Desogestrel

Medication Information Leaflet

There are certain restrictions in the supply of Cerazette®, Cerazette® is not available in community/retail pharmacies and is only available in selected healthcare institutions via prescription from in-house doctors. Please check with your healthcare provider if they are able to supply it. 


What is this medication for?

Cerazette® (Desogestrel 75mcg) tablets are progestogen-only pills, used for the prevention of pregnancy.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Cerazette® should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.

  • A reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method such as condoms, are usually recommended for the first seven days of taking Cerazette® , for e.g. if you start on Days 2 – 5 of your period, you should use a reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method for the first 7 days of tablet-taking. However, no additional contraceptive precautions are necessary if Cerazette® is taken for the following scenarios 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.

  • This medication should be taken after food.

  • You should take one tablet daily without any 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.

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

  • 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 the dose of Cerazette® is missed for 12 hours or more, a reliable supplementary non-hormonal contraceptive method such as condoms, should be used for the next 7 days.

  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as vomiting and diarrhea within 3 – 4 hours after taking Cerazette®, may interfere with the absorption of the pill leading to a reduction in contraceptive efficacy. If this occurs, it should be considered as a missed dose. You should then follow the instructions above about missed doses.

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

What precautions should I take?

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 or cancer.

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

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Menstrual irregularities such as 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 such as nausea and 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 operating heavy machinery.

  • Acne

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

Most of these side effects will get better or go away as your body gets used to the medication.

Inform your doctor if the side effects above become severe and bothersome.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

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

Very rarely, this medication may cause:

  • 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

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

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

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

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 throw away this medication safely?

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


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on January 2021


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