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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Contraceptive Cerazette® Adult

Desogestrel - What is it for

​Desogestrel (Cerazette®) tablets are progestogen-only pills, used for the prevention of pregnancy.

Desogestrel - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Desogestrel cause?

​Common side effects include:

  • Menstrual irregularities e.g. irregular bleeding, heavy menstruation, spotting between menstrual cycles, delayed or not having a menstrual cycle. Inform your doctor:
    • If you do not have a menstrual cycle because there is a need to rule out pregnancy.
    • If you are having heavy and continuous bleeding as it may lead to anaemia.
    • If you are having any other abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Stomach discomfort e.g. nausea, vomiting.
    • Take it after food to minimise gastric side effects.
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache and dizziness
    • Paracetamol can be taken to manage headaches. Avoid activities that require mental alertness and avoid using heavy machineries.
  • Acne

Other possible side effects include weight changes, change in mood such as mood swings or low mood and decreased sexual drive.

Consult your doctor about any symptom that becomes bothersome.

If you experience any of the following serious side effects or drug allergy, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately

  • Very bad, unusual headache
  • Sudden changes to your sight or speech
  • Very bad pain in your chest
  • Unusual pain or swelling of your legs
  • Dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Before taking Desogestrel, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You have a history of or current medical conditions such as liver problems, stroke, heart disease, blood clots, migraine headaches, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus or cancer

If you are seeing other healthcare professionals for any other medical conditions, inform them that you are taking this medication

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Desogestrel?

Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications as other medications may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives or oral contraceptives may change the effect of other medications.

Desogestrel - Dosage and How to Use

How should Desogestrel be used?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • This medicine should be taken after food.
  • Desogestrel (Cerazette®) should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.
  • No additional contraceptive precautions are necessary if Desogestrel (Cerazette®) is taken following the schedule below:
    • Day 1 of menstrual cycle (pregnancy should be ruled out before starting the medication).
    • Immediately after miscarriage or abortion
    • Day 21 – 28 after childbirth whether you are breastfeeding or not
    • When switching immediately from another progestogen-only pill (no break between switch in pills)
    • When switching from a combined pill (COC), vaginal ring or transdermal patch  without any tablet-, ring- or patch-free break or from the last active tablet.
  • A reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method e.g. condoms, is recommended for the first seven days that you start taking Desogestrel (Cerazette®) if used other than the schedule above , for e.g. if you start on Days 2 – 5 of your period, you should use a reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method e.g. condoms for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
  • You should take one tablet daily without break, preferably at the same time every day, regardless of menstrual bleeding.
  • When a pack is finished, the next pack should be started without interruption.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time, even if that means taking two tablets in one day.

  • When Desogestrel (Cerazette®) is taken 12 or more hours late, a reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method e.g. condoms, should also be used for the next 7 days.
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as vomiting and diarrhea within 3 – 4 hours after taking Desogestrel (Cerazette®) may interfere with the absorption of the pill leading to a reduction in contraceptive efficacy. If this occurs, it should be considered a missed dose; follow the instructions as above.

**If you miss your period (especially with missed tablets), consult your doctor to determine if you are pregnant before continuing to take the next cycle of contraceptives.

What should I do if I overdose?

Desogestrel - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Desogestrel safely?

How should I store Desogestrel?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

Each strip is sealed in a foil sachet.

Store the strip in the original sachet. Use within 1 month from the date of first opening of the sachet.

How should I dispose of Desogestrel safely?

​Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Desogestrel - Additional Information

  • Updated on Friday, May 22, 2020
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

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