Gedarel is a combined contraceptive pill that's up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken as prescribed. It's available in two doses - a standard dose and a low dose. Our doctors can help you find the right dose for your needs.

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from £14.99

Product details

Gedarel is a combined contraceptive pill that is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Gedarel is available in two doses - a standard dose (Gedarel 30/150) and a low-dose version (Gedarel 20/150).

Dr Simran Deo Medical Editor

Medically reviewed by

Dr Simran Deo

Last reviewed: 03 Mar 2021

Gedarel prices

Pack Size Price
20 mcg - 3 x 21 tablet(s) £14.99
20 mcg - 6 x 21 tablet(s) £24.99
30 mcg - 3 x 21 tablet(s) £14.99
30 mcg - 6 x 21 tablet(s) £24.99

How it Works

About Gedarel Contraceptive Pill

What is Gedarel?

Gedarel is a combined oral contraceptive pill that contains two synthetic hormones, desogestrel (progesterone) and ethinylestradiol (oestrogen). There are two types of Gedarel, Gedarel 20/150 and Gedarel 30/150.

Gedarel 20/150

Gedarel 20/150 is a low dose version and contains 20 micrograms (mcg) of oestrogen. This type of Gedarel is more suited to some women as it has a lower chance of causing side effects.

Gedarel 30/150

Gedarel 30/150 is the standard dose and contains 30mcg of oestrogen. This may be suitable for some women who benefit from a higher dose of oestrogen, as it can help regulate bleeding patterns or cause positive side effects such as improvements to skin.

Most women take Gedarel to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but the combined pill can also be used to treat heavy or painful periods.

Is Gedarel the same as Marvelon?

No, Gedarel and Marvelon are not the same, but they are very similar. Gedarel and Marvelon are both combined contraceptive pills that contain the same active ingredients (desogestrel and ethinylestradiol), but Marvelon is not available in a low dose form.

Gedarel 20/150 contains less ethinylestradiol (oestrogen) than Marvelon, but Gedarel 30/150 and Marvelon are equivalent medications - the only difference between Marvelon and Gedarel 30/150 is the branding and manufacturer. If you tried Marvelon and found that it worked for you, it is very likely that you will have the same result taking Gedarel 30/150.

How to buy Gedarel

Gedarel is available to buy online, simply, and effectively, with Superdrug Online Doctor. You will also be able to get Gedarel even if you’ve never taken it before. To purchase Gedarel from Superdrug Online Doctor, you will need to:

  • Fill out a short online assessment.
  • One of our doctors will review your questionnaire and make sure it’s safe for you to take this medication.
  • If it is, then Gedarel will be sent in the post to an address of your choice. Alternatively, you can collect it from a Superdrug store of your choice.
  • The service is convenient and confidential, and all medication is packaged in discreet packaging.

Can you get Gedarel over the counter?

No, you can’t buy Gedarel over the counter or without a prescription. Gedarel is a prescription-only medication (POM) which means you will need a prescription from a doctor before you can get it from a pharmacy.

Can you get Gedarel on the NHS?

Gedarel may be available to you for free on the NHS, but this will depend on your local guidelines. You will need to book an appointment with your GP or an NHS-partnered sexual health clinic for an assessment to find out if you are eligible.

How does Gedarel work?

Gedarel works by releasing and regulating the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones protect you from pregnancy by:

  • Preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries).
  • Increasing the thickness of the fluid around the cervix (neck of the womb) to make it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.
  • Thinning the womb lining so that a fertilised egg will find it more difficult to implant and develop.

How long does Gedarel take to work?

If you take Gedarel within the first 5 days of your period, then you will be protected from pregnancy immediately.

If you begin to take Gedarel later than this then you will need to use another form of contraception, such as a condom, to prevent pregnancy. You only need to do this for the first seven days and only for the first pack.

How effective is Gedarel?

If taken correctly, Gedarel is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, factors such as being sick, having diarrhoea, taking some specific medications or missing pills can make the pill less effective. Because of these factors, Gedarel is around 91% effective in practice.

How to take Gedarel

Gedarel comes in strips of 21 tablets, with each tablet marked with the day of the week it should be taken on.

  1. Swallow one tablet per day with water for 21 days. To start, if it is a Monday take a pill marked ‘Monday’ and so on, this will help you to keep track of your pills.
  2. Try to take the pill at the same time each day. It can be taken at any time but taking it at the same time everyday will increase its effectiveness.
  3. After 21 days, you will take a 7-day pill free break.
  4. During the break, you will have a withdrawal bleed, like your period.
  5. You will still be protected from pregnancy during the 7-day break if you took all the pills as instructed during the week before your break.
  6. After the 7-day break, start a new strip of pills. You should start each new strip on the same day each time.

When should I start taking Gedarel?

You can start Gederal at any point during your menstrual cycle, but whether you will be fully protected from pregnancy will depend on when you begin taking it.

If you take Gedarel in the first five days of your period, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away and won’t need to use other types of contraception like condoms. If you begin taking Gedarel at any other time during your menstrual cycle you will need to use further protection for the next seven days.

Can I take Gedarel without a break?

Yes, you can take Gedarel without a break and this can reduce side effects in some women.

What happens if you miss a Gedarel pill?

If you miss one pill and are less than 12 hours late then your protection from pregnancy will not be reduced. You should take the missed tablet as soon as you remember even if it means taking two in one day. Take the following pills at your usual time.

If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill, your protection from pregnancy may be reduced. Continue to take your pill as normal but you should avoid unprotected sex for 7 days. If you have already had unprotected sex (after your missed pill), you will need to use emergency contraception.

If you miss a pill and your strip ends within the next six days, you should skip your usual 7-day break and continue with the next strip of pills.

Can I take Gedarel to delay my period?

Yes, Gedarel is a monophasic pill that means it delivers the same amount of hormones throughout the pill pack. So, you can skip your 7-day break and start the next strip of Gedarel immediately after the last to delay your period.

Can I use Gedarel as emergency contraception?

Gederal cannot be used as emergency contraception, but you can take it back-to-back to delay your period.

Is Gedarel safe?

Yes, if you have been prescribed Gedarel by a doctor or registered medical professional, then it is safe for you to take.

Gedarel is safe for most women to use and is a commonly prescribed form of contraception in the UK. There is no evidence to suggest Gedarel is any less safe than other combined contraceptive pills.

Gedarel side effects

Most women who take Gedarel do not experience any side effects, but some do.

Very common:

  • Irregular bleeding
  • Common:
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Feeling nervous
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acne
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Painful periods
  • Absence of periods
  • Weight gain
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Weight gain


  • Fluid retention
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Impaired hearing
  • Migraine
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Rash or urticaria
  • Breast enlargement


  • Increased libido
  • Eye irritation for contact lens wearers
  • Itching
  • Skin disorders
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Blood clots

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

During the first three months of taking Gedarel, side effects are common as your body gets used to the hormonal changes brought on by taking the pill. Most women find they go away or become more manageable after this period.

If your side effects continue after three months, or you’re finding them difficult to cope with, you should speak to your doctor. They may recommend that you stop taking Gedarel and swap to a different pill or that you try switching to the low dose (20/150 Gedarel). These options may cause less side effects or clear them completely.

Does Gedarel make your breasts grow?

Enlarged breasts are listed as an uncommon side effect of taking Gedarel, affecting up to 1 in 100 people. It is not guaranteed that this will be a side effect of taking Gedarel for you.

Does Gedarel increase your risk of blood clots?

Taking any combined oral contraceptive pill is associated with an increased risk of blood clots. Women who take a combined pill have a greater risk of developing a blood clot compared to women who don’t. The risk of developing a blood clot is listed as a rare side effect for Gedarel, affecting up to 1 in 1000 people.

