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Quick summary

Type of medicine

Progestogen-only contraceptive pill (POP)



Active Ingredient

Desogestrel (75 micrograms)

Effective within

Start of use; Additional contraceptive precautions required if more than 12 hours late

Works by

Primarily prevents the sperm cells from entering the womb and, in most cases, prevents the egg cell from ripening

Side effects

Mood alterations, headache, nausea, acne, breast pain, irregular or no menstruation, increased body weight

Medication details


Cerazette is a popular contraceptive pill that helps prevent pregnancy. It is a mini-pill that contains the active ingredient desogestrel, a progestogen hormone. The mini-pill works by thickening the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. It also changes the lining of the uterus to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. Cerazette is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken correctly and is suitable for women who cannot take estrogen-containing contraceptive pills. It is taken daily, without a break, to provide continuous protection against pregnancy.


Follow these guidelines to ensure the optimal use of Cerazette:
- Take one tablet daily at approximately the same time, with water.
- Each strip contains 28 tablets, providing a 4-week supply.
- Begin your first pack on the first day of your period, or as directed by your doctor.
- If switching from another hormonal contraceptive, consult your doctor for seamless transition instructions.
- If you miss a tablet by less than 12 hours, take it immediately and continue as usual.
- If you miss a tablet by more than 12 hours, take it as soon as possible and use an additional barrier method for 7 days.
- If vomiting occurs within 3-4 hours after taking a tablet, follow missed tablet instructions.


Each Cerazette tablet contains:
Active Ingredient: Desogestrel (75 micrograms)
Other Ingredients: Colloidal anhydrous silica, all-rac-α-tocopherol, maize starch, povidone, stearic acid, hypromellose, macrogol 400, talc, titanium dioxide (E171), lactose monohydrate (see 'Cerazette contains lactose' in section 2)

Side Effects

Cerazette is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it may have side effects. Common side effects include:
- Altered mood,
- Depressed mood
- Decreased libido
- Headache
- Nausea
- Acne
- Breast pain, irregular or absent menstruation
- Weight gain
Less common side effects include infections, contact lens discomfort, vomiting, hair loss, ovarian cysts, and tiredness. While rare, allergic reactions and skin conditions may also occur. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, consult your doctor.


Before taking Cerazette, consider the following precautions:

Do not take if allergic to desogestrel or any other ingredients.

Consult your doctor if you have a history of thrombosis, jaundice, severe liver disease, certain cancers, or unexplained vaginal bleeding.

Regular check-ups are important, especially for those with a history of breast cancer or thrombosis.
Cerazette does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Cerazette may interact with certain medications; consult your doctor before use.

Always prioritize your health and well-being. If you have any concerns or questions about Cerazette, consult your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice. Remember, this guide is not a substitute for professional medical consultation.

[Important: Cerazette requires a prescription. Only use as directed by your healthcare provider.]

Note: This guide is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any medication.

Medically reviewed and published

  • This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz, Clinical Lead on Aug 24, 2023, 3:30 pm

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Please read our FAQs page to find out more.

Can Cerazette be used by women of all ages?

Cerazette is suitable for women of reproductive age who are looking for an effective progestogen-only contraceptive option. However, it's essential to consult your healthcare provider to determine if Cerazette is the right choice for your individual health needs.

How soon can I expect my menstrual cycle to return after discontinuing Cerazette?

After stopping Cerazette, your menstrual cycle may take some time to normalize. While some women experience a return to their regular cycle shortly after discontinuation, others may have a delay. It's important to note that individual responses vary, and it's advisable to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Can Cerazette be used as an emergency contraceptive?

No, Cerazette is not designed to be used as an emergency contraceptive. It is a daily contraceptive pill intended for ongoing, regular use. If you require emergency contraception, please consult your healthcare provider to discuss appropriate options.

Is Cerazette suitable for women with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or high blood pressure?

Cerazette may be suitable for some women with specific medical conditions, but it's important to discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider before starting any contraceptive. Certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or high blood pressure, may require additional considerations and adjustments in your contraceptive choice.

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