What is Cerazette?
Cerazette is an oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains the active ingredient desogestrel, a synthetic version of the female sex hormone, progestogen. It is referred to as a progesterone only pill (POP), or the “mini-pill”. Cerazette contains the same ingredient as the contraceptive pill Cerelle.
How does Cerazette work?
Cerazette tablets contain 75microgram of the active ingredient, desogestrel. It interferes with the natural ovulation process by preventing the release of the egg from the ovaries every month. Cerazette also thickens the lining of the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg through the vagina.
When should I start taking Cerazette?
Taking Cerazette for the first time
Take one tablet on the first day of your period. You do not need an additional contraceptive method. If you start taking the pill from day 2 to 5 of your menstrual period, you should use an additional contraceptive method, such as a condom, for the first 7 days of taking Cerazette.
Switching from another contraceptive method
If you are switching to Cerazette from a combined contraceptive pill, a vaginal ring or a contraceptive patch that does not have a break, start taking Cerazette the day after you have taken the last combined pill, or, on the day you remove your patch or vaginal ring. If your combined pill contains 7 “inactive pills” that you take during your bleed, you should not take these tablets, and you should take Cerazette the day after your last active pill.
If you are switching to Cerazette from a combined contraceptive pill, vaginal ring or contraceptive patch that has a break, you can start taking Cerazette the day after the break. If your contraceptive pills have 7 inactive tablets you take when you have a bleed, you can start taking Cerazette once you have taken the 7 inactive pills.
If you are switching to Cerazette from a mini-pill (progesterone-only pill), you can start taking Cerazette on any day. You do not need to use any additional contraceptive measures.
After having a baby
Start taking Cerazette anywhere between day 21 and day 28 after birth. Taking Cerazette after this period will require the use of an additional contraceptive measure for 7 days. If you have had sex, you will need to check that you are not pregnant.
What if I miss a dose of Cerazette?
If you miss a dose of, try to take it as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two doses in one day.
Doses less than 12 hours late
- If you have missed a tablet and remember to take it within 12 hours, take the pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the next dose at the regular time to remain protected against pregnancy.
Doses more than 12 hours late
- If you are more than 12 hours late taking Cerazatte, you are not protected against pregnancy.
- Take a tablet as soon as you remember and continue to take your next dose at the same time, even if this means taking two pills in one day, or two pills at the same time. You should use additional contraceptive measures for the next 2 days (48 hours).
- If you have forgotten to take more than one tablet, you should not take the earlier missed pills. Continue as usual but use an additional barrier method such as a condom for 7 days.
- If you are more than 12 hours late in taking Cerazette and you have had sex, you can use emergency contraception such as the pill, but you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Who should not take Cerazette?
Most women can take Cerazette as it is a safe and effective contraceptive pill. However, it may not be suitable for certain individuals.
You should not take Cerazette if you have:
- Allergies to desogestrel or any of the ingredients contained in Cerazette
- Thrombosis, which is the formation of blood clots. You should not take Cerazette if you have a history of thrombosis or blood clots, including a family history.
- Liver problems
- History or family history of breast cancer, or if you are at high risk of developing breast cancer, or any other cancer that grown under the influence of sex steroids
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Acute porphyrias, an inherited disease that affects the nervous system
- Arterial disease where you have narrowed arteries
If you have any of the following conditions, you should speak to your doctor before using Cerazette:
- Active trophoblastic disease, which are pregnancy related tumours
- Cysts in your ovaries
- Heart problems
- Past ectopic pregnancy
- Malabsorption syndrome, which is the inability to absorb vitamins, nutrients and minerals from your digestive system into your bloodstream
- Lupus, which is a condition that causes inflammation in your skin, joints and other parts of your body
- High blood pressure
- Chloasma, which is pigmentation or discolouration of your skin
- Lactose intolerance – Cerazette contains lactose and you should speak to your doctor if you have an intolerance to lactose or certain sugars
In some cases, women taking Cerazette may develop depression, mood swings and anxiety. If you experience any changes in mood or depressive symptoms, please contact your doctor.
It is important to check your breasts regularly for any lumps or changes that do not seem normal. Breast cancer cases have been found to be slightly more in those that take the pill. If you notice any changes to your breasts, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Thrombosis is the formation of blood clots, which can block blood vessels. They can occur in the deep veins of legs (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and if they break away, they can reach the arteries of the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms include breathlessness, chest pain and collapse. The risk of DVT is higher in those that use the pill. If you notice such symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention.
Can I take Cerazette with other medication?
Cerazette may interact with certain medication and you should make your doctor, pharmacist, and nurse aware of any medication that you are taking. This includes any herbal remedies you take, or plan on taking. You should also make your dentist aware, in case they need to prescribe you antibiotics, which may affect the effectiveness of Cerazette.
The following medication may have an effect on Cerazette:
- Medication used to treat tuberculosis
- HIV medication
- Antivirals, especially those used to treat Hepatitis C
- Blood pressure medication
- Medication used to treat depression, including St John’s Wort
- Certain antibiotics, including erythromycin and clarithromycin
- Antifungals, such as fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole
- Medication used to treat high blood pressure in the lungs
- Medication used to treat narcolepsy, such as modafinil
What If I have diarrhoea or vomiting after taking Cerazette?
Vomiting and diarrhoea can affect the absorption of the tablet and it may not be fully absorbed into your bloodstream. If you vomit or have diarrhoea within 3-4 hours after taking Cerazette, you should take another tablet when you feel well again. If the replacement tablet is taken within 12 hours of your usual time, you will be protected.
If you continue to have vomiting and diarrhoea, keep taking your pill at the normal time, but use extra contraception for 7 days after you feel well again.
Can I take Cerazette if I am breastfeeding?
Cerazette is safe to take when breastfeeding. Whilst a small amount of the drug is present in breastmilk, it does not affect the quality of milk or have an affect on the baby.