What is Cerelle?
Cerelle is a contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. It is a progestogen-only pill (POP), also known as the mini pill. It contains 75 micrograms of desogestrel, a female sex hormone. Cerelle is medically equivalent to Cerazette.
How does it work?
Cerelle works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation. It also works by thickening the entrance of the womb so that sperm cannot enter, as well as creating a hostile environment within the womb, so that an embryo cannot grow.
When should I start taking Cerelle?
Taking Cerelle for the first time
If you are not using hormonal contraception, you should take Cerelle on the first day of your period. You will be protected from day 1 and will not need to use additional contraceptive measures. If you take Cerelle on day 2-5 of your period, you will need to us additional contraceptive measures for 7 days.
Taking Cerelle when changing from a combined pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
You can start taking Cerelle the day after your last pill. If you have a 7 day break, or your packet contains 7 inactive pills, you should not have the 7 day break or take the 7 inactive pills. If you are using a vaginal ring or a contraceptive patch, start taking Cerelle the day you remove the patch or ring.
If you start taking Cerelle after your pill free interval, or ring/patch free break, you can start taking Cerelle the day after the break (at the latest). You will need to use additional contraceptive measures for 7 days if you choose to do this.
Taking Cerelle after using the mini pill (progesterone only pill)
You can stop taking the mini pill and start taking Cerelle on any day. You will be protected from pregnancy and do not need to use any additional barrier methods of contraception.
Taking Cerelle after having a baby
You can start taking Cerelle between day 21 and 28 after childbirth. If you start any later, you will need to use additional contraceptive measures for the first 7 days of taking the pill. If you have already had sex, you should check to make sure that you are not pregnant before starting the pill.
What to do if you miss a pill
- If you forget to take Cerelle and are less than 12 hours late, take the tablet when you remember. You should take your next dose at the usual time. You will remain protected and do not need to use an additional form of contraception
- If you forget to take Cerelle and are more than 12 hours late, take the tablet when you remember, and take your next tablet at the usual time. This can mean that you will need to take two tablets at the same time. You will need to use additional contraceptive measures such as a condom for the next two days
- If you forget to take more than two pills, you should not take the earlier missed pills. Continue to take Cerelle as usual and use an additional contraceptive measure such as a condom for the next 7 days
- If you are more than 12 hours late in taking Cerelle and have had sex, you may use emergency contraception. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist before doing so
- If you miss taking any tablets in the first week of using Cerelle, and you had sex during the week before missing the tablets, there is a possibility that you may become pregnant. You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice
What should I do if a vomit or have diarrhoea?
If you vomit or have diarrhoea within 3-4 hours after taking Cerelle, you may not be fully protected and will need to take another tablet when you feel well. If you take the replacement tablet within 12 hours of your usual dose, you will be protected.
If you continue to have vomiting and diarrhoea, take your tablet at the normal time, but use extra contraception for 7 days after you have taken a pill without vomiting or experiencing diarrhoea.
How effective is Cerelle?
Cerelle is 99% effective providing it is taken correctly and the absorption of tablets are not affected by vomiting, diarrhoea or drug interactions.
Who should not use Cerelle?
You should not use Cerelle if you have any of the following:
- Allergies to desogestrel or any of the ingredients in Cerelle
- Thrombosis or any problems to do with blood clots
- Jaundice or a history of jaundice
- Cancer which grows under the influence of particular hormones
- Vaginal bleeding without an explanation
- Narrowed arteries
- Blood disorders such as porphyria
If you have any of the following, you should speak to your doctor before using Cerelle:
- Cancer, history of cancer, or a family history of cancer
- History or family history of blood clots
- High blood pressure
- Depression or mood changes
- Ovarian cysts
- Tumours in your ovaries
- History of an ectopic pregnancy
- Autoimmune diseases
Can I take Cerelle if I am taking other medication?
Cerelle may interact with other medication, and you should make your doctor or pharmacist aware of any medication you are taking. If you are taking Cerelle and visit your doctor, pharmacist, or dentist, you should let them know you are taking Cerelle as some medication may make the pill less effective. Medication that may interact with Cerelle include medicines used for treating:
- Hepatitis C
- Heart problems
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
Can I take Cerelle when I am breastfeeding?
Cerelle can be taken by women who are breastfeeding. A small amount of the drug passes into the milk, which is not harmful to the nursing child. It also does not affect the quality or quantity of milk produced.
What should I do if I become pregnant while taking Cerelle?
It is unlikely that you get pregnant unless you are rightly taking the pill without missing any tablet. But in case if you get pregnant stop taking Cerelle and consult you, doctor. Cerelle does not do any harm to the baby.
What are the side effects of Cerelle?
Not everyone experiences side effects, but as with all medication, they are a possibility. Common side effects (affecting up to 10% of users) include:
- Mood swings
- Low mood
- Low sex drive
- Feeling sick
- Increase in body weight
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular or no menstrual bleeds
You should read the Patient Information Leaflet for a full list of side effects. If you have any concerns, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice. You can report side effects directly via www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
If you experience any of the following, you should seek urgent medical advice:
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swollen face or tongue, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing or itchy skin
- Severe pain in the lower stomach (this is a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy)
- Heavy, prolonged, or unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain in your chest, unusual cough, or breathlessness (these can be symptoms of a blood clot)
- Unusual changes in your breasts, such as pointy or saggy breasts or any lumps