What is Cerazette?
Cerazette is an oral contraceptive. It contains the active ingredient desogestrel, which is a synthetic progestogen similar to the natural progestogens produced by the body. Unlike combination birth control pills, Cerazette tablets contain one hormone, progestogen, and no oestrogen, which is why it is commonly known as the ‘mini pill’. Cerazette is only available on prescription.
What is Cerazette used for?
If used correctly, Cerazette is highly effective at preventing pregnancy. Desogestrel works as a contraceptive primarily by preventing ovulation. It also acts by increasing the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb. With Cerazette the chances of pregnancy are virtually nonexistent. As Cerazette is a progestogen-only pill (POP), it is a good alternative for women who do not tolerate or want to take oestrogen. Cerazette can also be used by breastfeeding mothers.
How to use Cerazette
One Cerazette tablet should be taken every day on a continuous basis, i.e. you take the packs back to back without a tablet-free interval. This may at first cause menstrual irregularities such as irregular bleeding or missed periods. These irregularities tend to settle down after a while and are not harmful to your health. Cerazette tablets should be swallowed whole with some water at around the same time each day. If you are more than 36 hours late taking your pill, you will not be protected against pregnancy. Severe diarrhoea and vomiting can also affect its effectiveness. For more information on how to use Cerazette, see the package leaflet.
Unless otherwise advised by the doctor, the usual dose is:
- Women aged 18 and older: one tablet once daily.
Read the package leaflet before use.
Cerazette may cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine:
- Changes in menstrual bleeding, e.g. irregular bleeding or sometimes stopping of bleeding;
- Breast tenderness or soreness;
- Weight gain.
Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe or persistent. For more information on possible side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Cerazette
Cerazette is not suitable for everyone. This contraceptive pill should not be used if:
- You are allergic to desogestrel or any other of its ingredients;
- You have active breast cancer or a history of breast cancer;
- You have an active hormone-related cancer or a history of hormone-related cancer;
- You have an active liver disease or a history of liver disease (e.g. jaundice);
- You have thrombosis;
- You have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause.
Consult a doctor on the use of Cerazette if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently taking medication.
Do not use Cerazette if you are pregnant. Cerazette is safe to use when breastfeeding. There are no known harmful effects on the nursing infant when it is used by breastfeeding mothers.
This medicine does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.