Cerazette is a type of contraceptive pill known as a mini pill or the progestogen-only pill (POP). It's usually suitable for most women and is an excellent option for people who cannot take contraceptive pills that contain oestrogen (combined pills).

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from £19.99

Product details

Cerazette is a type of contraceptive pill known as the mini pill, or the progestogen-only pill (POP). Cerazette is suitable for most women, and is a good choice for women who cannot take contraceptive pills that contain oestrogen (combined pills).

Dr Louisa Draper

Medically reviewed by

Dr Louisa Draper

Last reviewed: 15 Mar 2021

Cerazette prices

Pack Size Price
75 mcg - 3 x 28 tablet(s) £19.99
75 mcg - 6 x 28 tablet(s) £29.99

How it Works

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What is Cerazette?

Cerazette is an oral contraceptive taken to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It contains desogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, and is known as a mini pill.

The mini pill does not contain oestrogen, unlike combined oral contraceptives. This makes Cerazette suitable for women who are advised not to take contraceptives that contain oestrogen. This includes women who:

  • are over 35 and smoke
  • have high blood pressure or a history of blood clots
  • have a history of migraines with auras
  • are currently breastfeeding

Is Cerazette the same as Cerelle?

Cerazette and Cerelle are exactly the same medication but they have different brand names as they are manufactured by different companies. They are equally effective in preventing pregnancy.

How to buy Cerazette

You can buy Cerazette online from a registered and reputable online doctor, such as Superdrug Online Doctor, in a few simple steps:

  1. Fill in a brief medical questionnaire.
  2. Our doctors will review your answers and make sure it is safe to prescribe you Cerazette.
  3. You then decide how you would like to receive your prescription: either as a discreet package through the post or you can ‘Click and Collect’ it from your local Superdrug pharmacy.
  4. At any point, you can message our doctors for advice free of charge through your patient account.

Can I buy Cerazette online even if I have never taken it before?

Yes, you can buy Cerazette online if you’ve never taken it before. When you place an order you will fill in a questionnaire about your health, which our doctors will review. Our doctors will then prescribe you Cerazette, but only if it is safe for you to take.

Can you get Cerazette over the counter?

No, you can’t get Cerazette over the counter without a prescription. Cerazette is a prescription only medication, so you need a prescription from a doctor before you can get it from a pharmacy.

Can you get Cerazette on the NHS?

Whether or not you can get Cerazette on the NHS depends on local guidelines. To find this out you should book an appointment with your GP or visit an NHS sexual health clinic.

How does Cerazette work?

Cerazette works by releasing desogestrel into your body, which is a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone. Progesterone prevents your ovaries from releasing an egg, so you stop ovulating each month. It also increases the thickness of the fluid around the neck of the womb which makes it harder for sperm to reach the egg and thins the lining of the womb making it harder for a fertilised egg to implant itself.

How effective is Cerazette?

If Cerazette is taken as prescribed, it’s 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies. In reality, things like forgetting to take Cerazette at the same time every day, or being ill with diarrhoea or vomiting can reduce its effectiveness to 91%.

It’s also important to remember that no contraceptive pill protects you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you want to protect yourself from STIs as well as pregnancy you will need to use a condom when you have sex.

How long does Cerazette take to work?

If you start taking Cerazette between days 1 and 5 of your cycle, you will be protected against pregnancy straight away. If you start taking it after day 6 of your cycle, you will need to use protection for 48 hours before you are protected.

How to take Cerazette

Cerazette comes in strips of 28 tablets, with each tablet marked with the day of the week it should be taken on:

  • Take the tablet for the appropriate day, following the labels on the top of the strip.
  • Take each tablet at the same time every day, and swallow it whole with water.
  • Do not take a break between taking pills
  • Start a new strip after 28 days. You should start each new strip on the same day

Why do I need to take Cerazette at the same time each day?

Cerazette does not need to be taken at the same time every day. You can take it within 12 hours of the time when you normally take it and it will still be effective. For example, if you take your pill at 7am on one day and then 10am the next day, you’ll still be protected.

