How is Cilest taken?
Cilest needs to be taken at the same time every day in order to prevent pregnancy (this can be the time that is most convenient for you, as long as you stick to a routine and always take your pill then).
You can take the daily tablet with a drink of water.
Combined contraceptives like Cilest need to be taken for three weeks straight, followed by a one week break, when you’ll have your period. You are still protected from pregnancy during your pill-free week.
What happens if I forget one dose?
Try not to miss any tablets or to delay taking your pill. If you do forget to take the tablet at your usual time, take the tablet as soon as you remember and then take the next pill at the normal time, even if this means taking two pills in the same day.
You will still be protected as long as you take the pill within 12 hours of the time you usually take it.
If you have missed the 12 hour window for taking Cilest, you will need to use extra protection, like condoms, for seven days. Please read the Cilest patient leaflet for more detailed information on how to deal with a missed dose.
Can smokers use Cilest?
If you are over 35 and smoke, Cilest is not suitable for you. Taking a combined pill such as Cilest is associated with a slight increase in the risk of thrombosis and blood clots. Your GP may be able to recommend an estrogen-free mini pill which has no impact on your thrombosis risk.
It is also important that you mention to your doctor if you are suffering from hypertension or high cholesterol levels before taking a hormonal contraceptive. The same applies if you drink a lot of alcohol, which may also mean you have a high risk of cardiovascular problems.
How does Cilest work?
Cilest works in three ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies:
- it prevents ovulation;
- it causes the mucus at the entrance of the womb to thicken, so that it is harder for sperm to make its way to the egg;
- it makes it harder for a fertilised egg to implant and develop in the wall of the uterus.
Does Cilest interact with antibiotics?
As all contraceptive pills, Cilest can interact with enzyme inducing antibiotics. These include rifampicin and rifabutin. If you are prescribed an enzyme inducing antibiotic while taking the pill, ask your doctor whether this will affect your contraceptive protection.
If it does, it is likely that you will need to use an additional means of contraception such as a condom or a contraceptive diaphragm for up to seven days after you have stopped taking the antibiotic. Your doctor will advise you on how to stay protected.
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