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Cerazette is a progestogen only contraceptive (mini-pill), taken once day at to prevent pregnancies or prescribed to women experiencing menopausal symptoms.


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Cerazette as a Contraception

Cerazette is a highly effective progestogen-only birth control pill. This type of birth control pill is also known as a POP or mini-pill and does not contain any oestrogen. Cerazette contains a dose that in most cases can prevent the egg cell from ripening. 

Progesterone-only pills are a suitable alternative for people who cannot take oestrogen, are breastfeeding, smoker, overweight, taking certain medication and over the age of 35. 

What is Cerazette and how does it work?

Cerazette contains desogestrel, a type of progesterone hormone. This substance works to prevent sperm cells from entering the womb by making the lining (mucus), thicker. 

This contraceptive, like other POPs needs to be taken every day to be effective. If taken correctly, it can be more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Is Cerazette right for me?

If you are looking for an effective oral contraceptive, Cerazette may be right for you. However, it may not be suitable for you if you have the following:

  • If you are allergic to desogestrel or any other ingredients of this medicine
  • If you have thrombosis 
  • If you have ever had a blood clot or are at risk of a blood clot
  • If you have severe heart, liver or kidney problems
  • If you are suspected of having breast cancer
  • If you have unexplained bleeding from the vagina

Side Effects

All medications can cause potential side effects, below we have listed some potential side effects of Cerazette. However, these do not always occur and are mostly mild in nature. But if you experience any prolonged or worrying side effects of Cerazette, please discontinue the medication immediately and consult your doctor.

Common side effects include:

  • Mood altered,
  • Decreased sexual drive,
  • Depression,
  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Acne,
  • Breast pain,
  • Irregular or no menstruation,
  • Weight gain.

Additional Information

Cerazette is a brand name of the contraceptive pill desogestrel. It is a progestogen-only pill, which means that it contains no oestrogen. Cerazette is available as a monophasic pill, which means that each tablet contains the same dose of medication. It is taken once daily, at the same time each day. Cerazette can be used to prevent pregnancy, or to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. It is also sometimes prescribed for women who are experiencing menopause-like symptoms. Side effects of Cerazette include nausea, breast tenderness, and spotting between periods. Rarely, more serious side effects such as blood clots can occur. Women who are considering taking Cerazette should speak with their doctor to determine if it is the right contraceptive choice for them.

This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours. 

Cerazette contains a small amount of one type of female sex hormone, the progestogen desogestrel. For this reason Cerazette is called a progestogen-only-pill (POP), or a mini-pill. Contrary to combined pills, mini-pills do not contain an oestrogen hormone next to the progestogen. Most mini-pills work primarily by preventing the sperm cells from entering the womb but, unlike combined pills, they do not always prevent an egg cell from ripening. It is distinct from other mini-pills because, like combined pills, in most cases it does prevent the egg cells from ripening. As a result, Cerazette provides high contraceptive efficacy. In contrast to the combined pill, Cerazette can be used by women who do not tolerate oestrogens and by women who are breast feeding. A disadvantage is that vaginal bleeding may occur at irregular intervals during the use of Cerazette. You also may not have any bleeding at all.

Cerazette is used to prevent pregnancy. When Cerazette is taken correctly (without missing tablets), the chance of becoming pregnant is very low. Before you start to take Cerazette, like all hormonal contraceptives, does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted disease.

Do not use Cerazette if you have any of the conditions listed below. If any of these apply to you, tell your doctor before starting to use Cerazette. Your doctor may advise you to use a nonhormonal method of birth control.

 • If you have jaundice (yellowing of the skin) or severe liver disease

• If you have a cancer that grows under the influence of sex steroid hormones

• If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding

• If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant

• If you are allergic to any of the ingredients

If Cerazette is used in the presence of any of the conditions listed below, you may need to be kept under close observation. Your doctor can explain to you what to do.

• You have or have had breast cancer;

• You have liver cancer;

• You have ever had a thrombosis;

• You have diabetes;

• You suffer from epilepsy;

• You suffer from tuberculosis;

• You have high blood pressure;

• You have or have had chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly of the face); if so avoid too much exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation.

Potentially serious conditions Decreased Bone Mass Oestrogens are important to maintain the strength of your bones.

During the use of Cerazette, the concentration in your blood of the natural oestrogen estradiol is comparable to the concentration seen in the first half of your natural cycle but is decreased in comparison with the second half of the natural cycle. It is not known whether this has an effect on the strength of your bones.

Breast cancers found in women who take the Pill, seem less likely to have spread than breast cancers found in women who do not take the Pill. It is not known whether the difference in breast cancer risk is caused by the Pill. It may be that the women were examined more often, so that the breast cancer is noticed earlier.