Taking Cerazette at the same time every day helps to regulate the dose of desogestrel, which makes sure it’s effective at protecting you from unwanted pregnancies. Getting into a routine of taking Cerazette at the same time every day also makes it less likely that you’ll forget to take a pill.

However, if you do not take your Cerazette pill within 12 hours of the time when you normally take it, you need to treat the situation as though you have missed a pill.

What do I do if I miss taking my Cerazette pill?

If you forget to take your pill, but it’s within 12 hours of when you normally would, you should take it as soon as you remember. You will not need to use any additional contraception and you will not need an emergency contraceptive.

If you’ve forgotten to take your pill at your normal time and it’s over 12 hours since you would have taken it, you should:

  1. Take the missed pill as soon as you remember
  2. Continue with the next pill at the usual time (even if it means taking 2 pills on the same day or at the same time)
  3. Use additional contraception such as condoms for the next 48 hours

If you’ve had unprotected sex in the 2 days before you missed a pill or since you missed your pill, you’ll need to use emergency contraception.

What should I do if I am sick or have diarrhoea while taking Cerazette?

If you vomit within 4 hours after taking your tablet or you have severe diarrhoea, you should treat the situation as though you have missed a pill.

When should I start taking Cerazette?

You can start taking Cerazette at any point in your menstrual cycle.

Whether or not you are protected from pregnancy will depend on where you are in your cycle when you start taking Cerazette:

  • Day 1 to 5 of your period: you will be protected immediately
  • Any other point in your cycle: you will need to use other forms of contraception, such as condoms, for the next 2 days to be protected

If you are starting to take Cerazette and are changing from another contraceptive pill or another form of contraception you may not need to take additional precautions in the following situations:

  • you switch to Cerazette from another mini pill: you can change on any day
  • you switch to Cerazette from a combined pill: you should start taking Cerazette the day after you finish the tablets in your present pack (if you pack contains both active and inactive pills, make the switch at the end of the active tablets)
  • you switch to Cerzaette from a vaginal ring or patch: you should start taking it the day your ring or patch is removed

When changing contraception, you should talk to your GP and follow their advice on what you need to do.

Can I take Cerazette to delay my period?

No, as you have to take Cerazette every day without taking a break, you cannot use it to delay your period.

Can I take Cerazette if I am breast-feeding?

Yes, Cerazette does not appear to impact the quality or quantity of your breastmilk. However, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor first before starting to take Cerazette if you are breastfeeding.

Can I drink while taking Cerazette?

Yes, Cerazette does not interact with alcohol.

Can I take painkillers when taking Cerazette?

Yes, Cerazette does not interact with painkillers.

Can I use Cerazette as emergency contraception?

No, Cerazette does not work as emergency contraception. If you have had unprotected sex or the protection you used failed, then you should use emergency contraception such as the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill) or intrauterine device (coil).

This is because Cerazette works to prevent fertilisation in the first place, whereas emergency contraception works to prevent pregnancy if fertilisation has occurred.

Cerazette Side Effects

While many women take Cerazette without any problems, it is possible to get side effects. These vary from person to person and can be common in the first 3 months as your body gets used to the hormonal changes caused by taking the pill. If these changes are overwhelming from the start or do not go away after 3 months you should speak to the doctor who prescribed this pill to you. They may suggest you stop taking Cerazette or that you swap to a different pill.

Common (affecting up to 1 in 10 women) side effects of Cerazette include:

  • oily skin and acne
  • irregular bleeding
  • low sex drive
  • weight gain
  • mood changes
  • feeling sick
  • headache
  • breast pain or tenderness

Uncommon side effects (affect up to 1 in 100 women):

  • tiredness
  • vomiting
  • hair loss
  • painful menstruation / ovarian cysts
  • vaginal infection
  • issues wearing contact lenses

Rare side effects (affect up to 1 in 1,000 women)

  • hives
  • rash
  • painful blue-red skin lumps

How will Cerazette affect my skin?

It varies from person to person but Cerazette can make acne worse if you already have it. This is because progesterone has been found to increase sebum production, an oily substance which helps protect the skin. Large amounts of sebum can clog up pores and cause an outbreak of spots.

How will Cerazette affect my periods?

Cerazette can cause changes to periods, which will be different for different women. Cerazette can cause periods to become lighter, heavier, more regular, irregular or stop completely. Some women also notice spotting or breakthrough bleeding between periods. These side effects usually get better after 3 months once your body has adjusted to the changes in hormone levels.

How will Cerazette affect my sex drive?

The hormonal changes caused by taking Cerazette can impact your sex drive. Progesterone usually lowers your sex drive, but there are cases where women experience an increased desire to have sex.

Will Cerazette make me gain weight?

Despite weight gain being a commonly reported side effect of the contraceptive pill, there is no scientific evidence that Cerazette causes long-term changes to your weight.

Can Cerazette cause headaches?

Cerazette is a hormonal contraceptive, and hormonal changes can cause headaches. These headaches are usually mild, and go away after a few months as your body gets used to these changes. Cerazette will not cause migraines, and is actually more suitable for women with a history of migraines with aura than combined pills.

Can Cerazette cause high blood pressure?

Cerazette has not been found to cause high blood pressure, but if you do develop high blood pressure while taking Cerazette then you should talk to your doctor, as it may not be safe for you to take it..

Can Cerazette cause bloating?

Some women report that Cerazette causes bloating, but this is not a recognised side effect from clinical trials.

Does Cerazette cause hair loss?

Cerazette causes hormonal changes in your body, which may cause hair loss. This is usually a temporary side effect while your body adjusts to Cerazette, and will return to normal after a few (usually 3) months.

Who shouldn’t take Cerazette?

Cerazette is not suitable for some women. You may not be able to take it if you:

  • think you might be pregnant
  • have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • are taking other medicines that might affect it
  • have arterial disease, heart disease or have had a stroke
  • have liver disease, severe cirrhosis or liver tumours
  • have or have had breast cancer
  • have a thrombosis
  • are allergic to desogestrel, or any of the other ingredients of Cerazette

If this is the case for you, your doctor can advise you and you may be able to try other mini pills that contain a different type of progesterone, such as Norgeston or Noriday.

Before you start to take Cerazette you should tell you doctor if any of the following apply to you as you may need to be kept under close observation:

  • have ever had breast cancer
  • have liver cancer, since a possible effect of Cerazette cannot be excluded
  • have ever had a thrombosis
  • have diabetes
  • suffer from epilepsy
  • have tuberculosis
  • have high blood pressure
  • have or have had chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly of the face)

Some medicines can make Cerazette less effective in preventing pregnancy. These include medicines for the treatment of:

  • epilepsy
  • tuberculosis
  • HIV infections
  • Hepatitis C virus infection or other infectious diseases
  • high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs
  • depressive moods
  • certain bacterial infections
  • fungal infections
  • high blood pressure , angina or certain heart rhythm disorders

If you are taking any medications or herbal supplements, you should talk to your doctor before taking Cerazette.

Is Cerazette safe?

Yes, if you have been prescribed Cerazette then it is safe for you to take.

Cerazette is a commonly prescribed contraceptive pill in the UK and there is no evidence that it is any less safe to take than other contraceptive pills.

What are the risks of taking Cerazette?

As with all contraceptive mini pills, there are risks when taking this medication. Most women find that the risks are outweighed by the benefits, but it is important to discuss any concerns you have with your GP.

  • Ovarian cysts: some women develop fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries which normally disappear without treatment. 
  • Breast cancer: research is ongoing into the link between the mini pill and breast cancer. While there isn’t sufficient evidence to say for certain that the mini pill does not increase the risk of breast cancer, research indicates that the risk is very small and disappears with time after you stop taking it. Doctors do not think there is an increased risk for women who have a familial history of breast cancer.

Cerazette reviews

On Trustpilot, our customers rate our service 4.8 out of 5 stars. This includes the process of ordering and delivering Cerazette from Superdrug Online Doctor as well as how customers rate Cerazette itself.

