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Mercilon Contraceptive Pill (3 Month Course)
- Combined low dose contraceptive pill helps to stop you getting pregnant
- One of the most reliable reversible methods of contraceptives
- It usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
- It may help with premenstrual symptoms
- Oral contraceptive tablets doesn’t interrupt sex
- Low dose oestrogen can sometimes reduce acne
Contraception Doctor Service
Mercilon is a Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) tablet also know as 'The Pill'. It contains two types of female hormones in a low dose: a progestogen, 150 micrograms desogestrel and an oestrogen, 20 micrograms ethinylestradiol.
These pills like Gedarel and Marvelon help to stop you from getting pregnant, just as your natural hormones would stop you from conceiving again when you are already pregnant.
The COC pill protects you against getting pregnant in three ways:
- Stops the ovary from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)
- Alters the lining of the womb to make it less likely to accept a fertilised egg
- Thicken the fluid (at the neck of the womb making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg
This combined contraceptive pill can be prescribed for females who experience painful or irregular menstruation in order to ease the pain and regulate the period.
The Benefits Of Taking Mercilon Include:
- it usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
- it is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
- oral contraceptive tablets doesn’t interrupt sex
- it may help with premenstrual symptoms.
Although it is not recommended for females who have an elevated risk of having thrombosis.
- Mercilon 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.
What are the side effects of the Contraceptive Pill?
While side effects are usually uncommon and mild in nature, it is best to be aware of any that may occur. Some of the most common side effects include mood swings, headaches nausea, breast tenderness For a full list of side effects and more information, you can read the NHS Choices site on contraception.
What are the advantages of the Combined Oral Contraceptive?
- Can reduce the risk of some cancers
- Can improve acne symptoms (Dianette)
- Can reduce menopausal symptoms
What are the disadvantages of the Combined Oral Contraceptive?
- Can cause headaches, breast tenderness and mood changes
- Can increase blood pressure
- Can experience breakthrough bleeding
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
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.
Am I protected straight away?
Some pills, if taken correctly, will provide protection immediately, while others take time to provide contraceptive cover. Refer to your patient information leaflet to find out when you are protected on your pill.
Do I still need to use a condom?
Although you will be covered against pregnancy with the pill, it is always advised to use a condom. This is to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
I forgot to take my pill – what should I do?
You should always take your pill around the same time each day to ensure maximum contraceptive cover. Different pills vary in the amount of time you can delay your dose. Always refer to your prescribed medication’s patient information leaflet to find more detailed information relating to missed doses.
Like all medicines Mercilon 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.
An increased risk of blood clots in your arteries is present for all women taking combined hormonal contraceptives. The risk of getting a blood clot is very small, but your doctor will check if you have certain risk factors before prescribing the pill.
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) - contact your doctor is these persist or are uncomfortable:
- Headache / Migraine
- Depression or mood changes
- Breast tenderness
- Bleeding between periods / Change in vaginal discharge
- It can cause temporary side effects at first, such as headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood swings
Uncommon side effects of taking Mercilon include - contact your doctor is these persist or are uncomfortable:
- Vomiting / Diarrhoea
- Breast enlargement
- Weight changes
- Vaginal infection
- Severe itching
- High or low blood pressure
- Fluid retention
Rare, serious side effects - stop taking and contact your doctor:
- Hearing impairment
- Blood clots
- A slight increase in the risk of breast and cervical cancer
- Liver problems
- Severe allergic reaction
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 Mercilon Film-coated Tablets (Packs of 3x21 Tablets)
Important information about Combined Hormonal Contraceptives
- They are one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraceptives if used correctly.
- They slightly increase the risk of having a blood clot in their veins and arteries, especially in the first year when restarting a combined hormonal contraceptive following a break of 4 or more weeks.
- 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 Mercilon
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 Mercilon. 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.
Also check the leaflets that come with all your medicines to see if they can be taken with hormonal contraceptives.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not use Mercilon if you are pregnant. If you think you might be pregnant, do a pregnancy test to confirm that you are before you stop taking Mercilon.
Mercilon is not recommended for use during breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or family planning nurse about alternative contraception. Breastfeeding may not stop you getting pregnant.
Mercilon with food and drink: There are no special instructions about food and drink while on Mercilon.
- Mercilon contains lactose - If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before using Mercilon.
Driving and using machines
Mercilon 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 Mercilon 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.
Before using 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.
Mercilon tablet is for oral use only.
No clinical data on efficacy and safety are available in adolescents below 18 years.
Before you start taking the Mercilon:
Your doctor will ask about you and your family’s medical problems and check your blood pressure. You may also need other checks, such as a breast examination.
While you’re on the Mercilon:
- You will need regular check-ups with your doctor or family planning nurse, usually when you need another prescription of Mercilon.
