Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

CO-CYPRINDIOL

Brand Name(s) : Acnocin, Cicafem, Clairette 2000/35, Dianette
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

CO-CYPRINDIOL WARNINGS

Co-cyprindiol should be used with caution in:

  • depression, past or present
  • varicose veins
  • diabetes (diabetes mellitus) or a tendency towards diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • fits (epilepsy)
  • the inherited form of deafness known as otosclerosis
  • the disease of the nervous system called multiple sclerosis
  • the inherited disease called porphyria
  • calcium deficiency with cramps (tetany)
  • the movement disorder called Sydenham's chorea
  • breast problems, past or present,
  • diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases)
  • kidney diseases
  • disturbed liver function
  • you are overweight or obese
  • an intolerance to contact lenses
  • systemic lupus erythematosus - SLE (inflammation of connective tissue)
  • asthma
  • uterine fibroids (benign tumour of the womb)
  • gallstones
  • migraine
  • brown patches on the face and body (chloasma)
  • any disease that is prone to worsen during pregnancy
  • you have had inflamed veins (phlebitis)
  • anyone in your family has had breast cancer
  • anyone in your family has had any illness caused by blood clots, or a heart attack or stroke at a young age
  • any other condition that may increase your risk of thrombosis (blood clots); ask your doctor for more advice on this

It should not be used in:

  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • history, or family history of blood clots in the legs, lungs, eyes, or anywhere else
  • history, or family history of, a heart attack or stroke
  • any medical condition which makes you more at risk of developing blood clots
  • Very high or uncontrolled blood pressure
  • abnormal red blood cells (sickle-cell anaemia)
  • disorders of blood fat (lipid) metabolism
  • cancer of the breast or of the lining of the womb (mammary or endometrial carcinoma) or have ever had either of these conditions
  • abnormal bleeding from your vagina of unknown cause
  • certain types of jaundice (Dubin-Johnson or Rotor syndromes)
  • severe diabetes with changes to the blood vessels
  • liver tumours or have ever had these
  • any other long or short term liver disease
  • allergy to any of the ingredients of the medicine

Also see list of precautions and interactions

STORAGE

Do not store above 25ºC.

CO-CYPRINDIOL USES

What is it used for?

  • Co-cyprindiol is used to regulates the levels of a hormone called androgen (a male sex-hormone produced by women), and blocks its effects on the skin.
  • It is a anti-androgen, sometimes known as a hormone treatment.
  • It is used to stop unwanted affects of over production of the male sex hormone, androgen.
  • In general this drug is used to stop androgens affecting the skin.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include control of excess hair growth or severe acne

Listed below are the typical uses of co-cyprindiol.

  • in women, severe acne which hasn't improved after the long-term use of oral antibiotics,
  • excessive hair growth on the face and body (moderately severe hirsutism).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.

  • none known.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • If you are new to co-cyprindiol or are starting it again after a break, take your first tablet on the first day of bleeding of your next period. For other users, see the package leaflet enclosed with your medication. Start with a pill marked with the correct day of the week. For instance, if your period starts on a Wednesday, start with a pill marked "Wed". After taking your first pill, take one pill each day, following the directions of the arrows, until you have finished all 21 pills in the pack.
    You should try to take the pill at the same time every day, for example, after breakfast.
    Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary.
    After you have taken all 21 tablets, you have 7 days when you take no tablets.
    Start taking your next pack of co-cyprindiol after 7 pill-free days.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take a few months before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Co-cyprindiol does not affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Ultraviolet lamps and prolonged sunbathing should be avoided if you are taking co-cyprindiol as their use increases the chance of chloasma, a patchy discoloration of the skin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if your symptoms have disappeared, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

CO-CYPRINDIOL SIDE EFFECTS

  • bleeding and spotting between your periods
  • headaches
  • feeling sick, being sick and stomach upsets
  • sore breasts
  • depressive moods
  • loss of interest in sex
  • changes in weight
  • chloasma (yellow brown patches on the skin)
  • poor tolerance to contact lenses