Users on The Low Down rate Cerazette 3.5 stars out of 5. Their data includes details on how women view their moods, weight gain and sex drive while taking Cerazette.

On Drugs.com, users do not rate Cerazette or desogestrel specifically but they do rate the use of desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol (a man-made version of oestrogen) as the combined pill for birth control. The average rate is 5.4 out of 10 from over 1000 reviews. Of those reviewed 36% reported a positive effect from taking this birth control and 37% reported a negative effect.

Cerazette FAQs

Is there a best contraceptive pill?

Lots of different pills are available, and they are all slightly different. There is no “best contraceptive pill”, but certain pills may work better for you than others, and some may not be suitable for you at all. Each pill contains slightly different hormones, sometimes in different amounts, so finding the best pill for you may involve some trial and error, with the guidance of a doctor. For advice on getting the right pill for you, read our doctors’ guide on how to find the best contraceptive pill.

Can the pill make me bleed between periods?

Bleeding between periods is a possible side effect of some of the contraceptive pills, especially the mini pill. Apart from discomfort and inconvenience, this is not usually a sign of something wrong and isn’t harmful to your health. However, bleeding between periods is usually a temporary side effect, and typically gets better in the first few months as your body gets used to the pill. So if it doesn’t stop after a couple of months, or is very heavy or worrying, you should see your doctor straight away to rule out any other causes. For more information, you can read our doctors’ advice on how the pill can affect your bleeding.

I didn’t get my period while taking the pill. Am I pregnant?

The pill is over 99% effective, so if you are taking it correctly then you are very unlikely to get pregnant. If you miss your period, it does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. Some pills, especially the mini pill, can cause you to delay or skip your period, or stop having them at all. Read our doctors’ advice on how to tell if you are pregnant on the pill, and what you can do about it.

Can I switch to a different pill?

There are lots of different contraceptive pills, so if you find that the pill that you are on isn’t right for you, then there are plenty of other options to choose from. However, before switching to a different pill, you should talk with a doctor about which pill to switch to, and how to switch pills safely. For more information, read our doctors’ advice on how to switch contraceptive pills.

Does the pill cause weight gain?

While some women report they gained weight whilst taking the pill, there is no clinical evidence that pill causes weight gain. However, oestrogen can cause you to retain more water, progesterone can increase your appetite, both of which can lead to weight gain. For more information, read what our doctors have to say about weight gain and the pill.

How long will it take to get pregnant after taking the pill?

Taking the contraceptive pill has no long term impact on your fertility, so your fertility levels should return to normal shortly after stopping the pill. It is possible to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking the pill, though some women may find it takes a few months for their periods to return to normal.

How do birth control pills work?

While there are many different types of pill, they all work to prevent pregnancy in the same way. The hormones in the contraceptive pill prevent pregnancy by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation), increasing the thickness of the fluid around the neck of the womb to prevent sperm from reaching an egg, and making the lining of the womb thinner to make it harder for any fertilised eggs to implant. Read for more information on how the pill works.

How effective is the pill?

All contraceptive pills are equally effective, and are more than 99% effective in protecting you against pregnancy. However, things like missing a pill, and vomiting or having diarrhoea shortly after taking it can make it less effective. Taking this into account, the pill is about 91% effective in practice.

What should I do if I miss a pill?

If you miss a pill, the first thing you should do is take it as soon as you remember and take your next pill as normal, even if it means taking two pills at the same time. Depending on the type of pill you are taking (combined or mini pill), or where in your cycle you missed a pill, you may not be protected from pregnancy any more and would need to use additional contraception. Read our doctors’ guide on what to do if you miss a pill.

Can I take antibiotics on the pill?

Most antibiotics don’t interact with the pill, and won’t make it less effective. However, there are a few less common antibiotics that do, so you should always tell your doctor that you are taking the pill if they prescribe you antibiotics. In addition, some antibiotics can have an indirect impact on the effectiveness of the pill, such as causing vomiting or diarrhoea. If you are taking antibiotics regularly, or are planning on taking them, then speak to your doctor first to make sure they do not interact. For more information, read our doctors’ guidance if you should take the pill and antibiotics.


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