Just a few questions from our Pharmacist before you checkout to make sure this medicine is safe for you.
What is Cerelle?
Cerelle is a contraceptive pill for women containing a small amount of a female sex hormone, the progestogen, desogestrel. Cerelle is a progestogen-only pill (POP), more commonly referred to as a mini-pill. The difference between the combined contraceptive pill and the mini-pill is that the mini-pill does not contain an oestrogen hormone, only a progestogen.
What is the recommended dosage?
Each strip of Cerelle contains 28 tablets with the days of the week printed on the front side. You should take one tablet per day, at around the same time each day. Unlike combined contraceptive pills, Cerelle must be taken consecutively without a 7-day break. When you’ve finished one strip, you must start a new one the next day.
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.
If you’re starting Cerelle and are not currently using any other hormonal contraception, or have done within the past month, wait for your period to begin and take your first pill on the first day of your period. This way, you’ll be protected from pregnancy immediately. You can start on days 2-5 of your cycle, but you will have to use an additional method of contraception, such as a condom, for the first 7 days of Cerelle use.
If you’re changing from a combined contraceptive pill, vaginal ring, or transdermal patch, you can start taking Cerelle the day after your last combined pill, or on the day of removal of your vaginal ring or patch. You don’t have to take a break between the contraceptive methods. This way, you will continue to be protected from pregnancy. If you do have a break between your old hormonal contraception method and your new Cerelle pills, you will need to use barrier contraception for the first 7 days of Cerelle use.
If you’re changing from another progestogen-only mini-pill, you can stop taking your old one on any day and start taking Cerelle the next day as normal. You won’t need any additional contraceptive precautions.
Coming off Cerelle
It’s safe to completely stop taking Cerelle whenever you like, but from the day you stop you will no longer be protected from pregnancy.
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. Cerelle works slightly differently by having a high enough dose of desogestrel that is often capable of preventing the egg from ripening. This means Cerelle is a highly effective form of contraception.
Is Cerelle suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Cerelle should not be used if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Cerelle 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 Cerelle, speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist.
If you’ve just had a baby:
You can start taking Cerelle between 21 and 28 days after the birth of your child. If you start any later than this, make sure to use a barrier contraceptive for the first 7 days of taking Cerelle.
If you’ve just had an abortion or miscarriage:
You should speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist for advice about taking Cerelle after an abortion or miscarriage.
Can Cerelle be used to treat acne?
Cerelle 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 Cerelle and other progestogen-only mini-pills; the pills must contain both oestrogen and progestogen to have any beneficial effect.
When should Cerelle not be used?
Cerelle should be suitable and safe for most women, however you must not take it 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 (progestagens), such as certain types of breast cancer.
Any unexplained vaginal bleeding
If you are taking any medicines or herbal remedies, including those obtained without a prescription, you should speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Cerelle.
If you have been told by your doctor that you may be intolerant to some sugars, contact them or a Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Cerelle. 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 Cerelle. 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.
Other side effects may include:
Decreased sexual drive (libido)
Irregular or no menstruation
Increased body weight
Infection of the vagina
Difficulties in wearing contact lenses
Painful blue-red skin lumps (erythema nodosum)
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 Cerelle cause weight gain?
Progestogen-only pills like Cerelle 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.
Will Cerelle 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 Cerelle. 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 Cerelle?
You do need a prescription for Cerelle 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.
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.
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.
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The active substance is desogestrel. Each film-coated tablet contains 75 micrograms desogestrel.
The other components are:
Tablet core: Lactose monohydrate, Potato starch, Povidone K-30, Colloidal anhydrous Silica, Stearic acid, all-rac-α-tocopherol.
Tablet coat: Polyvinyl alcohol, Titanium dioxide (E171), Macrogol 3000, Talc.
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