Cilique is a combined oral contraceptive pill that's up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken as prescribed. It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. It can also effectively regulate heavy, painful periods and reduce acne.

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from £19.99

Product details

Cilique is a prescription only combined oral contraceptive pill taken by women to prevent pregnancy. It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Because of this it may also be useful for regulating heavy and painful periods as well as reducing acne. If taken correctly, Cilique is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Dr Simran Deo Medical Editor

Medically reviewed by

Dr Simran Deo

Last reviewed: 05 Mar 2021

Cilique prices

Pack Size Price
35 mcg - 3 x 21 tablet(s) £19.99
35 mcg - 6 x 21 tablet(s) £29.99

How it Works

About Cilique

What is Cilique?

Cilique is a type of hormonal contraception called the combined pill. Each pill contains a small amount of two different female hormones called progesterone (norgestimate) and oestrogen (ethinylestradiol).

Most women take Cilique to prevent pregnancy, but it can also be used as a treatment for heavy or painful periods. Cilique contains 150mcg of norgestimate and 30mcg of ethinylestradiol.

Is Cilique the same as Cilest?

Cilique and Cilest are both examples of combined contraceptive pills. Both contain the same active ingredients but Cilest has been discontinued. Cilique is recommended as a safe alternative.

How to buy Cilique

You can buy Cilique online from Superdrug Online Doctor. The process is quick and simple. You can even get Cilique if you’ve never taken it before. Simply:

  • Fill out our short online assessment.
  • One of our registered doctors will review your questionnaire and ensure it is safe and appropriate for you to take this medication.
  • If it is, Cilique will be delivered to an address of your choice or you can collect it from a Superdrug store of your choice.

The service is strictly confidential and is a discreet way to purchase your medication. All orders are sent in discreet and unmarked packaging.

Can you get Cilique over the counter?

No, Cilique is a prescription-only medication (POM). That means you will need a prescription from a doctor before you can get it from a pharmacy.

Can you get Cilique on the NHS?

Cilique may be available to you on the NHS but it will depend on local guidelines. You will need to book an appointment with your GP or an NHS-partnered sexual health clinic to get Cilique.

How do I take Cilique?

Cilique comes in a strip of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week. Take Cilique with water, as follows:

  1. take your 1st pill on the 1st day of your period
  2. you should take the pill at the same time each day
  3. take your pill on the correct day of the week, as marked on the pack
  4. take a 7 day break from the pill before starting the next pack

During the 7 day break, you’ll get what is known as a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is like a period.

You do not need to use extra contraception during the 7 day break. But you should make sure you start the next strip of pills on time to continue being protected from pregnancy.

What should I do if I miss a pill?

  • If you miss a pill and remember within 24 hours, you should take the missed pill and then take the next pill at the normal time. You will still be protected from getting pregnant
  • If you forget to take your pill for more than 24 hours, you may be at risk of getting pregnant. Follow our doctor’s guidance on what to do, or check the patient information leaflet

Other ways of taking Cilique

There are other ways of taking Cilique which are not mentioned in the patient information leaflet, but which are also safe. You can:

  • take 1 pill a day for 9 weeks then no pills for the next 7 days, or you can take a 4 day break
  • take 1 pill a day every day with no break

We suggest that you talk to your GP to decide which is the best way for you to take Cilique.

Is Cilique safe?

If you have been prescribed Cilique by a registered medical professional, then it is safe for you to take. Cilique is safe for most women to use and is a commonly prescribed combined contraceptive pill in the UK. There is no evidence to suggest that Cilique is any less safe to take than other combined pills.

How does Cilique work?

Cilique, like all combined contraceptive pills works in three ways to prevent pregnancy:

  • Stops the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation).
  • Thickens the fluid in the cervix also known as the neck of the womb making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.
  • Thins the lining of the womb making it difficult for a fertilised egg to implant.

Cilique releases and regulates the hormones ethinylestradiol and norgestimate which bring about these changes to stop pregnancy from happening.

How long does Cilique take to work?

