Just a few questions from our Pharmacist before you checkout to make sure this medicine is safe for you.
What is Lucette?
Lucette is a combined contraceptive pill containing the female hormones drospirenone and ethinylestradiol. Drospirenone is a synthetic version of progesterone and ethinylestradiol is a synthetic version of oestrogen. These ingredients work together to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, thickening the mucus in the cervix and thinning the lining of the womb. When used correctly, Lucette can be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
What is the recommended dosage?
You should take one Lucette pill every day with a small glass of water if needed. It doesn’t matter whether you take this pill with or without food, or what time of day you take it, but it should be around the exact same time each day.
There are 21 tablets in a strip, all labelled with the day of the week to make it easier for you to keep track. Once you’ve finished the 21 pills in your strip, you should take a 7-day break and take no pills during this time. You’re still protected from pregnancy during that break, but you’re likely to experience a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is similar to a period. Once those 7 days are up you’ll need to start your next strip - even if you’re still bleeding.
What if I miss a pill?
If you’re less than 12 hours late in taking a pill, the 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. Follow the advice below depending on where you’re up to in your strip:
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 (a condom, for example) 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:
Option 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, but instead of taking the 7-day break at the end of the strip, skip this break and go straight to your next strip.
Option 2: 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 Lucette, 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 follow the instructions on what to do in the event of a missed pill.
The best way to start Lucette for the first time is by taking your first pill on the first day of your next period. By doing this, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away.
If you’re currently taking a different combined contraceptive pill, start taking Lucette the next day after the last active pill in your current strip. If your current pack contains inactive pills, start taking Lucette the day after your last active pill. These methods will protect you from pregnancy straight away.
If you are swapping from a progestogen-only mini-pill, you can switch to Lucette on any day. In this case, you should use a barrier contraceptive for the first 7 days of taking your new Lucette pills.
Coming off Lucette
You can safely stop taking Lucette at any time, but you will no longer be protected from pregnancy. The best time to stop taking Lucette is after you’ve finished a full strip - this way, your cycle should continue as normal. If you want to become pregnant, stop taking Lucette and wait for your next period before trying to become pregnant - this will make it easier to calculate your expected delivery date.
How do drospirenone and ethinylestradiol prevent pregnancy?
Lucette contains two female hormones to help protect against pregnancy: drospirenone and ethinylestradiol. These active substances work as a contraceptive by preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg every month. It also thickens the mucus in the cervix (the neck of the womb) so it’s harder for sperm to reach an egg, and thins 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. This means there are three preventative measures in place, making it extremely unlikely for you to fall pregnant.
Is Lucette suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
You should not take Lucette if you’re pregnant, or think you may be pregnant. You should speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking Lucette if you’re breastfeeding, to make sure it’s right for you and your baby.
If you’ve just had a baby:
It is usually recommended that you should wait 21-28 days after the birth of your baby until you start taking Lucette, provided there were no complications in childbirth. For the first 7 days of taking the pills, you should use a barrier method of contraception.
If you’ve just had a miscarriage or abortion:
Talk to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist for expert advice on when you should start taking Lucette. It will depend on which stage of pregnancy you were in when you had the miscarriage or abortion.
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 Lucette 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 Lucette not be used?
Lucette is a contraceptive treatment for females only - do not take this medication if you are male. You should also not take this medication 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 other organs
You know you have a disorder affecting your blood clotting
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 could 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) liver disease and your liver function is still not normal
Your kidneys are not working well (renal failure)
You have (or have ever had) a tumour in the liver
You have (or have ever had) or if you are suspected of having breast cancer or cancer of the genital organs
You have any unexplained bleeding from the vagina
You are allergic to ethinylestradiol or drospirenone, or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
You are allergic to peanut or soya
Speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist for expert advice before taking Lucette if:
You have a close relative who has ever had breast cancer
You have a disease of the liver or gallbladder
You have diabetes
You have depression or mood changes
You have epilepsy
You have any disease that first appeared during pregnancy or earlier use of sex hormones
You have ever had chloasma (a discolouration of the skin, especially on the face or neck, known as ‘pregnancy patches’)
You have hereditary angioedema
You have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
You have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE - a disease affecting your natural defence system)
You have haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS - a disorder of blood clotting causing failure of the kidneys)
You have sickle cell anaemia (an inherited disease of the red blood cells)
You have elevated levels of fat in the blood (hypertriglyceridaemia) or a positive family history for this condition
You need an operation, or you’re off your feet for a long time
You have just given birth
You have inflammation in the veins under the skin (superficial thrombophlebitis)
You have varicose veins
Are there any side effects?
Like all medicines, there is a possibility that you may experience side effects when taking Lucette. These should usually be mild, and not everyone will experience them. If you experience any signs of severe side effects, such as an allergic reaction or a blood clot, seek medical attention immediately.
Common side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:
Menstrual disorders, bleeding between periods, breast pain or breast tenderness
Headache or migraine
Thick, white vaginal discharge or vaginal yeast infection
Uncommon side effects that may affect up to 1 in 100 people include:
Changes in your sex drive
High or low blood pressure
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Acne, skin rash or severe itching
Hair loss (alopecia)
Infection of the vagina
Fluid retention or changes in your body weight
Rare side effects that may affect up to 1 in 1000 people include:
Allergic reaction or asthma
Erythema nodosum (painful red skin nodules) or erythema multiforme (rash with target-shaped reddening or sores)
Harmful blood clots in a vein or artery (including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke or mini-stroke, and blood clots in the liver, stomach, intestine, kidneys or eye)
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 Lucette and blood clots?
Using a combined contraceptive pill like Lucette 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 Lucette?
You do need a prescription for Lucette 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 Lucette 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:
How to find the one: contraceptive edition
10 benefits of the contraceptive pill
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