- You should go for regular cervical smear tests.
- Check your breasts and nipples every month for changes – tell your doctor if you can see or feel anything odd, such as lumps or dimpling of the skin.
- If you need a blood test, tell your doctor that you are taking Mercilon, because the Pill can affect the results of some tests.
- If you’re going to have an operation, make sure your doctor knows about it. You may need to stop taking contraceptive tablets about 4–6 weeks before the operation. This is to reduce the risk of blood clots. Your doctor will tell you when you can start taking the Pill again.
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 Mercilon contains 1 calendar strip of 21 coated tablets or 3, 6, 13 calendar strips of 21 coated tablets. The calendar strip has been designed to help you remember to take your tablet, and each tablet marked with the day of the week it should be taken on.
- 1. Swallow one tablet per day with water for 21 days. As a new user or starting the Pill again after a break take the first tablet on the first day of your period. By starting in this way, you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill. The first day of your cycle - the day when bleeding starts. Take a tablet marked for the day of the week (for example, if it is Tuesday when your period starts, take the tablet marked Tuesday on the pack). Follow the direction of the arrow and continue to take one tablet each day until the strip is empty.
If you start on day 2-5 of your period, you should use another method of contraception as well, such as condom for the first seven tablet-taking days, but this is only for the first pack.
Try to take the pill at the same time each day. It can be taken at any time but taking it at the same time everyday will increase its effectiveness.
- 2. After 21 days, you will take a 7-day pill free break. During the break, you will have a withdrawal bleed, like your period. You will still be protected from pregnancy during the 7-day break if you took all the pills as instructed during the week before your break.
- 3. After the 7-day break, start your next strip on the day 8th - even if the bleeding has not ended yet.
As long as you take Mercilon correctly, you will always start each strip on the same day of the week, and you will always have your monthly period on the same day of the week in each month (in every 28 days).
What happens if you miss a Mercilon pill?
If you miss one pill and are less than 12 hours late then your protection from pregnancy will not be reduced. You should take the missed tablet as soon as you remember even if it means taking two in one day. Take the following pills at your usual time.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill, your protection from pregnancy may be reduced. Continue to take your pill as normal but you should avoid unprotected sex for 7 days. If you have already had unprotected sex (after your missed pill), you will need to use emergency contraception.
If you miss a pill and your strip ends within the next six days, you should skip your usual 7-day break and continue with the next strip of pills.
Can I take Gedarel without a break?
Yes, you can take Gedarel without a break and this can reduce side effects in some women.
Warnings and precautions
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Mercilon tablets.
When should you contact your doctor or seek urgent medical attention:
If you notice possible signs of a blood clot that may mean you are suffering from a blood clot in the leg (i.e. deep vein thrombosis), a blood clot in the lung (i.e. pulmonary embolism), heart attack or a stroke.
For a description of the symptoms of these serious side effects please read the Patient Information Leaflet. If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor if any of the following conditions apply to you:
If the condition develops, or gets worse while you are using Mercilon, you should also tell your doctor:
- If you have ever had problems with your heart, circulation or blood clotting.
- If you have diabetes.
- If you have ever had kidney or liver problems.
- If you have ever had severe depression.
- If you have ever had migraines.
- If you have had problems while pregnant or while using the pill, like:
- itching of the whole body (pruritus),
- jaundice which was not caused by infection,
- systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),
- a blister-like rash, called herpes gestationis,
- a hearing problem called otosclerosis,
- other rare conditions called porphyria and hereditary angioedema.
- If you have brown patches on your face or body (chloasma) – if so avoid too much exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light.
- If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (chronic inflammatory bowel disease).
- If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE - a disease affecting your natural defence system).
- If you have haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS - a disorder of blood clotting causing failure of the kidneys).
- If you have sickle cell anaemia (an inherited disease of the red blood cells).
- If you have elevated levels of fat in the blood (hypertriglyceridaemia) or a positive family history for this condition. Hypertriglyceridaemia has been associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- If you need an operation, or you are off your feet for a long time.
- If you have just given birth you are at an increased risk of blood clots. You should ask your doctor how soon after delivery you can start taking Mercilon.
- If you have an inflammation in the veins under the skin (superficial thrombophlebitis).
- If you have varicose veins.
Mercilon 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.
The active substances are desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol. Each film-coated tablet contains 20 micrograms ethinyl estradiol and 150 micrograms desogestrel.
The other ingredients are: dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid, aerosol and lactose.
What Mercilon tablets looks like and contents of the pack
- Each box of Mercilon contains three strips of 21 tablets.
- Each strip of Mercilon contains 21 white tablets.
- The tablets are biconvex, round and 6 mm in diameter. Each tablet is marked TR4 on one side and Organon* on the reverse side.
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