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot, which may block a blood vessel. A thrombosis sometimes occurs in the deep veins of the legs (deep venous thrombosis). If this clot breaks away from the veins where it is formed, it may reach and block the arteries of the lungs, causing a so-called “pulmonary embolism”. As a result, fatal situations may occur. Deep venous thrombosis is a rare occurrence. It can develop whether or not you are taking the Pill. It can also happen if you become pregnant. The risk is higher in Pill-users than in nonusers, but it is not as high as the risk during pregnancy.

The risk with progestogen-only pills like Cerazette is believed to be lower than in users of Pills that also contain oestrogens (combined Pills). If you notice possible signs of a thrombosis, you should see your doctor immediately. (See also section ‘When should you contact your doctor’?).

Using Other Medicines Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines or herbal products, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Also tell any other doctor or dentist who prescribes another medicine (or your pharmacist) that you use Cerazette.

Some medicines may stop Cerazette from working properly. These include medicines used for the treatment of:

• epilepsy (e.g.,primidone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, felbamate, topiramate and phenobarbital),

• tuberculosis (e.g., rifampicin, rifabutin),

• HIV infection (e.g., ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, efavirenz)

• Hepatitis C virus infection (e.g., boceprevir, telaprevir),

• other infectious diseases (e.g., griseofulvin),

• high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs (bosentan),

• stomach upset (medical charcoal)

• depressive moods (the herbal remedy St. John’s wort)

If you are taking medicines or herbal products that might make Cerazette less effective, a barrier contraceptive method should also be used. Since the effect of another medicine on Cerazette may last up to 28 days after stopping the medicine, it is necessary to use the additional barrier contraceptive for that long.

Cerazette may also interfere with how other medicines work, causing either an increase in effect (e.g., medicines containing ciclosporine) or a decrease in effect (e.g., lamotrigine). Vaginal Bleeding may occur at irregular intervals during the use of Cerazette. This may be just slight staining which may not even require a pad, or heavier bleeding, which looks rather like a scanty period and requires sanitary protection. You may also not have any bleeding at all. The irregular bleedings are not a sign that the contraceptive protection of Cerazette is decreased. In general, you need not take any action; just continue to take Cerazette. If, however, bleeding is heavy or prolonged consult your doctor. Ovarian Cysts During the use of all low-dose hormonal contraceptives, small fluid-filled sacs may develop in the ovaries. These are called ovarian cysts. They usually disappear on their own. Sometimes they cause mild abdominal pain. Only rarely, they may lead to more serious problems.

Pregnacy- Cerazette must not be used by women who are pregnant, or who think they may be pregnant. Breast-feeding-Cerazette may be used while you are breastfeeding. Cerazette does not influence the production or the quality of breast milk. However, a small amount of the active substance of Cerazette passes over into the milk. The health of breast-fed children whose mothers were using Cerazette has been studied up to 2.5 years of age. No effects on the growth and development of the children were observed. If you are breastfeeding and want to use Cerazette, please contact your doctor.

Driving and using machines - There are no indications of any effect of the use of Cerazette on alertness and concentration.

Important information about some of the ingredients of Cerazette:

The Cerazette pack contains 3X28 tablets. Arrows are printed on the front side of the pack, between the tablets. If you turn over your pack, and look at the back side, you will see the days of the week printed on the foil. Each day corresponds to one tablet. Every time you start a new pack of Cerazette, take a tablet from the top row. Take your tablet each day at about the same time. Swallow the tablet whole, with water. You may have some bleeding during the use of Cerazette, but you must continue to take your tablets as normal. When a pack is empty, you must start with a new pack of Cerazette on the next day – thus without interruption and without waiting for a bleed. You can stop taking Cerazette whenever you want. From the day you stop you are no longer protected against pregnancy. 

If you are not taking the pill at present. Wait for your period to begin. On the first day of your period take the first tablet. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if:

• you notice possible signs of a thrombosis (e.g. severe pain or swelling in either of your legs, unexplained pains in the chest, breathlessness, an unusual cough, especially if you cough up blood);

• you have a sudden, severe stomach ache or look jaundiced (indicating possible liver problems);

• you feel a lump in your breast;

• you have a sudden or severe pain in the lower part of your belly or the stomach area (possibly indicating an ectopic pregnancy, this is a pregnancy outside the womb); • you are to be immobilised (for example being confined to bed) or are to have surgery; consult your doctor at least four weeks in advance;

• you have unusual, heavy vaginal bleeding;

• you suspect that you are pregnant.

You may also start on days 2-5 of your cycle, but in that case make sure you also use an additional contraceptive method (barrier method) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking in the first cycle.

When you change from a combined pill, vaginal ring, or transdermal patch. You can start taking Cerazette on the day after you take the last tablet from your present Pill pack, or on the day of removal of your vaginal ring or patch (this means no tablet-, ring-, or patch-free break). If your present Pill pack also contains inactive tablets you can start Cerazette on the day after taking the last active tablet (if you are not sure which this is, ask your doctor or pharmacist). If you follow these instructions, it is not necessary to use an additional contraceptive method.

You can also start at the latest the day following the tablet-, ring-, patch-free break, or placebo tablet interval, of your present contraceptive. If you follow these instructions, make sure you use during the first cycle an additional contraceptive method (barrier method) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.

