Gedarel 20/150 Contraceptive Pill
- Combined contraceptive pill
- 21 day course (with 7 day break)
- 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken properly
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What is Gedarel?
Gedarel is an oral contraceptive pill that is taken by women to prevent pregnancy.
It is a monophasic combined pill, which means that each pill contains the same amount of hormones. In comparison to most other versions of the combined pill, Gedarel contains a lower dose, which makes it a good choice of contraceptive for women who are more vulnerable to getting side effects. It is also a popular choice for older women who still require contraception.
You can also buy Gedarel 30/150 which is the higher dose option.
Why is Gedarel recommended as a contraceptive pill?
When taken correctly, Gedarel 20/150 tablets are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
If you begin taking Gedarel 20/150 tablets during the first five days of your period, you will be protected straight away. If you start to take the pill later than this, you should use a condom for at least the next seven days to ensure you are fully protected against pregnancy.
How does Gedarel 20/150 work?
Gedarel 20/150 contains two active ingredients, desogestrel and ethinylestradiol, which are hormones that prevent a woman from ovulating during her menstrual cycle.
Gedarel also thickens the mucus in the cervix, which makes it harder for sperm to enter the womb and fertilise an egg.
Additionally, it thins the lining of the womb, which lessens the chances of a fertilised egg growing in the womb.
Who can take Gedarel?
Gedarel is not suitable for all women.
Do not take Gedarel if any of the below apply to you:
- You have ever had blood clots in a blood vessel in your legs, lungs or other organs
- You know that you have ever had a disorder that affects blood clotting
- You need to have an operation or are off your feet for long periods of time
- You have ever suffered a stroke or a heart attack
- You have ever had angina pectoris or a transient ischaemic attack
- You have ever had a disease that may increase the risk of a clot in the arteries
- You have ever had a migraine with aura
- You have ever had inflammation of the pancreas
- You have ever had a liver disease and your liver function has not returned to normal
- You have or have ever had a tumour of the liver
- You have, had, or are suspected of having breast cancer or cancer of the genital organs
- You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- You are currently pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- You have endometrial hyperplasia
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medicine
Can you buy Gedarel 20/150 over the counter?
Gedarel 20/150 is only available to buy when you have a prescription. It cannot be bought over the counter.
Can you buy Gedarel 20/150 online in the UK?
Gedarel is a prescription-only medicine (POM). You can buy Gedarel online from Medicine Direct after you have completed a confidential online questionnaire, which will be reviewed by one of our certified doctors or pharmacists.
If you wish to take an alternative form of contraception, there are several different types available to try. Speak to your doctor about switching contraceptive pills.
Various different combined contraceptive pills can be ordered from Medicine Direct, including:
For more information on the positives and negatives of the combined pill, or to learn about other contraception methods, we recommend visiting the contraception choices website.
Please note that we are unable to offer you an alternative if you have not been prescribed this medicine before by your own doctor.
How to take Gedarel 20/150 pill
It is best to begin taking Gedarel on the first day of your period. If you start taking it during the first five days of your period, you will be protected against pregnancy straight away.
Each pack contains 21 pills. Swallow them whole with a drink of water.
Take the pills at around the same time each day.
- Take one pill each day for 21 days.
- After taking all 21 pills in the pack, do not take any pills for 7 days. You will have a normal bleed during this time.
- After 7 days, start taking the next pack of pills straight away.
Read the patient information leaflet for complete instructions on how to take Gedarel.
Gedarel 20/150 Side Effects
Like all medicines, Gedarel 20/150 comes with the risk of side effects, although these will not affect everyone who takes it.
A very common side effect of this medicine is irregular bleeding.
Common side effects may include:
- Mood swings
- Abdominal pain
- Sore or tender breasts
- Painful menstruation or no menstruation at all
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Weight gain
This list is not exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for full details on side effects.
Before you start a new medicine, always inform your doctor if you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.
Some medicines can interact with Gedarel 20/150 tablets and make it less effective, including:
- Epilepsy medicines
- Medicines to treat the HIV infection
- Medicines to treat hepatitis C
- The herbal remedy St. John's wort
- Medicines for fungal infections
- Medicines for increased blood pressure in the lung vasculature
- Other enzyme-inducing medicines
- Certain antibiotics
- Medicines for weight-loss
See the NICE website for more information on medicines that interact with Gedarel.
It is important to remember that a contraceptive pill like Gedarel will only work to prevent pregnancy. The pill will not stop you from catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs); you will still need to use a condom for this.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medication is not suitable for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.
Please speak to your doctor before taking Gedarel 20/150 if:
- You are currently pregnant
- You are breastfeeding
- You think you might be pregnant
- You are trying to get pregnant
If you become pregnant or think you might be pregnant while taking Gedarel, stop taking the pill and speak to your doctor straight away.
See the BUMPS website for more information on taking Gedarel during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The active ingredients in this medication are desoestrel and ethinylestradiol.
Gedarel 20/150 tablets also contain the following ingredients: Potato starch, stearic acid, all-rac-alpha-tocopherol, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, silica colloidal anhydrous, povidone K 30, quinolone yellow (E104), hypromellose, macrogol 6000 and propylene glycol.
What kind of contraceptive pill is Gedarel?
Gedarel is a monophasic combined pill, meaning it contains the same level of hormones.
Can Gedarel treat acne?
Sometimes, the contraceptive pill can be prescribed as an acne treatment, but you should only take it for this purpose if your doctor has prescribed it. Speak to your doctor if you are suffering from acne; they will be able to advise on the most appropriate course of treatment.
Does Gedarel cause breakthrough bleeding?
Spotting or breakthrough bleeding can occur while taking Gedarel. Speak to your doctor if it is unusually heavy or persistent.
Can Gedarel help with weight loss?
No, Gedarel cannot help with weight loss. While weight loss is a rare side effect of taking this pill, it may only affect up to one in every thousand people who take it.
Can you take Gedarel every day?
You should take one tablet every day for 21 days, then leave a break of 7 days where no pills are taken. After this break, start to take the next strip.
Will I gain weight if I take Gedarel?
Weight gain is a common side effect of taking the contraceptive pill, although it will not affect all women who take it. Speak to your doctor if you notice you gain a lot of weight. You should also tell them if you are overweight before you start taking the pill.
Can you lose your hair while taking Gedarel?
Hair loss can occur while taking the contraceptive pill, but not all women will experience this side effect. Tell your doctor if you notice hair loss.
Does Gedarel cause mood swings?
Depression or depressed moods have been reported by some women taking the pill. Tell your doctor if you suffer from depression or any other mental disorder before you start to take Gedarel. If you experience depressive moods while taking Gedarel, tell your doctor.
Does the pill make you look younger?
Taking a hormonal pill that contains oestrogen can help to increase water retention, smooth the skin and help you to look younger. However, you should not take it just for this reason.
How quickly does Gedarel work?
You will have contraceptive protection straight away if you start to take Gedarel during the first five days of your period.
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
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