What is Hana?
Hana is a progestogen-only contraceptive pill, also known as a mini-pill, designed to prevent women from becoming pregnant. This pill contains 75mcg of desogestrel, a synthetic version of the female sex hormone progestogen, which works to prevent pregnancy by stopping the egg cells from ripening. Hana does not contain oestrogen.
How to take Hana
You must take one pill every day at the same time each day in order to prevent pregnancy effectively. You must never skip your daily pill, even if you experience any menstrual bleeding. Hana comes in strips of 28 pills with the days of the week printed on the strip to make it easier for you to keep track. Make sure to take the correct pill on the correct corresponding day.
If you aren’t already using any other hormonal contraceptives, start Hana by waiting until the first day of your period to take your first pill. This way, you won’t need to use any extra contraception and you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away. If you wish to start Hana at a different time, you will need to use a barrier method of contraception (e.g. a condom) for the first 7 days of pill use.
What should I do if I miss a pill?
If you are less than 12 hours late taking your pill, you will still be protected from pregnancy. Take the pill as soon as you remember and continue with your next pill at the usual time, even if that means taking two in one day.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill, take your most recently missed pill straight away and leave any earlier missed pills in the strip. Take your further tablets as usual and use barrier contraception for the next 7 days.
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. Hana works slightly differently by having a high enough dose of desogestrel that is often capable of preventing the egg from ripening. This means Hana is a highly effective form of contraception.
Is Hana suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Hana should not be used if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Hana 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 Hana, speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist.
When should Hana not be used?
Hana should be safe for most women, however, you must not take this medicine 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
You should speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Hana if:
You are taking any medicines or herbal remedies, including those obtained without a prescription
You have ever had breast cancer
You have liver cancer or any other liver problems
You have ever had a thrombosis
You have diabetes
You suffer from epilepsy
You suffer from tuberculosis
You have high blood pressure
You have or have ever had chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on your skin, particularly on the face)
You have been told by your doctor you are intolerant to some sugars (Hana contains lactose)
Are there any side effects?
As with all medicines, there is a possibility that you may experience side effects when taking Hana. 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.
Common side effects may include:
Irregular or no periods
For more information on 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.
Can Hana cause weight gain?
Progestogen-only pills like Hana shouldn’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 Hana 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 Hana. 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.
Why do I need to answer questions to buy this product?
You do not need a prescription for Hana, however, you will be asked to complete a short medical questionnaire by your Chemist4U pharmacist before we can take your order. This includes some simple questions that all pharmacies legally are required to ask before supplying this kind of product. This helps our pharmacy team to be sure that Hana is the best choice for you.
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.
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:
10 benefits of the contraceptive pill
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