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What is Synphase?

Synphase is an oral contraceptive pill, which is commonly known as 'the pill'.

It is taken to prevent pregnancy in women. Synphase is what is called a combined pill because it contains two different hormones, a progestogen called norethisterone and an oestrogen hormone called ethinylestradiol.

When taken correctly the combined contraception pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How dos Synphase work?

Synphase works to prevent pregnancy by preventing an egg from being released from the ovaries.

Synphase also thickens the fluid in the cervix, which makes it much harder for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilise an egg that may have already been released.

Additionally, Synphase will reduce the build-up of the endometrium (wall of the uterus), which normally happens during a menstrual cycle. By reducing this build-up, it is far less likely that any fertilised egg will be able to grow inside the womb. An added benefit of this medicine is that it will work to make your periods lighter.

Please remember, an oral contraceptive pill like Synphase will only work to prevent you from getting pregnant. It does not protect you from catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You will still need to use a condom for this kind of protection.

How to take Synphase

Synphase comes in packs of 21 tablets, which should be taken in a specific order:

  1. Take the blue tablets for the first 7 days.
  2. Start to take the white tablets straight after you have taken the blue ones. You will take these for 9 days.
  3. Take the rest of the blue pills for a further 5 days after finishing the white ones.
  4. You will take one tablet every day for 21 days, then have a 7 day break where you do not take any tablets. During this break, you will have a normal withdrawal bleed.

Providing you start to take this medicine during the first five days of your period, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start to use Synphase tablets later in your menstrual cycle than this, you will need to use a condom for the first week of taking this medication.

Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water.

Who can take Synphase?

Synphase is not a suitable combined pill for everyone to take.

Do not use this medication if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are allergic to norethisterone or ethinylestradiol, or any of the other ingredients this medication contains (please refer to the Ingredients tab for a full list)
  • You have ever had a stroke, heart attack or have had angina
  • You have any body fat disorders or high levels of fat in your blood
  • You have ever had blood clots in the veins, lungs, legs, brain or any other part of your body
  • You have a family history of clotting issues
  • You have or have ever suffered with severe migraines
  • You have or have ever had a severe chronic liver disease, such as liver tumours
  • You have or have ever had breast cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer or womb cancer
  • You have or have ever had any unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You have hepatitis C and are using any medicines that contain ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir and/or dasabuvir
  • You are pregnant or there is a chance you might be pregnant
  • You suffered from jaundice or pruritus during a previous pregnancy

Do not start taking Synphase without talking to your doctor or pharmacist if you have ever suffered from any of the following problems:

  • Liver dysfunction
  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Any disease that is likely to be made worse by pregnancy
  • Gallstones
  • Sickle-cell anaemia
  • Porphyria
  • Otosclerosis
  • Irregular periods
  • Severe depression
  • Any breast problems
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Chloasma
  • Tetany
  • Varicose veins
  • Slow or sudden development of visual problems, such as partial loss of vision
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • High blood pressure
  • Sharp abdominal pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Cardiovascular disease

Can you buy Synphase over the counter?

Synphase can only be bought when you have been prescribed it by a doctor.

Can I buy Synphase online?

You can buy Synphase online from Medicine Direct if you have already been prescribed it by a doctor. Just complete our confidential online questionnaire and one of our registered prescribers can issue a repeat prescription for you to order this contraceptive pill from our online pharmacy.

If you place your order with us by 2pm, we can have your medicine with you the next day.

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.

Alternatives to Synphase

Many different oral contraceptives are available to buy as an alternative to Synphase.

You can buy oral contraceptive pills from Medicine Direct after an online consultation, including:

  • Microgynon
  • Ovranette
  • Dianette
  • Yasmin
  • Rigevidon

Other contraceptive alternatives include:

  • Male and female condoms
  • The contraceptive patch
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • The contraceptive injection
  • The contraceptive implant

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about suitable alternatives you could try.

For more information on different types of contraception that may be suitable for you, we recommend visiting the Contraception Choices website.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Synphase can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses this combined pill will suffer from them.

Some research has suggested that taking the combined oral pill can increase your risk of developing blood clots and certain types of cancer. Please refer to the 'Warnings' tab for more information on this.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suffer from any of the following side effects:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Upset stomach
  • Irregular bleeding from the vagina
  • Swollen or sore breasts
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes in your sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in how your body breaks down sugars, fats or vitamins
  • Womb disorders getting worse
  • Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Please refer to the Side Effects tab for more information.

Synphase Dosage 

How do you take Synphase?

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Synphase

To effectively prevent pregnancy, you must take Synphase tablets exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has instructed you. Please read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start taking it. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are still unclear about anything.

Each pack of Synphase contains 21 tablets:

  • Seven blue tablets
  • Nine white tablets
  • Five more blue tablets

Each colour contains a different dose of hormones. When taken in the correct order, they will mimic the natural rise and fall of your body's hormones during the menstrual cycle.

One tablet should be taken each day in the right order. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

You can take this medication with or without food. This pill can be taken at any time of day that is convenient for you. However, you must take it at the same time each day.

What if I miss a pill?

If you have missed one pill, take it as soon as you remember, then take your next pill at your usual time. This may mean that you need to take more than one pill in the same day.

If you are later than 12 hours in taking the pill, or you have missed more than one pill, you may not have full contraceptive protection. You should take the last pill you missed and carry on taking Synphase as usual. However, use an extra method of contraception, such as a condom, for the next seven days.

If you have fewer than seven tablets left in a pack after forgetting to take one, finish that blister pack then start the next one without your usual break. This may mean you do not get a period until you have finished two blister packs, but this will not do you any harm.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

If you have taken too many tablets, you may suffer vomiting, vaginal bleeding or breast swelling. Call 111 or go to A&E as soon as possible if you have taken more Synphase than you were supposed to.

Synphase Side Effects

Stop taking Synphase and seek medical attention straight away if you get any of the following side effects. These may be symptoms of a blood clot:

  • You feel dizzy or faint
  • You suffer unusual and sudden severe headaches
  • You have inflamed or painful veins in the legs
  • You have stomach swelling or tenderness
  • You cough up blood
  • You develop any sight or speech problems
  • You suffer migraines which get worse, particularly if you see flashing lights, your sight is affected, your limbs feel weak, you have strange sensations in your limbs or lose the feeling in your limbs completely, you suffer from fits
  • You suffer a migraine attack for the first time
  • You find it painful to breathe or you suffer shortness of breath

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it is possible that you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to Synphase and require immediate treatment in hospital.

Please call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you notice any of the symptoms listed below:

  • You are finding it hard to speak or breathe
  • Your chest or throat feels tight
  • You have swelling in your mouth, face, tongue, lips or throat
  • You develop a skin rash that may include red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You are wheezing
  • You have a fever

These could be signs of an allergic reaction.

Always read the patient information leaflet for a complete list of side effects and advice on how to deal with them. If you are worried about side effects or have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you start using this medicine.

Synphase Warnings

Before you start to use oral contraceptives like Synphase, you must inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other medication. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

It is particularly important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. They may stop this combined pill from working properly:

  • Nevirapine, Ritonavir (to treat HIV and AIDS)
  • Nelfinavir (to treat HIV)
  • Primidone, Phenytoin, Oxacarbazepine, Carbamazepine, Topiramate (to treat epilepsy)
  • Phenobarbital (to treat epilepsy, anxiety and sleeplessness)
  • Griseofulvin (to treat fungal infections)
  • The herbal remedy St. John's Wort (to treat depression)
  • Rifampicin, Rifabutin (to treat bacterial infections)
  • Modafinil (to treat narcolepsy)

Do not use Synphase if you suffer from hepatitis C and are taking any medicines that contain:

  • Ombitasvir
  • Paritaprevir
  • Ritonavir
  • Dasabuvi

For more information on medicines that interact with combined oral pills.  

Taking these medicines alongside this combined pill may cause increases in liver function blood test results.

Synphase may also alter the results of certain tests. If you are required to have any tests, make sure that the medical professional who conducts the test is aware that you are taking Synphase.

Synphase contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you are intolerant to some sugars, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you start using this medicine.

Oral contraceptives and cancer

You must tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently suffering with any type of cancer, or if you have had cancer in the past.

All women are at risk of developing breast cancer. This risk is rare in women under the age of 40 and the risk increases as women age.

Breast cancer is found to be slightly more common in women who take oral contraceptives compared to those who do not take them. If you stop taking oral contraceptives, the risk of breast cancer returns to normal after 10 years of stopping.

It has not been proven that the contraceptive pill increases your risk of getting breast cancer. It may be that because women who use the pill need to see their doctor more regularly, breast cancer is detected sooner than those who do not take the pill.

Some studies have also suggested that women who take the pill are at an increased risk of getting cervical cancer, although this might be due to other causes.

In rare instances, liver cancer has also been detected in women who are using the combined pill, especially if they have used them for a long time.

Research has shown that the combined pill can work to protect you against ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.

Risk of blood clots

There is evidence to suggest that women are at a higher risk of developing blood clots (thrombosis) when they take the pill. Blood clots can develop in the veins or arteries, which can increase the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

Please refer to the Side Effects tab for details on the symptoms that you may have developed a blood clot. You must seek immediate medical attention if you get any of these symptoms.

Always read the patient information leaflet, which will accompany your medication, before you start to use Synphase. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not use Synphase if you are currently pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are breastfeeding or are trying to get pregnant.

If you miss a period while taking this contraceptive pill, tell your doctor or pharmacist straight away. You will need to do a pregnancy test before you can carry on taking it.

Full details on who this medicine may not be suitable for can be found in the patient information leaflet, which will come with your medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

For more information on oral contraceptives and pregnancy.

Synphase Ingredients

The main active ingredients within this medicine are: Norethisterone and Ethinylestradiol

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 25/06/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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