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DESOGESTREL

Brand Name(s) : Cerazette, Marvelon (with ethinylestradiol), Mercilon (with ethinylestradiol)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

DESOGESTREL WARNINGS

Desogestrel should be used with caution in: those with arterial disease, a previous thrombosis (a blood clot in a blood vessel such as in the legs [deep vein thrombosis] or the lungs [pulmonary embolism]), a previous ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg attaches itself outside the uterus [womb]), previous jaundice, those with epilepsy, diabetes, tuberculosis, or chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly on the face).

It should not be used in: pregnant women, those with severe liver problems and/or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), a current thrombosis, severe arterial disease, if there is unexplained bleeding from the vagina, a blood disorder called acute porphyria, or in certain types of cancer that might be made worse by this drug (e.g. breast cancer or cancer of the genitals).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

No special storage conditions required.

DESOGESTREL USES

What is it used for?

  • Desogestrel is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • It is a type of contraceptive, sometimes known as the pill or mini-pill.
  • In general this drug is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains a type of female sex hormone, the progestogen desogestrel. Thus, it is called a progestogen-only-pill (POP), or a mini-pill, and is particularly useful in women who do not tolerate oestrogens (used in combined contraceptive pills) and for women who are breastfeeding.
  • Benefits of being on this drug include the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.

Listed below are the typical uses of desogestrel.

  • Contraception.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, once daily at the same time each day. Swallow the tablet whole with water
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take up to a week 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?

  • None known. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

DESOGESTREL SIDE EFFECTS

  • Bleeding from the vagina at irregular intervals
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Breast discomfort
  • Depression
  • Acne
  • Disturbance of appetite
  • Increases in weight
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Hair loss
  • Infection of the vagina
  • Irregular or no periods
  • Painful periods
  • Ovarian cysts (small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries)
  • Tiredness.
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: signs of a thrombosis: severe pain or swelling in either of your legs, unexplained pains in the chest, breathlessness, an unusual cough.

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

DESOGESTREL PRECAUTIONS

Before taking desogestrel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other oral contraceptives; 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: severe liver problems and/or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), a current thrombosis, severe arterial disease, if there is unexplained bleeding from the vagina, a blood disorder called acute porphyria, or in certain cancers that might be made worse by this drug.

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: breast cancer or liver cancer, arterial disease, a previous thrombosis (a blood clot in a blood vessel such as in the legs [deep vein thrombosis] or the lungs [pulmonary embolism]), a previous ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilised egg attaches itself outside the uterus [womb]), previous jaundice, previous epilepsy, diabetes, tuberculosis, or chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly on the face).

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

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • It is not known whether drinking alcohol affects this drug's action.

The elderly: not applicable as there is no need to use desogestrel in the elderly.

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

PREGNANCY

Desogestrel 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

Desogestrel is suitable 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.

DESOGESTREL 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.

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

  • Anti-epileptics (e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin and primidone)
  • Antibiotics (e.g. rifampicin or rifabutin)
  • Anti-virals (e.g. ritonavir)
  • Anti-fungals (griseofulvin)
  • Medical charcoal, used to treat stomach upsets.
  • Antidepressants (e.g. the herbal remedy St John's Wort)

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

DESOGESTREL OVERDOSE

The effects of overdose with desogestrel are: feeling sick (nausea), vomiting, and slight vaginal bleeding (in young girls).

People who have taken too much desogestrel should seek assistance from a healthcare professional.

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

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose you may loose your contraception protection. Check the Patient Information Leaflet or speak to your healthcare professional for up to date advice.

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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.

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