- Combined contraceptive pill
- 99% Effective
- Commonly prescribed birth control pill
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What is Femodene?
Femodene is a combined oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy.
This contraceptive is taken for 21 days each month. After this, you will have seven pill-free days, during which time you will get a normal withdrawal bleed.
When you take this medication as instructed, it is one of the most reliable forms of reversible contraception, providing almost 100% effective protection against pregnancy.
When taken correctly, Femodene is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
How does Femodene work?
Femodene is a monophasic combined pill, which means that each pill contains the same amount of hormones.
Femodene contains two different synthetic sex hormones, oestrogen (ethinylestradiol) and progestogen (gestodene), and works to prevent pregnancy in three different ways:
- It prevents your ovaries from releasing an egg.
- It thickens the mucus in your cervix, making it harder for sperm to enter the womb.
- It prevents the lining of your womb from thickening enough for an egg to grow within it.
Using this combined pill will often make your periods more regular, lighter and less painful, as well as possibly helping with pre-menstrual symptoms.
However, taking contraceptive pills such as Femodene will not protect you from catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Only condoms can work to protect against STIs.
How to take Femodene
For immediate contraceptive protection, start to take Femodene on the first day of your period.
Swallow Femodene pills whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.
Each strip of Femodene contains 21 pills. You will take one pill each day for 21 days; take them around the same time each day.
After taking the pills for 21 days, take a break of 7 days where you do not take any. You will get a bleed during these 7 days, similar to a period.
After your 7 day break, begin taking the pills in the next strip for a further 21 days.
Always read the patient information leaflet for a detailed list of instructions.
Who can take Femodene?
You should tell your doctor before you take Femodene if you are currently suffering from any type of illness, such as high blood pressure.
They should also be aware if you are allergic to any medication, or if you are already taking any other prescription or non-prescription medicines.
Do not take Femodene if:
- You have (or have ever had) a blood clot in a blood vessel in your lungs (pulmonary embolus), legs (deep vein thrombosis), or other organs
- You have ever had a stroke or heart attack
- You have any disorders that affect your blood clotting
- You have (or have ever had) angina pectoris or transient ischaemic attack
- You need an operation or are off your feet for extended periods
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients contained in Femodene
- You have ever had a migraine with aura
- You have or have ever had breast cancer
- You have ever had liver tumours
- You have ever had liver disease and your doctor has told you that your liver function test results have not returned to normal
Women who take contraceptive pills are at an increased risk of developing cervical cancer and breast cancer. You should attend regular cancer screenings if you are taking the pill.
Your blood pressure may also rise if you are taking Femodene. You should have your blood pressure monitored at least annually.
Can you buy Femodene over the counter?
You can only buy Femodene when a doctor has prescribed it for you. It is not available for sale over the counter.
Can you buy Femodene online?
Femodene is a prescription-only medication. You can buy Femodene online from Medicine Direct following a confidential online consultation with one of our registered doctors.
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.
There are many alternatives if Femodene is not suitable for you to take.
Many women prefer to take Femodene ED (Every Day), which is useful if you fear you might lose track of days while taking a contraceptive pill that requires a seven-day break. A pack of Femodene ED contains 28 tablets: 21 ‘active’ tablets and 7 ‘inactive’ tablets.
This medicine works in the same way as normal Femodene, but instead of taking a seven-day break, you will take one inactive tablet each day instead. You will still have a bleed during this time, but you won’t need to worry about stopping and restarting the tablets.
Alternative brands of combined pills you could also try include:
There are also progestogen-only pills (POPs), which do not contain any oestrogen. Some women find these pills are better for them. Medicine Direct stocks POP brands such as Cerazette and Norgeston.
If you wish to switch from one contraceptive pill to another, you should speak to your doctor first.
If you would rather not take any pills, you could instead try one of the following forms of contraception:
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- The patch
- The injection
- The implant
For more information on different types of contraception that may be suitable for you, we recommend visiting the Contraception Choices website.
Femodene indications and dose
Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Femodene.
What if I miss a pill?
If you are less than 12 hours late in taking a pill, take it straight away, then continue taking them at your usual time. This may require you to take two pills in a day. This should not reduce the contraceptive effect of Femodene.
If you are more than 12 hours late in taking the pill, or have missed more than one dose, your level of protection may be reduced.
If this happens, take the pill you missed most recently as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Leave any other pills you forgot to take in the pack.
Keep taking one pill a day for the next 7 days at the usual time. If you come to the end of a strip of pills during these seven days, start the next strip and skip the usual seven-day break. If you finish the second strip of pills and do not bleed, take a pregnancy test before you start another strip.
If you miss a pill, use an extra form of contraception for the next week, such as a condom.
If you missed one or more pills from the first week of pills and had sex in that time, you may be pregnant. Speak to your doctor for advice as soon as possible.
Femodene side effects
Common side effects of Femodene include:
- Depression or mood swings
- Feeling sick
- Stomach aches
- Sore or painful breasts
- Weight gain
Less common Femodene reactions include:
- Loss of interest in sex
- Fluid retention
- Skin rash
- Breast enlargement
- Vomiting or upset stomach
Speak to your doctor if any of these effects bother you or do not go away. This list is not exhaustive; please read the Side Effects tab for more information.
Serious Side Effects
Rare side effects include:
- Weight loss
- Increased sex drive
- Breast or vaginal discharge
- Poor tolerance of contact lenses
You may also get:
- Bleeding and spotting between periods
- Ulcerative colitis
If you suffer any of the below reactions, call 999 or go to A&E immediately. You may be having a severe allergic reaction and require treatment in hospital:
- Tightness in chest or throat
- Swelling in the face, mouth, tongue, lips or throat
- Finding it hard to breathe or speak
- Skin rash (red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin)
Always read the patient information leaflet for comprehensive information on undesired effects.
Femodene Combined Pill - What you need to know
Tell your doctor or nurse if you are currently taking any other form of medicine. Femodene may interact with other medicinal products. Check all the leaflets that come with any other medicines you are taking, to see if they can be taken alongside oral contraceptives like Femodene.
In particular, make sure they are aware if you are taking:
- St John's wort
- Sedatives (barbiturates)
- Epilepsy medicines
- HIV and hepatitis C medicines
- Certain antibiotics
Speak to your doctor before taking Femodene if you have been told you are intolerant to certain sugars.
Femodene may increase the risk of some serious health problems, including:
- Breast cancer
- Blood clots in an artery or vein
- Heart attack
- Cervical cancer
Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly for a full list of warnings, precautions and drug interactions. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please speak to your doctor about them.
The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Gestodene and Ethinylestradiol
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.