When you change from another progestogen-only pill (mini-pill). You may stop taking it any day and start taking Cerazette right away. You need not take extra contraceptive precautions. When you change from an injectable or implant or a progestogen-releasing intrauterine device (IUD). Start using Cerazette when your next injection is due or on the day that your implant or your IUD is removed.

You can start Cerazette between 21 and 28 days after the birth of your baby. If you start later, make sure you use during the first cycle an additional contraceptive method (barrier method) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking. However, if intercourse has already occurred, pregnancy should be excluded before starting Cerazette use. Additional information for breast feeding women can be found in the paragraph “Breastfeeding” in the section. After miscarriage or an abortion, your doctor will advise you.

If you forget to take one or more tablets If you are less than 12 hours late in taking a tablet, the reliability of Cerazette is maintained. Take the missed tablet as soon as you remember and take the next tablet at the usual time. If you are more than 12 hours late in taking any tablet, the reliability of Cerazette may be reduced. The more consecutive tablets you have missed the higher the risk that the contraceptive efficacy is decreased. Take the last missed tablet as soon as you remember and take the next tablet at the usual time. Use a condom too for the next 7 days of tablet-taking. If you missed one or more tablets in the first week of tablet-intake and had intercourse in the week before missing the tablets, there is a possibility of becoming pregnant. Ask your doctor for advice.

If you suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances (e.g. vomiting, severe diarrhoea) If you vomit within 3-4 hours after taking your Cerazette tablet or have severe diarrhoea, the active ingredient may not have been completely absorbed. Follow the advice for missed tablets in the section “If you forget to take one or more tablets”. If you have severe diarrhoea, please contact your doctor.

If too many Cerazette tablets are taken (overdose). There have been no reports of serious harmful effects from taking too many Cerazette tablets at one time. Symptoms that may occur are nausea, vomiting and, in women or girls, slight vaginal bleeding. For more information ask your doctor for advice. 

You can stop taking Cerazette at any time you want. If you do not want to become pregnant, ask your doctor about other methods of birth control. If you stop using Cerazette because you want to get pregnant, it is generally recommended that you wait until you have had a natural period before trying to conceive. This helps you to work out when the baby will be due.

Like all medicines, Cerazette can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Tell your doctor if you notice any unwanted effect, especially if severe or persistent, or if there is a change in your health that you think might be caused by Cerazette. Serious side effects Serious undesirable effects associated with the use of contraceptive Pills are described in the section 

Please read this section for additional information and consult your doctor at once where appropriate. Other possible side effects Common (occurring in more than one per 100 users) are:

• Mood altered, decreased sexual drive (libido)

• Headache

• Nausea

• Acne

• Breast pain, irregular or no menstruation

• Increased body weight Uncommon (occurring in more than one per 1000 users but not more than one per 100 users) 

• Infection of the vagina

• Difficulties in wearing contact lenses

• Vomiting

• Hair loss

• Painful menstruation, ovarian cyst

• Tiredness Rare (occurring in less than one per 1000 users) 

• Rash, hives, painful skin lumps (erythema nodosum) (these are skin conditions) Apart from these side effects, breast secretion may occur.

In addition, allergic reactions (hypersensitivity), including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat causing difficulty in breathing or swallowing (angioedema and/or anaphylaxis) have been reported. If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor. 

Store below 30°C, protected from sunlight and moisture. Use within 1 month from the date of first opening the sachet. Do not use after the expiry date stated on the package. Keep your tablets out of the reach and sight of children. 

How to take Cerazette?

Always take Cerazette exactly as prescribed by your doctor or advised by the pharmacist. 

  • Take 1 Cerazette tablet every day at the same time
  • Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week
  • Follow the directions of the arrows on the strip and take a pill every day until you have finished the pack. Each pack contains 28 tablets.
  • Do not take a break between packs
  • It can be taken with or without food, if necessary with a small amount of water
  • Do not use Cerazette if you are pregnant or think you are pregnant
  • Ask your doctor if you are breastfeeding and want to use Cerazette.

Warnings and Precautions

Cerazette may not be safe if taken with other medication or recreational drugs. 

Please inform the prescriber if you are taking any of the listed medications:

  • Epilepsy (e.g. primidone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, felbamate, topiramate and phenobarbital);
  • tuberculosis (e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin);
  • HIV infections (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, efavirenz);
  • Hepatitis C virus infection (e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir);
  • or other infectious diseases (e.g. griseofulvin);
  • high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs (bosentan);
  • depressive moods (the herbal remedy St. John’s Wort);
  • macrolide antibiotics (e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin);
  • fungal infections (e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole);
  • high blood pressure (hypertension), angina, or certain heart rhythm disorders (e.g. diltiazem).

The above-listed warnings are not exhaustive, please consult a doctor, pharmacist, or nurse if you have further questions on the use of this medication or potential interactions with other medicines.


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