If you take Cilique on the first day of your next period, you will be protected from pregnancy from your first pill. This is day one of your cycle.

If you start taking Cilique at any time after days 1-5 of your cycle, then you will need to use another method of contraception for the first seven days you take the pill. However, this is only for the first pack. After seven days you will be fully protected.

How effective is Cilique?

When taken correctly, Cilique is over 99% effective at protecting against unwanted pregnancy. However, the effectiveness is likely to be closer to 91% because of events such as vomiting, diarrhoea, taking other medications that make Cilique less effective and missing pills.

How to take Cilique

Cilique comes in a strip of 21 pills, marked with each day of the week. You take Cilique every day for 21 days followed by a 7-day pill free break.

When taking Cilique, you should:

  • Take the pill at the same time every day – it can be taken at any time as long as it’s at the same time each day.
  • Make sure the first pill you take is labelled with the correct day of the week.
  • Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip as this will make it easy for you to follow and identify any missed pills.
  • Take one pill per day.
  • Swallow each tablet whole with a glass of water if necessary.

After taking Cilique for 21 days, you will have a 7-day pill free break. During this week you will get a withdrawal bleed, like your period. You will still be protected from pregnancy during the 7-day break if you took the pills correctly in the week before the break.

After the 7-day break, begin taking a new strip of pills. You should start each strip on the same day every time.

When should I start taking Cilique?

You can begin taking Cilique at any time during your menstrual cycle, but depending on when you start taking it, you may be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you take it in the first 5 days of your period, you will be protected immediately.

If you begin taking Cilique after the first 5 days of your cycle, you will need to use another method of contraception for the first seven pill taking days.

Can I take Cilique without a break?

Yes, you can take Cilique every day without a break. This helps reduce side effects in some women. When you finish the strip of pills you are taking, you can start the next strip the following day without a break. While you are taking the second strip, you may experience some bleeding or spotting. Take the next strip (3rd strip) following the usual 7-day break.

What happens if you miss a Cilique pill?

If you miss one pill:

  • Take the missed pill immediately and continue to take your pills daily as normal.
  • It may mean you have to take 2 pills in one day.
  • Your contraceptive protection shouldn’t be reduced if you are less than 12 hours late.

If you are over 12 hours late or have missed more than one pill:

  • Take the pill you missed most recently as soon as you remember.
  • Leave any earlier missed pills in the strip, do not take them.
  • Take your next pill at the normal time, even if this means taking two pills in one day.
  • You will need to use extra protection for the next seven days such as condoms.
  • Check how many pills are left in the pack after the most recently missed pill.

If there are 7 or more pills left in the pack:

  • Use extra contraceptive methods for the next seven days.
  • When you have finished the strip, have your usual 7-day pill break before starting a new pack.
  • If you missed pills during the first week of the strip and you had sex, there is a chance you could be pregnant. Contact a doctor, family planning clinic, nurse, or pharmacist for advice as soon as possible.

If there are less than 7 pills left in the pack:

  • Use extra contraceptive methods for the next seven days to protect you from pregnancy.
  • When you finish the strip, continue to take the next strip the next day without a break.
  • If you do not have a withdrawal bleed after the second strip is finished, take a pregnancy test.

Can I take Cilique to delay my period?

Yes, you can use Cilique to delay your period because it is a monophasic pill. Once you finish the strip you are taking, start the next strip the following day without a break. After this, continue to take your pills as normal.

While taking the second strip, you may experience some bleeding or spotting but don’t worry. Take the next strip after your usual 7-day pill free break even if there is some spotting or bleeding.

Can I use Cilique as emergency contraception?

Cilique can be taken back-to-back to delay your period but we do not advise using it as emergency contraception. It is much better and more cost-effective to use emergency contraception if you think there is a chance you could become pregnant while taking Cilique.