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • migraine for the first time, or if existing migraine occurs more often than before
  • unusually bad headaches or if you have headaches more often than before,
  • sudden changes to your eyesight, hearing, speech, sense of smell, taste or touch,
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • unusual pains in your leg
  • unusual swelling of your arms or legs
  • sharp pains in your chest
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • crushing pains or feelings of heaviness in your chest
  • coughing for no apparent reason
  • weakness or numbness on one side of your body
  • formation or symptoms of an inflammation of veins combined with the formation of blood clots (thrombophlebitis)
  • your skin becomes yellow (jaundice)
  • you develop hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • itching of your whole body starts itching
  • an increase in the number of fits (epileptic seizures)
  • a large increase in your blood pressure
  • severe depression
  • severe upper abdominal pains
  • unusual swelling of your abdomen
  • definite worsening of conditions which had got worse during a previous pregnancy or whilst previously using the pill or other hormonal contraception (injection, implant, intra-uterine system)
  • pregnancy
  • surgery or immobilization

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

CO-CYPRINDIOL PRECAUTIONS

Before taking co-cyprindiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anti-androgens; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of:

  • Pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • history, or family history of blood clots in the legs, lungs, eyes, or anywhere else
  • history, or family history of, a heart attack or stroke
  • any medical condition which makes you more at risk of developing blood clots
  • abnormal red blood cells (sickle-cell anaemia)
  • disorders of blood fat (lipid) metabolism
  • cancer of the breast or of the lining of the womb (mammary or endometrial carcinoma) or have ever had either of these conditions
  • abnormal bleeding from your vagina of unknown cause
  • certain types of jaundice (Dubin-Johnson or Rotor syndromes)
  • severe diabetes with changes to the blood vessels
  • liver tumours or have ever had these
  • any other long or short term liver disease

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • depression, past or present
  • varicose veins
  • diabetes (diabetes mellitus) or a tendency towards diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • fits (epilepsy)
  • the inherited form of deafness known as otosclerosis
  • the disease of the nervous system called multiple sclerosis
  • the inherited disease called porphyria
  • breast problems, past or present
  • diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases)
  • kidney diseases
  • disturbed liver function
  • you are overweight or obese
  • an intolerance to contact lenses
  • systemic lupus erythematosus - SLE (inflammation of connective tissue)
  • uterine fibroids (benign tumour of the womb)
  • migraine
  • brown patches on the face and body (chloasma)
  • any disease that is prone to worsen during pregnancy
  • you have had inflamed veins (phlebitis)
  • anyone in your family has had breast cancer
  • anyone in your family has had any illness caused by blood clots, or a heart attack or stroke at a young age
  • any other condition that may increase your risk of thrombosis (blood clots); ask your doctor for more advice on this

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect co-cyprindiol.

The elderly: co-cyprindiol can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Co-cyprindiol is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Co-cyprindiol is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

CO-CYPRINDIOL INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur: none known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • antibiotics (such as ampicillin and rifampicin)
  • griseofulvin (which is used to treat fungal infections)
  • phenylbutazone (which is used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat some types of joint diseases)
  • phenytoin; primidone
  • phenobarbitone and some other medicines used in people with epilepsy
  • barbiturates and carbamazepine (which can be used to treat epilepsy or other illnesses)
  • oral tetracyclines
  • medicines used to treat HIV e.g. telaprevir
  • the herbal remedy St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using co-cyprindiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

CO-CYPRINDIOL OVERDOSE

An overdose of co-cyprindiol may cause nausea, vomiting and, in females, withdrawal bleeding. You should consult your doctor who will be able to advise you what action, if any, is necessary.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of co-cyprindiol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you are more than 12 hours late in taking a pill, or have missed more than one pill:
Contraceptive protection may be lower, so you must use extra protection. Follow the instructions for the 7-day rule.

7-day rule
Take the most recent 'late' pill and continue to take your next pills at your normal times and use an extra contraceptive method (condoms or cap plus spermicide) for the next 7 days. If your present pack ends before the 7 days, start the next pack the next day, without a break. This means taking a pill every day during your normal 7 pill-free days. You will not have a period until you have finished the next pack, but this is not harmful. You may see some bleeding on pill-taking days, but do not worry. If no bleeding occurs in the 7 day break see the package insert for more details.

If one pill is 12 hours late or less, take the late pill at once, and keep taking your next pills at the usual time.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets for beautiful hair
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
nappy being changed
How to change your baby's nappy
woman using moisturizer
Causes and home solutions
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
woman with cucumbers on eyes
How to banish dark circles and bags
probiotic shakes
Help digestion
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting