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An alternative to Cilest


Lizinna is a combined pill, which means it has 2 different hormones to help protect your from pregnancy. It actually has the exact same hormones as the pill ‘Cilest’ which means you can switch between them without any fuss. Cilest will no longer be produced from July 2019, so Lizinna will be a good alternative from then on – it’s just as effective and reliable.

If you want to switch over to Lizinna from Cilest, or if you’re already on Lizinna and you just need a refill, you can order online with Superdrug Online Doctor. Get online assessments from UK-registered doctors and free delivery on all orders.

Last reviewed: 24/4/2020 by Dr Simran Deo

3 Month Course - Start Order

6 Month Course - Start Order

To place an order, fill in a brief questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your order and prescribe a suitable treatment.

3 months (63 tablets) £25.00
6 months (126 tablets) £35.00

Prices include prescription and delivery.

In a hurry? Choose Click and Collect and pick up your order after just 4 hours from a Superdrug Pharmacy.

Delivery options

Delivery method Cost Estimated delivery

You will choose your delivery option at the checkout. Delivery options may vary depending on the pack size and dosage chosen.

About Lizinna

Lizinna is a combined contraceptive pill, which means it uses two hormones to help protect against pregnancy. These hormones are 35 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol (a type of oestrogen) and 250 micrograms of norgestimate (a type of progesterone). Lizinna is mostly used to avoid pregnancy, but it might also be able to help you with some hormone-related problems, like acne or period pain.

How Lizinna works – Lizinna works by making your body think you’re already pregnant. This means your body naturally makes it more difficult for sperm to enter your womb and it makes it harder for any fertilised egg to start growing.

How to take Lizinna – you take Lizinna by swallowing it whole with water if you need it. You take it once a day for three weeks in a row before taking a week off. You need to make sure you take your pill the same time every day to make sure you’re as protected as possible. During your week off you can get something called a ‘withdrawal bleed’ which is a bit like a period. After the 7-day break you should start taking your pills again, even if you’re still bleeding.

If you miss a pill – see our page on missing a pill for info on what to do about missing any of your pills.

Lizinna and Cilest are basically the same medication. They have the exact same active ingredients in the same doses – 35 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol and 250 micrograms of norgestimate. This means they work just as well as each other and they have the same risks and side effects. You can switch straight from one to the other without it being a problem (but it’s a good idea to finish your current pack of pills first, just to avoid mixing your schedule up)

Cilest is being discontinued by the manufacturer (Janssen-Cilag Ltd) in early July 2019. This means that they aren’t going to make any more Cilest, and no one else will make any more of this brand either. But, Lizinna will still be available in the future, and a doctor can help you switch over to make sure you can get the same medication and stay on your pill if you want.

TrustPilot reviews of ordering treatments like Cilest online from Superdrug Online Doctor show that most patients find the service ‘excellent’. But on, medications like Lizinna and Cilest have mixed reviews from patients. Many people find that they have to try a few different pills before finding one that works for them.

If you’re on Cilest or Lizinna already and you’re happy with you treatment then you can keep taking it as long as a doctor agrees it’s right for you. If you’re having any problems with your Lizinna then you should get in touch with a doctor to talk your problems out and see if switching medications is the right move.

Yes – combined pills like Lizinna have been shown to help some people with their acne. Acne can be caused by hormone problems, so the hormones in pills like Lizinna can sometimes improve things a bit. But, acne is also a side effect that Lizinna can give you too, so it’s worth keeping that in mind. At Superdrug Online Doctor we can only offer Lizinna for contraception, not just for treating acne alone.

If you’re having acne problems and you don’t need contraceptive pills, you could try some of these tricks below to help you improve your symptoms:

  • Wash twice a day, especially after sweating

  • If you wear make-up, make sure you remove it completely before going to sleep

  • Wash your hair regularly and try to avoid letting your hair fall down or rest on your face

  • Try to avoid touching your face unless you have to

  • Change your pillowcase regularly

  • Drink plenty of water

If you’re still having problems with acne, you can order prescription acne treatment online from Superdrug Online Doctor too. Or you can go see your GP for advice and treatment options.

Temporary weight gain is a rare side effect of pills like Lizinna. But, this should only be temporary because of your pill causing water retention. Studies into the pill and weight gain have never proven that the pill causes you to gain weight directly. You might gain weight while you’re on the pill, but it’s not likely that your pill causing the weight gain itself. Often people take the pill for a long time and people tend to gain weight over time too.

Still if you think you’re gaining weight on your pill, there’s no reason not to talk to your doctor about it. They can talk through your medication and your weight with you and help give you some advice. They might suggest you try some lifestyle changes to help you manage your weight, like exercise or eating a balanced diet.

Common side effects of Lizinna can include:

  • Headaches

  • Stomach problems

  • Irregular bleeding for the first 3 months you take it

  • Changes in your period

  • Migraines

  • Swollen arms or legs

  • Mood swings and depression

  • Insomnia (having trouble sleeping)

  • Constipation

  • Skin conditions like acne

  • Muscle pain and spasms

  • Painful breasts

  • Infections of the urinary tract and vagina such as cystitis and thrush

  • Missing periods

  • Weight gain

  • Feeling tired or weak

If you get any of the side effects listed above then you might be able to ride them out if they aren’t too bad. But, if they really get to you, then you see your doctor for advice and possibly to switch treatments.

If you find that you get any other side effects that are listed in your patient information leaflet (which comes with the medication), or even ones that aren’t listed, you should medical help as soon as you can.

Lizinna isn’t safe for everyone to use, so you shouldn’t be taking it if you:

  • Are very overweight

  • Have an extra risk of blood clots

  • Are over 35 and you smoke

  • Or someone in your family has had problems with stroke or heart disease in the past

  • Get migraines

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure

  • Have heart problems

Acne (2016) NHS [accessed 24 June 2019]

Ethinylestradiol with norgestimate (2019) British National Formulary [accessed 24 June 2019]

Lizinna (2019) [accessed 24 June 2019]

Obesity and weight gain (2011) NHS [accessed 24 June 2019]