This page is for informational purposes only

Cerazette Mini Pill

  • Progestogen-only oral contraceptive pill.
  • Contains desogestrel. 
  • Up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. 
  • Always read the patient information leaflet before use. 
Upon completion of a medical consultation with one of our health care professionals you can expect prices to start from £18.49
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Checked for Accuracy by James O'Loan . CEO & Prescribing Pharmacist . on 20/09/2021

What is Cerazette? 

Cerazette is a contraceptive pill containing a small amount of a female sex hormone, the progestogen desogestrel. Cerazette is a progestogen-only pill, or ‘POP’, also referred to as a mini-pill. Unlike the combined contraceptive pill, mini-pills do not contain oestrogen. Progestogen-only pills work by preventing sperm cells from entering the womb, preventing pregnancy with up to 99% efficiency when taken correctly. 

How to take Cerazette 

Each strip of Cerazette contains a four week supply - 28 tablets - all labelled with a corresponding day of the week. You should take one tablet a day, at around the same time each day. Make sure you swallow the tablet whole with water - do not try to crush or chew it. Unlike the combined contraceptive pill, you do not need to take a pill-free break when you’re taking a mini-pill like Cerazette. 

What should I do if I miss a pill? 

If you forget to take your pill and remember within 12 hours, take the missed pill as soon as you remember and then take the next one at the usual time. The contraception will still work as it should. 

If you forget to take your pill, and it’s been more than 12 hours since you should have taken it, you may not be completely protected against pregnancy. Take your pill as soon as you remember, and take the next one at the same time, even if this means you’ll have to take two tablets on the same day - it won’t cause you any harm. 

If you have forgotten more than one tablet, you don’t need to take the earlier missed ones, but you won’t be protected against pregnancy. Continue to take your pill at the normal time and use an extra method of contraception, such as a condom, for the next 7 days. It’s safe to take an emergency contraception like the morning after pill if you have had sex after being more than 12 hours late taking your pill. 

If you vomit or have severe diarrhoea within 3 to 4 hours after taking your pill, the active substance may not have been completely absorbed and you should follow the same advice for missed pills. 

Starting Cerazette

When starting Cerazette for the first time, if you are not using any other hormonal contraception at present or in the past month, you should take your first Cerazette pill on the first day of your period. This way, you’ll be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start taking Cerazette at another point in your cycle, you should use a barrier method of contraception for the first 7 days of pill use. For information on changing to Cerazette from a different method of contraception, refer to the patient information leaflet. 

How does desogestrel prevent pregnancy?

Desogestrel is a progestogen, a type of female sex hormone. Mini-pills containing progestogen usually work by preventing the sperm cells from entering the womb. Cerazette works slightly more efficiently by having a high enough dose of desogestrel that is often capable of preventing the egg from ripening. This means Cerazette is a highly effective form of contraception. 

Is Cerazette suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?

Cerazette should not be used if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Cerazette does not appear to have any influence on the production or quality of breast milk, so it can be used if you’re breastfeeding. For more information on breastfeeding whilst taking Cerazette, speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist. 

Can Cerazette be used to treat acne? 

Cerazette and other contraceptive pills are not treatments for acne. However, the combined contraceptive pill, containing oestrogen and progestogen, can have a beneficial effect on acne-prone skin. This is not the case with Cerazette and other progestogen-only mini-pills; the pills must contain both oestrogen and progestogen to have any beneficial effect. 

When should Cerazette not be used? 

Cerazette is only suitable for adult women - you must not take this medication if you are male. You should also avoid this pill if you have: 

  • An allergy to desogestrel or any of the other ingredients 

  • Thrombosis (the formulation of a blood clot in a blood vessel, which may lead to obstruction of this blood vessel and cause deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack or stroke)

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) or severe liver disease. You shouldn’t take this medication if you have experienced these conditions in the past, or if you currently experience them. 

  • Cancer or suspected cancer that grows under the influence of certain hormones, such as certain types of breast cancer. 

