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Dianette (also available as a generic medication called co-cyprindiol) is a prescription treatment for acne but can also be used as a contraceptive treatment in some cases. It contains the active ingredients cyproterone and ethinylestradiol.

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Dianette PRICES

Medicine x3 x 21 Tablets (3 Month Course)
Dianette 35mcg/2mg x 21 Tablets (3 Month Course) £19.99

Buy Dianette online

Dianette is a combined oral contraceptive, usually prescribed for those suffering with acne, who also need a contraceptive pill. You can buy Dianette online after completing a short medical questionnaire. These are similar to the questions your GP would ask you, to find out if it is medically suitable for you to be prescribed the combined oral contraceptive pill. 

About Dianette

Key points:

  • Assists in managing moderate to severe hormonal acne and excessive hair growth (hirsutism).
  • You might notice significant improvements in your skin after around 6 months.
  • Take it once every day for 21 days, then have a 7-day break.


What is Dianette?

Dianette is a contraceptive pill, which is used to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to treat acne, and unwanted facial hair growth in women.

It is used to tackle skin problems such as acne, oily skin, and unwanted hair growth in women who would also like to start taking an oral contraceptive pill. Since it also works as contraception, your doctor will suggest it only if they think a hormonal contraceptive is right for you.

A generic version is available called co-cyprindiol.

How does Dianette work?

Dianette for acne

Androgens are hormones that stimulate hair growth and the oily glands in your skin. When you produce an excess of androgen or are sensitive to its effects, the oily glands might make too much sebum. This surplus can clog the glands, leading to infections and inflammation, resulting in acne breakouts. Dianette prevents androgens from impacting your skin and lowers the production of these hormones.

Dianette as a contraceptive pill

Dianette prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation). It also thickens the mucus within the neck of the womb, making it difficult for sperm to pass through the womb and fertilise an egg.

Dianette dosage instructions

How should you take Dianette?

Dianette is packed in strips containing 21 pills, and each pill is labelled with a specific day of the week.

Here's what to do:

  • Take your pill at the same time daily.
  • Begin by taking the tablet marked with the day of the week that matches the beginning of your menstrual cycle. For instance, if your period starts on a Wednesday, start with the pill labelled "Wed."
  • Follow the arrow directions on the strip, taking one pill each day until all 21 pills are used up.
  • Swallow each pill whole with water, avoiding chewing.
  • After finishing the 21-pill strip, take a break for seven days. Within a few days of the last pill, you'll likely have a withdrawal bleed (like a period). Sometimes, this bleed may not have stopped by the time you're due to start the next strip of pills.
  • During the seven pill-free days, you are still protected if you have taken the pills correctly and start the next strip on time.
  • Even if you are still bleeding, begin the next strip of Dianette after seven pill-free days (on day eight). If your last pill in one pack is on a Friday, start the next pack on the Saturday of the following week. As long as you take Dianette correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the week.


Important note: Medication should be kept out of sight and reach of children, away from direct light and heat, and stored in a cool and dry place For more information, please read the Patient Information Leaflet.

What if I forget to take a Dianette pill?

If you happen to miss taking one pill by 12 hours or less, your contraceptive protection stays effective. Just take the missed pill as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of the pills according to your schedule.

If you are more than 12 hours late in taking a pill or you have missed multiple pills, protection against pregnancy may be compromised.

In such a situation:

  • Take the most recently forgotten pill and stick to your regular schedule with the following pills.
  • Use an extra contraceptive method (like condoms or a spermicide cap) for the next 7 days.
  • If your current pack ends before these 7 days are up, start the next pack immediately without a break. Take a pill every day during your usual 7-day pill-free period. It is safe not to expect your period until finishing the next pack. Some bleeding on pill days might occur, which is not concerning.
  • If there is no bleeding during the 7-day break after this next pack, refer to the section titled "Missed a period." in the patient information leaflet.

Dianette ingredients

Active ingredients: cyproterone acetate (2 milligrams) and ethinylestradiol (35 micrograms).

Inactive ingredients: lactose, maize starch, povidone, talc, magnesium stearate (E572), sucrose, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), titanium dioxide (E171), glycerol (E422), glycol montanate, and yellow ferric oxide pigment (E172).

Dianette side effects

Like any medication, Dianette can cause side effects, though not everyone experiences them. If you notice any side effects, especially if they are severe, lasting, or if you feel any changes in your health due to Dianette, see your doctor for advice.