Cilique side effects

Most women who take Cilique will not experience side effects, but some do. They may include:

Very common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Painful or unusual periods
  • Common side effects:
  • Migraine
  • Swollen hands, feet, or ankles
  • Depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Feeling nervous
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach ache
  • Bloating constipation
  • Acne
  • Muscle spasms
  • Painful breasts
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Thrush
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Feeling weak
  • Weight gain
  • Absent periods

Uncommon side effects:

  • Breast discharge
  • Fuller breasts
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal cells in the cervix
  • Changes in skin colour
  • Skin issues
  • Changes in appetite
  • Hair thinning
  • Varying weight
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Dry eyes
  • Vision changes
  • Palpitations
  • Hot flushes
  • Muscle pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Ovarian cysts

Rare side effects:

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Lumpy breasts
  • Feeling faint or giddy
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Increased sweating
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pancreatitis

What should I do if I think I’m getting Cilique side effects?

Side effects are common during the first three months of taking Cilique as your body adapts to the hormonal changes. They should go away or become more manageable after three months. If you are finding it difficult to cope with side effects, or are concerned about them, speak to your doctor. They can recommend a different pill that may be less likely to give you side effects.

Does Cilique make your breasts grow?

Enlarged breasts are listed as a side effect of taking Cilique. However, there is no guarantee that your breasts will or will not grow when taking Cilique.

Does Cilique increase your risk of blood clots?

Yes, but taking any combined oral contraceptive pill increases the risk of developing a blood clot compared to women who do not take any contraceptive pill.

Does the Cilique pill help acne?

Yes. The hormones in combined contraceptive pills can help to reduce acne because they reduce the number of circulating androgens (male sex hormones) and in turn this lowers the production sebum.

Can Cilique make you depressed?

Yes, depression and mood changes are listed as common side effects of Cilique and can affect up to 1 in 10 people.

Can Cilique cause changes to your weight?

Weight gain is listed as a common side effect of taking Cilique affecting up to 1 in 10 people who take it. However, research shows there is no clear link between taking the combined oral contraceptive pill and weight gain. You may find your weight naturally fluctuates during your menstrual cycle because of other factors not related to the pill.

Does the Cilique pill stop periods?

You can delay your period by taking two packets of Cilique back-to-back and missing your 7-day pill break. You may find your periods become lighter while taking Cilique.

Can Cilique cause mood swings?

Yes, mood swings are listed as a common side effect of taking Cilique affecting up to 1 in 10 people.

Can Cilique give you low libido?

Changes in sex drive are listed as an uncommon side effect of taking Cilique affecting up to 1 in 100 people. Several studies have found a link between hormonal contraceptives and negative sexual function.

Who shouldn't take Cilique?

If Cilique or other combined contraceptive pills are not right for you, you may need to try the mini pill. This type of pill is also called the progestogen-only pill as it doesn’t contain oestrogen, only progestogen.

Drug warnings

Cilique may not be suitable if you:

  • are over 35 and smoke
  • have a raised body mass index (BMI)
  • take statins for high cholesterol

Drug interactions

The following medicines can stop Cilique from working properly:

  • epilepsy medications
  • anti-HIV medications
  • tuberculosis medications
  • barbiturates
  • aprepitant and fosaprepitant for nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments
  • metoclopramide
  • vitamin c
  • paracetamol
  • fungal infection medications
  • modafinil
  • St John’s Wort

Cilique risks

Cilique can increase the risk of:

  • Blood clots in a vein or an artery
  • Cervical cancer
  • Breast cancer

Can I drink while taking Cilique?

Drinking alcohol while taking Cilique will not make it any less effective at preventing pregnancy and won’t increase the risk of side effects.

Can I take painkillers when taking Cilique?

It is fine to take over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol while taking Cilique. They will not reduce the effectiveness of the pill or increase side effects.

Can I take Cilique when I'm breastfeeding?

Cilique is not always recommended while breastfeeding. You should talk to your doctor about other methods of contraception while you are breastfeeding.

Cilique reviews

  • users have rated Cilique 5.3 out of 10.
  • Cilique is rated 2 out of 5 stars by users on The Lowdown.


Patient Reviews