Just a few questions from our Pharmacist before you checkout to make sure this medicine is safe for you.
What is Gedarel?
Gedarel is a combined contraceptive pill containing synthetic versions of the natural female sex hormones progestogen and oestrogen: desogestrel and ethinylestradiol. These hormones prevent pregnancy by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg each month, thickening the fluid at the neck of the womb and thinning the lining of the womb. When used correctly, the combined contraceptive pill can be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
How to take Gedarel
Gedarel comes in strips of 21 tablets, each marked with a corresponding day of the week to make it easier for you to keep track. You should take the pill once a day, every day, with or without food. Make sure you swallow the pill whole with water if necessary - do not try to chew or break the tablet. You should make sure to take your pill at around the same time every day so it works properly.
Once you have finished the strip of 21 tablets, you will then need to take a 7-day break where you take no tablets at all. This will cause a withdrawal bleed similar to a period. You will need to start the next strip of tablets once the 7-day break has finished, even if you’re still bleeding.
What should I do if I miss a pill?
If you’re less than 12 hours late in taking a pill, your protection from pregnancy won’t be reduced. If you’re more than 12 hours late, you will have to use a barrier method of contraception. The more pills you miss, the greater your risk of becoming pregnant.
More than one tablet forgotten:
Contact your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist.
One pill forgotten in week 1:
Take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember, even if that means taking two in one day. Continue taking your pills at the usual time and use barrier contraception for the next 7 days. If you have had sex in the week before forgetting your pill, you could be pregnant - contact your doctor if this is the case.
One pill forgotten in week 2:
Take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember, even if that means taking two in one day. Continue taking your pills at the usual time; you are still protected from pregnancy and don’t need to use extra contraception.
One tablet forgotten in week 3:
Either take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember, even if that means taking two in one day. Continue taking your pills at the usual time, but instead of taking the 7-day break at the end of the strip, skip this break and go straight to your next strip. Or you can stop the strip immediately and begin the 7-day break, which will include the day you forgot your pill. After that, start your next strip as normal.
If you are sick or have severe diarrhoea within 3-4 hours of taking Gedarel, your body may not have absorbed the active substances in the pill. If you can’t manage to take a spare pill within 12 hours of vomiting or having severe diarrhoea, you should refer to the patient information leaflet and follow the instructions on what to do in the event of a missed pill.
If you are starting Gedarel for the first time and you haven’t taken any other hormonal contraceptives in the past month, you should take the first pill on the first day of your period. This way, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you wish to start Gedarel on a different day, you will need to use barrier contraception for the first 7 days of pill taking. If you are changing from a different method of contraception, refer to the patient information leaflet for specific advice on how to start taking Gedarel.
How do desogestrel and ethinylestradiol prevent pregnancy?
Gedarel contains two synthetic female hormones to help protect against pregnancy: desogestrel and ethinylestradiol. These active substances work as a contraceptive by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg every month. These hormones also work by thickening the mucus in the cervix (the neck of the womb) so it’s harder for sperm to reach an egg, and thinning the lining of the womb so there’s less chance of a fertilised egg being able to implant itself into the womb and start growing.
Is Gedarel suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
You must not take Gedarel if you’re pregnant, or think you may be pregnant. You should speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Gedarel if you’re breastfeeding, to make sure it’s right for you and your baby.
Can the pill be used to treat acne?
Some doctors will prescribe a combined contraceptive pill to women who suffer from hormonal acne, as there does seem to be a beneficial effect on acne-prone skin. That doesn’t mean Gedarel is specifically an acne treatment, but it could definitely help. Do be aware though, it can take around 2-3 months of taking a combined pill before you may notice any effect on your acne and it could come back once you stop taking the pill.
When should Gedarel not be used?
Gedarel is a contraceptive treatment for females only - do not take this medication if you are male. Whilst reliable and suitable for many women, Gedarel should not be taken if:
You have (or have ever had) a blood clot in a blood vessel of your legs (deep vein thrombosis - DVT), your lungs (pulmonary embolism - PE) or any other organs.
You have a disorder affecting your blood clotting - for instance, protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, antithrombin-III deficiency, Factor V Leiden or antiphospholipid antibodies
You need an operation or if you are off your feet for a long time
You have ever had a heart attack or a stroke
You have (or have ever had) angina pectoris, a condition that causes severe chest pain and may be the first sign of a heart attack, or transient ischaemic attack (TIA - temporary stroke symptoms)
You have severe diabetes with blood vessel damage
You have very high blood pressure
You have a very high level of fat in the blood (cholesterol or triglycerides)
You have a condition known as hyperhomocysteinaemia
You have (or have ever had) a type of migraine called ‘migraine with aura’
You have (or have ever had) inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
You have (or have ever had) liver disease and your liver function is still not normal, or a tumour in the liver
You have (or have ever had) breast cancer or cancer of the genital organs, or if you are suspected of having any of these cancers
You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
You are pregnant or think you could be pregnant
You have endometrial hyperplasia (a condition characterised by overgrowth of the lining of the uterus)
You are allergic to ethinylestradiol, desogestrel, or any of the other ingredients in this medicine
Some conditions can be affected or made worse by taking Gedarel. Speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist for expert advice before taking this medicine if:
You have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
You have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
You have haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)
You have sickle cell anaemia
You have elevated levels of fat in the blood (hypertriglyceridaemia) or a positive family history for this condition
You need an operation, or you are off your feet for a long time
You have just given birth
You have an inflammation in the veins under the skin (superficial thrombophlebitis)
A close relative has ever had breast cancer
You have varicose veins
You have diabetes
You have a disease of the liver or the gallbladder
You have depression or mood changes
You have epilepsy
You have a disease that first appeared during pregnancy or earlier use of sex hormones
You have (or have ever had) chloasma (golden brown pigment patches, so-called “pregnancy patches”, especially on the face)
You have hereditary angioedema
Are there any side effects?
Like all medicines, there is a possibility that you may experience side effects when taking Gedarel. These should usually be mild, and not everyone will experience them. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs of severe side effects such as an allergic reaction or a blood clot. For information on severe side effects and their symptoms, refer to the patient information leaflet. Common side effects include:
Depression or altered mood
Headache or dizziness
Nausea or abdominal pain
Tender breasts or breast pain
Absence of menstruation, painful menstruation or premenstrual syndrome
For information about uncommon and 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.
What is the link between Gedarel and blood clots?
Using a combined contraceptive pill like Gedarel can increase your risk of developing a blood clot. Whilst still rare, the risk is highest during the first year of taking the pill, and you should be aware of the symptoms. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
Throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness and warmth in your leg or arm
Sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain and a cough or coughing up blood
For further information on the link between the combined contraceptive pill and blood clots, as well as more symptoms to look out for, refer to the patient information leaflet.
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.
Do I need a prescription for Gedarel?
You do need a prescription for Gedarel 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.
Store below 30°C in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Keep Gedarel in the original packaging. 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.
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:
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