Does the Gedarel pill help acne?

Contraceptive pills containing ethinylestradiol and desogestrel like Gedarel have been shown to help reduce acne. That’s because they help to lower circulating male hormones which increase the production of sebum, contributing to the development of spots. However, Gedarel lists acne as a common side effect of taking the pill, affecting up to 1 in 10 people. So, there is no guarantee that it will improve acne.

Can Gedarel make you depressed?

Yes, mood changes and depression affect 1 in 10 people who take Gedarel.

Can Gedarel cause changes to your weight?

Weight gain is listed as a common side effect of taking Gedarel. However, weight fluctuations are common during your menstrual cycle because of many factors, including fluid retention. There is no clear association between taking a combined oral contraceptive pill and weight gain.

Does the Gedarel pill stop periods?

Taking Gedarel can cause your periods to become irregular, heavier, or painful and some women experience an absence of periods. You can delay your period by taking 2 strips of Gedarel back-to-back without a 7-day pill break.

Can Gedarel cause mood swings

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

Can Gedarel give you low libido?

A low sex drive is listed as a common side effect of Gedarel and can affect up to 1 in 10 people. Research suggests reduced testosterone levels in women can affect their desire to have sex. Oestrogen in the combined pill can affect your testosterone levels. Other side effects of taking the pill such as vaginal dryness, irregular or painful periods may also affect libido because this can affect your enjoyment.

Who shouldn't take Gedarel?

Gedarel may not be suitable for everyone. If Gedarel or any combined pill is not right for you or you cannot take oestrogen, you may need to use a progestogen-only pill also known as the mini-pill. These do not contain oestrogen and are suitable for women who cannot take this hormone.

Drug Warnings

You should not take Gedarel if you have or have ever had:

  • a blood clot in your legs, lungs, or any other organ
  • a disorder affecting your blood's ability to clot
  • a heart attack or stroke
  • angina pectoris or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • severe diabetes with blood vessel damage
  • very high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides
  • hyperhomocysteinaemia
  • migraine with aura
  • liver disease or abnormal liver function
  • a tumour in the liver
  • breast cancer
  • cancer of the genital organs
  • any unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • endometrial hyperplasia
  • hepatitis C

Or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Gedarel, are pregnant or think you might be.

Drug Interactions

The following drugs are known to interact negatively with Gedarel, and you should tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications used to treat:

  • hepatitis C (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, dasabuvir)
  • epilepsy (topiramate, oxcarbazepine, felbamate, carbamazepine, primidone, phenobarbital, phenytoin)
  • tuberculosis (rifampicin or rifabutin)
  • HIV infections
  • fungal infection (griseofulvin)
  • increased blood pressure in the lung (bosentan)

You should also tell your doctor if you are taking the herbal remedy St. John’s Wort.

Gedarel risks

Gedarel may increase the risk of:

  • blood clots
  • breast cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • benign liver tumours
  • mood or depressive disorders

Can I drink while taking Gedarel?

Yes, you can drink while taking Gedarel. Alcohol will not make Gedarel any less effective at preventing pregnancy.

Can I take painkillers when taking Gedarel?

Yes, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen while taking Gedarel. They will not make Gedarel any less effective.

Can I take Gedarel when I'm breastfeeding?

Gederal is not usually prescribed if you are breastfeeding. If you want to use a contraceptive pill while you are breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor for advice.

Gedarel reviews

Gedarel 30/150 is rated 3 out of 5 stars on The Lowdown.

  • Tender breasts affected 20% of reviewers a great deal.
  • 34% claimed that their moods were somewhat negatively affected
  • 47% reported no change in their body weight.
  • 62% stated that they experienced a loss of sex drive.

The low dose Gedarel 20/150 was rated 3 out of 5 stars on The Lowdown and headaches were listed as a common side effect with 71% of people stating they experienced headaches while taking Gedarel 20/150.


Patient Reviews