a tampon or sanitary pad.
If the bleeding is heavy and persistent however, please notify your GP.
How does Desogestrel work?
Desogestrel works by preventing the sperm from reaching the eggs by creating a barrier at the top of the cervix. It also works to prevent eggs ripening, which most progestogen only contraceptive pills do not do. This makes Desogestrel a highly effective contraceptive pill.
How long after taking Desogestrel am I protected?
If you start Desogestrel on days 1-2 of your period, then you will be protected straight away. If you start to take it after that, then you will need to use barrier protection for 7 days until you are protected by Desogestrel.
What to do if you miss a dose of your contraceptive pill?
We recommend that you consult the NHS missed pill guide.
Like all medicines Desogestrel can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. While side effects are usually uncommon and mild in nature, it is best to be aware of any that may occur.
Some of the side effects to be aware of are listed below. For a full list, make sure you read the patient information leaflet which comes with your medication.
Common side effects (less than 1 in 10 women)
- Mood changes / depressed mood
- Decreased libido
- Breast pain
- Irregular or no periods
- Weight increase
Uncommon (less than 1 in 100 women)
- Infection of the vagina
- Difficulties in wearing contact lenses
- Hair loss
- Painful periods
- Ovarian cysts
Rare (less than 1 in 1000 women)
- Skin conditions - Rashes Hives, Blue-red skin lumps
Vaginal bleeding can occur when taking Desogestrel (often irregularly), and you may need to use a tampon or sanitary towel. This does not mean Desogestrel is not working, however, if bleeding is heavy or prolonged, let your GP know.
For a full list of side effects, read the Patient Information Leaflet.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, our Rightdose pharmacists or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
You can help to make medicines safer by reporting any side-effects to the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find information leaflets for your medicines by typing them into the search bar at medicines.org, or by contacting us.
Patient Information Leaflet Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets (3x28 Tablets)
What are the advantages of Progesterone only contraceptives?
- Reduced likelihood of side effects associated with combined pill
- Can be used during breastfeeding
- Can help with premenstrual symptoms
What are the disadvantages of Progesterone only contraceptives?
- Can cause irregular periods
- Can cause periods to be more frequent, or stop altogether
- Must be taken at the same time each day
Please be alert and see your doctor if you think you may have symptoms of a blood clot. See more information in the Patient Information Leaflet (referred to as how to recognise a blood clot).
Other medicines and Desogestrel
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
Also tell any other doctor or dentist who prescribes another medicine (or the dispensing pharmacist) that you use Cerazette. They can tell you if you need to take additional contraceptive precautions (for example condoms) and if so how long., or if you may need to change the dose of other medicines you use.
- can have an influence on the blood levels of Desogestrel.
- can make it less effective in preventing pregnancy.
- can cause unexpected bleeding.
Also check the leaflets that come with all your medicines to see if they can be taken with hormonal contraceptives.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Desogestrel may be used while you are breastfeeding. Desogestrel does not appear to influence the production or the quality of breast milk. However, there have been infrequent reports of a decrease in breast milk production while using Desogestrel. A small amount of the active substance of Desogestrel passes over into the milk.
The health of children who were breast-fed for 7 months while their mothers were using Desogestrel has been studied up until they were 2½ years of age. No effects on the growth and development of the children were observed.
If you are breastfeeding and want to use Desogestrel, please contact your doctor.
Desogestrel with food and drink:
There are no special instructions about food and drink while on Desogestrel.
Desogestrel contains lactose - If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before using Cerazette.
Driving and using machines
Desogestrel has no known effect on the ability to drive or use machines.
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. No clinical data on efficacy and safety are available in adolescents below 18 years.
How to store Desogestrel tablets
- Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and the tube after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
- Do not store above 25°C.
- Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.
Always use this medicine exactly as described in the patient information leaflet or as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Each pack of Desogestrel contains 1 calendar strip of 28 coated tablets - 4 weeks supply.
When and how to take the tablet
- Each strip of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets contain 28 tablets. Arrows are printed on the front of the strip, between the tablets. The days of the week are printed on the back of the strip.
- Each day corresponds with one tablet. Every time you start a new strip of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets, take a tablet from the top row. Don't start with just any tablet. For example if you start on a Wednesday, you must take the tablet from the top row marked (on the back) with WED.
Continue to take one tablet every day until the pack is empty, always following the direction indicated by the arrows. By looking at the back of your pack you can easily check if you have already taken your tablet on a particular day.
- Take your tablet each day at about the same time.
- Swallow the tablet whole, with water.
You may have some bleeding during the use of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets, but you must continue to take your tablets as normal.
When a strip is empty, you must start with a new strip of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets on the next day - without interruption and without waiting for a bleed.
Starting your first pack of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets.
- When no hormonal contraceptive has been used in the past month. Wait for your period to begin.
- On the first day of your period take the first Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets. Additional contraceptive precautions are not necessary.
- If you take your first tablet on days 2 to 5 of your period use an additional barrier method of contraception for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
If you forget to take Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets
If you are less than 12 hours late: Take the missed tablet as soon as you remember and take the next one at the usual time. Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets will still protect you from pregnancy.
If you are more than 12 hours late: If you are more than 12 hours late in taking any tablet, you may not be completely protected against pregnancy. The more consecutive tablets you have missed, the higher the risk that you might fall pregnant. Take a tablet as soon as you remember and take the next one at the usual time. This may mean taking two in one day. Continue to take your tablets as usual but you must also use an extra method, such as a condom, for the next 7 days.
If you missed one or more tablets in the very first week of tablet-intake and had intercourse in the week before missing the tablets, you may fall pregnant. Ask your doctor for advice.
Warnings and precautions
Before you start Desogestrel tell your doctor or Family Planning Nurse, if:
- you have ever had breast cancer.
- you have liver cancer, since a possible effect of Cerazette cannot be excluded.
- you have ever had thrombosis.
- you have diabetes.
- you suffer from epilepsy
- you have tuberculosis ).
- you have high blood pressure.
- you have or have had chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly of the face); if so, avoid too much exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation. When Desogestrel is used in the presence of any of these conditions, you may need to be kept under close observation. Your doctor can explain what to do.
- Breast cancer
It is important to regularly check your breasts and you should contact your doctor as soon as possible if you feel any lump in your breasts.
Breast cancer has been found slightly more often in women who take the Pill than in women of the same age who do not take the Pill. If women stop taking the Pill, this reduces the risk, so that 10 years after stopping the Pill, the risk is the same as for women who have never taken the Pill.
Breast cancer is rare under 40 years of age but the risk increases as the woman gets older. Therefore, the extra number of breast cancers diagnosed is higher if a woman continues to take the Pill when she is older.
What Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets contains
The active substance is desogestrel. Each tablet contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel.
The other ingredients are: Lactose anhydrous, all-rac-α-tocopherol, Povidone, Potato starch, Silica colloidal anhydrous, Stearic acid.
What Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets look like and contents of the pack
Each tablet is round, uncoated, biconvex, debossed with '152' on one side and the other side plain.
Each box of Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets contains 1, 3,6 or 13strip of 28 tablets each. Each carton contains blisters packed separately in an aluminium laminated sachet. Packs may be marketed with or without a dessicant.
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