If you experience the following side effects of Dianette, stop taking it and see a doctor immediately:

  • Severe depression: Although not commonly linked directly to Dianette, some women have reported feeling depressed while taking it. In extremely rare cases, this has been associated with thoughts of self-harm. If you experience severe depression, it's advised to stop taking Dianette as a precaution and promptly consult your doctor.
  • Increased risk of a blood clot - signs of a blood clot can include:
    • Unexpected coughing
    • Severe chest pain, possibly extending to the left arm
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Unusual, severe, or persistent headaches, or worsening migraines
    • Partial or complete loss of vision, double vision
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Sudden changes in hearing, smell, or taste
    • Dizziness, fainting
    • Numbness or weakness in any part of your body
    • Intense abdominal pain
    • Severe pain or swelling in either leg
  • Increased risk of breast cancer – Signs of breast cancer include:
    • Skin dimpling
    • Changes in the nipple
    • Any noticeable lumps
  • Increased risk of cervical cancer - Signs of cerival cancer include:
    • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge containing blood
    • Irregular vaginal bleeding
    • Pelvic pain
    • Painful intercourse


Less serious side effects include:

Common – affecting up to 10% of people:

  • Feeling nauseous
  • Stomach discomfort or ache
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood, like feeling depressed or having mood swings
  • Sore or painful breasts

Uncommon – affecting up to 1% of people:

  • Vomiting and upset stomach
  • Retaining fluids
  • Migraines
  • Reduced interest in sex
  • Enlargement of breasts
  • Skin rash that might be itchy

Rare – affecting up to 0.1% people:

  • Difficulty tolerating contact lenses
  • Weight loss
  • Heightened interest in sex
  • Discharge from the vagina or breasts
  • Blood clot in the veins

If you experience signs of an allergic reaction, see your doctor immediately. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling of hands, face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Appearance of a red, bumpy rash (hives) with itching

Dianette warnings

Before starting to use Dianette, let your doctor know if any of the following conditions apply to you. Your doctor might suggest an alternative treatment in such cases:

  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have a history or family history of breast cancer
  • You have a history, family history, or are at risk of a blood clot, heart attack or stroke
  • You have a conditions which increases the risk of a blood clot, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Blood clotting problems like protein C deficiency
  • History of migraines with visual disturbances
  • Liver problems
  • You have a brain tumour
  • You have an allergy to any of the ingredients


Important note: If you experience any of these conditions while taking Dianette, or if they develop for the first time during its use, contact your doctor promptly. Avoid taking Dianette and, if necessary, explore an alternative form of contraception.

Dianette alternatives

Yasmin is another alternative pill to Dianette.

Microgynon or Marvelon can also assist with acne and don't pose the same risks linked to Dianette.

Dianette isn't recommended only as a birth control pill. It's primarily used to treat severe acne that hasn't improved with oral antibiotics or moderately severe hirsutism. Dianette should be stopped after 3-4 cycles once the treated condition has completely cleared up.

Weight gain is a common side effect of Dianette. Around 10% of users will experience weight gain with Dianette.

Both Dianette and Yasmin are combined hormonal contraceptive pills. Dianette has a higher level of oestrogen, which increases the level of risk associated. Whilst both pills help to improve acne, Dianette is more effective at doing this. Once your acne has been treated, it is a good idea to switch to Yasmin.

Product Reviews For Dianette

Summary For Dianette

Medication Class Anti-andgrogens
Mechanism of action Cyproterone works by reducing the production and actions of androgens
Active ingredient Cyproterone acetate and ethinylestradiol
Strength 2000/35mcg
Effective within 7 days
Dosage Instructions Take ONE tablet DAILY for 21 days, starting on day 1 of cycle; followed by 7-day break.
Manufacturer Bayer plc
Use with alcohol No known interaction

See over 5 product reviews

Product rated 5/5

As effective as prescribed. Thanks.

By Ramila Ramesh, 02nd of October

In my case dianette works exactly as expected.

By Yulia Latokhina, 24th of December

Good. No significant side-effects noted.

By Jes, 29th of October

Helped a lot

By Amirah Fareed, 13th of August

I've tried dozens of bcp's over the years for my hormonal acne and painful, heavy periods, but none are anywhere near as effective as Dianette. I also get extremely depressed and sometimes even suicidal when I come off it or when trying different bcp's, Dianette helps my depression better than all the SSRIs I've been on. I'm aware it's not licensed for depression, but for me it's a life saver.

By Julz, 15th of February

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