  • Any unexplained vaginal bleeding

Some women will have to take extra caution before taking this medication. Speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist first if: 

  • You are taking any other medicines or herbal remedies, including those obtained without a prescription

  • You have ever had breast cancer

  • You have liver cancer

  • You have ever had a thrombosis

  • You have diabetes

  • You suffer from epilepsy 

  • You have tuberculosis

  • You have high blood pressure

  • You have chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly the face)

If you have been told by your doctor that you may be intolerant to some sugars, contact them or a Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Cerazette. This is because the tablets contain lactose.

Are there any side effects?

As with all medicines, there is a possibility that you may experience side effects when taking Cerazette. Some of the side effects, while rare, can be serious. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of: 

  • Serious allergic reaction (swollen face, difficulty swallowing, hives, or difficulty breathing)

  • Ectopic pregnancy. This is where a baby develops somewhere outside of the womb and can be indicated by sudden, severe pain in the lower abdomen. 

  • Thrombosis, which can be characterised by severe pain or swelling in either of your legs, unexplained pains in the chest, breathlessness, an unusual cough, or coughing up blood

  • Liver problems, symptoms of which include sudden, severe stomach ache and yellowing of the skin, the whites of the eyes, or dark urine. 

You should also contact a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding or any signs that you may be pregnant. As well as this, make sure to report any breast changes to your doctor, such as a lump or dimpling on the skin.

Common side effects, affecting up to 1 in 10 women, may include: 

  • Altered mood

  • Decreased sexual drive (libido)

  • Depressed mood

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Acne

  • Breast pain

  • Irregular or no menstruation

  • Increased body weight

  • Infection of the vagina

For information on uncommon or rare side effects, refer to the patient information leaflet. If you experience any side effects, including any not included in the patient information leaflet, you can report them using the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme

Can Cerazette cause weight gain? 

Progestogen-only pills like Cerazette won’t directly cause weight gain, but they can increase your appetite, making it easier for you to put on weight as a result. Combined contraceptive pills that contain oestrogen are more likely to have some effect on your weight, as oestrogen can increase fluid or water retention. However, fluid retention doesn’t mean there’s an increase in body fat and most modern pills don’t contain enough oestrogen to cause this. 

Can the pill increase the risk of breast cancer?

Breast cancer has been found slightly more often in women who take a contraceptive pill compared to women who don’t. Once you stop taking the pill, the risk gradually decreases and 10 years after stopping the pill the risk will be the same as someone who has never taken a contraceptive pill. Breast cancer is still rare for anyone under the age of 40, even in women who take the pill. Always make sure to check your breasts for any changes and ask your doctor if you notice something unusual. 

Will Cerazette stop periods?

Unlike a combined contraceptive pill, you do not need to take a 7-day break between pill packets when you’re taking a mini-pill like Cerazette. This does not, however, mean that your periods are guaranteed to stop. You may experience bleeding as normal, irregular bleeding, or no bleeding at all. 

Do I need a prescription for Cerazette?

You do need a prescription for Cerazette in the UK. Our healthcare professionals can provide prescriptions if they think this treatment would be right for you and your condition. When you click the button which reads “Start Consultation” at the top of this page, you’ll see a short questionnaire set up by our healthcare team which is designed to help them understand your medical needs. Just like an in-person consultation with your GP, our doctors will assess your answers to their questions and write a prescription for the treatment they think will be best for you. You’ll then be able to pay for your medication and we’ll send it out to you quickly and in discreet packaging.

Storage information

Keep in the original packaging in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date printed on the packaging, referring to the last day of the stated month. 


Important information

This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.

Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.

Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.

Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.


Helpful Advice on Medication Restrictions & Addiction

For further information on our medication restrictions policy, please click here.

If you are concerned about addiction to 'over the counter' medication, we urge you to visit the below links for professional help and advice:

NHS Help & Advice on Drug Addiction

Talk To Frank - Drug Addiction Help & Support

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