- Widely prescribed contraceptive pill that protects against pregnancy
- Increases progesterone, which prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg
- Thickens the fluid in the cervix preventing sperm from entering
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What is Cerazette?
Cerazette is the brand name for a medicine called desogestrel, which is a progestin medicine used in birth control pills for women.
It is a progestogen-only pill, meaning it does not contain oestrogen. This type of contraception is often referred to as the ‘mini-pill’.
When taken properly, the progestogen only pill is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
How does Cerazette work?
The Cerazette contraceptive pill works by increasing the levels of progesterone in your body, which prevents an egg from being released from the ovaries. It thickens the fluid in the cervix, preventing sperm from entering the womb and fertilising any eggs that may have already been released, ensuring you are protected against pregnancy.
Additionally, it thins the lining of the womb, making it far less likely that a fertilised egg can grow there.
Cerazette will not aid in preventing you from catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To effectively prevent catching an STI, you should use a condom.
How to take Cerazette
Each pack of Cerazette contains 28 white pills.
Take one pill each day at around the same time. When you finish taking the pills in one pack, start to use a new pack the very next day. Do not leave a gap between packs.
Swallow Cerazette pills whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.
Who can take Cerazette?
Cerazette is not suitable for all women to use.
Do not use Cerazette without consulting your doctor first if any of the following conditions apply to you:
- You are allergic to desogestrel or any of the other ingredients listed in this medicine (see the Ingredients tab for full details)
- You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- You have or have ever had any form of thrombosis (blood clots)
- You currently have, or have ever had jaundice, severe liver disease, or your liver is not working properly
- You have, or are suspected of having cancer that can grow with sex-steroids, such as types of breast cancer
If you do have any of the above, your doctor may discuss using a non-hormonal method of birth control. Speak to your doctor straight away if any of these conditions start while you are using Cerazette.
You must also tell your doctor before using this contraceptive pill if you any of the below apply to you:
- You have diabetes
- You have liver cancer
- You have high blood pressure
- You have or have ever had breast cancer
- You have epilepsy
- You have chloasma
This list is not exhaustive. Read the patient information leaflet for a full list of warnings.
Can you buy Cerazette over the counter?
Cerazette is a prescription-only medicine (POM). You cannot buy it without a prescription and it is not available over the counter.
Can you buy Cerazette online in the UK?
You can buy Cerazette from our online pharmacy following an online consultation with one of our doctors, who will prescribe this medicine if they believe it to be suitable for you. All of our doctors are registered with the General Medical Council, meaning they can prescribe medicine just like your local GP.
Order Cerazette online before 2pm and we can offer you next day delivery on your medication.
It is important to ensure that you are buying medicine online from a UK fully regulated pharmacy such as Medicine Direct. To learn more about our company, team, medical professionals, and the licenses we hold, visit our about us page.
If you are in search of a different contraceptive pill, Medicine Direct stocks a wide range of alternatives. You should speak to your doctor about switching contraceptive pills.
Norgeston is also a progestogen-only pill (POP), which can be ordered from our online pharmacy after an online consultation.
Combined contraceptive pills are also available. These pills contain a combination of the hormones progestogen and oestrogen and are almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Below are just some of the combined pills available from Medicine Direct:
Non-pill contraception alternatives you could also try include:
- The patch
- The injection
- The implant
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
For more information on different types of contraception that may be suitable for you, we recommend visiting the Contraception Choices website.
Cerazette Indications and Dose
All of our Doctors and Pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Cerazette.
Always take the Cerazette pill exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start using this pill. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to take it.
Each strip of Cerazette contains 28 tablets, which equates to a supply of 4 weeks.
Arrows are printed on each strip, between the tablets, and the days of the week are printed on the back of the strip. Each day equates to one pill.
What if I forget to take it?
If you forget to take your pill, just take it as soon as you remember, as long as it is less than 12 hours late. Cerazette will still prevent pregnancy if this is the case.
Taking the pill more than 12 hours later may mean you are not totally protected against pregnancy. The more pills you miss, the higher risk you are of becoming pregnant.
If you are more than 12 hours late, you should take the pill as soon as you remember, then continue taking Cerazette at your normal time. This might mean you take two pills in the same day, which will not do you any harm. If you forget more than one pill, you don't need to take the earlier missed ones. Continue taking the pills as normal, but use a condom or an extra method of contraception for the next 7 days.
If you are more than 12 hours late in taking your pill and you have unprotected sex, it is safe to use an emergency contraception. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this.
If you miss more than one pill during your first week of using Cerazette, and had sex in the week before you missed the pills, you may become pregnant. Speak to your doctor if this is the case.
If you vomit
If you vomit within 4 hours of taking your pill, or have diarrhoea, the active ingredient may not have been absorbed into your system completely. If this happens, follow the same instructions for if you miss a dose.
What if I take too much?
There have been no reports of anyone coming to serious harm from taking too many Cerazette pills. You may experience nausea and/or vomiting, and young girls may have slight vaginal bleeding. Consult your doctor for more information.
What if I stop taking it?
You can stop taking Cerazette at any time, but you will no longer be protected against pregnancy from the day you cease taking it.
If you do stop taking it and still wish to prevent pregnancy, you will either need a new contraceptive pill or you will need to start using condoms.
Cerazette Side Effects
Rare side effects of Cerazette may include:
- Painful blue-red lumps on the skin
Serious allergic reaction
In rare cases, it is possible to suffer a serious allergic reaction to Cerazette. You may require immediate treatment in hospital.
Either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if any of the following reactions occur:
- You are wheezing
- You develop a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- You have tightness in your chest or throat
- You are finding it hard to speak or breathe
- You have swelling in your face, lips, throat, tongue, or mouth
These lists may not be exhaustive; always refer to the patient information leaflet, which will come with your medicine, for full details.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Cerazette Warnings and drug interactions
The active ingredient within Cerazette, Desogestrel may interact with other medicines, which could hinder its effectiveness or increase your risk of side effects.
Before taking a new prescription drug, it is very important you tell your doctor if you are already taking, or have recently taken, any other form of medication. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, be sure to inform your doctor if you are taking any medicines for:
- The HIV infection, such as ritonavir, nelfinavir, or nevirapine
- High blood pressure, angina, or certain heart rhythm disorders
- Any medicines for depression, particularly those which contain St. John's Wort
- Fungal infections
- High blood pressure in the lungs' blood vessels
- Hepatitis C virus infection
- Other infectious diseases
- Certain bacterial infections, such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
Some medicines may also cause the following when taken with Cerazette:
- Unexpected bleeding
- Make it less effective in preventing you from becoming pregnant
- Can influence the blood levels of Cerazette
If you have any questions or concerns as to whether Cerazette is suitable for you to take, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not use Cerazette if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are trying to get pregnant.
Cerazette can be used if you are breastfeeding as it does not interfere with the production of breast milk. However, small amounts of the active ingredient will make its way into your milk.
No effects on growth or development of children who were breastfed while their mother took Cerazette have been found in research. Nonetheless, you should still inform your doctor if you wish to start using this contraceptive pill and are currently breastfeeding.
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Desogestrel
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.