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Maexeni Contraceptive Pill

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Maexeni is a combined oral contraceptive pill that’s more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It can also help with the symptoms of PMS and acne, and it can also make your periods lighter. If Maexeni is right for you, our doctors can prescribe it or provide an alternative, more suitable treatment. 

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To place an order, fill in a brief questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your order and prescribe a suitable treatment. You will only be charged if treatment is prescribed.


3 x 21 tablets £20.00
6 x 21 tablets £30

Prices include delivery and prescription.

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Maexeni Contraceptive Pill

Maexeni is a type of oral contraceptive pill. You take it when you are having sex, but don’t want to get pregnant. Maexeni can also help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), acne, and period pain and may make your periods lighter

Maexeni is a type of pill called a combined contraceptive pill that contains man-made versions of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Maexeni helps to prevent pregnancy in three ways by: 

  • preventing your ovaries from releasing an egg 
  • thickening the mucus at the entrance to the womb (cervix) making it more difficult for sperm to enter
  • making the lining of the womb thinner so that it is harder for a fertilised egg to attach and grow

How long does Maexeni last?

Maexeni only works for as long as you take it. You need to take your pill at around the same time every day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. 

How long does Maexeni take to work?

Maexeni starts to work as soon as you start taking it. To be protected from pregnancy right away, if you have regular periods you should take your first pill in the first 5 days of your period. 

If you start Maexeni at any other time during your menstrual cycle you may not be protected from pregnancy immediately and should use another form of contraceptive, like condoms, for 7 days. 

If you are switching from another combined contraceptive pill to Maexeni, as long as you have taken this as instructed for the last 7 days, you can start taking Maexeni the next day or you can start after you finish your previous pack of pills without taking a break. 

If you start at any other time or after changing from a traditional progesterone only pill (minipill), you need to use condoms for 7 days. If you are switching from a desogestrel progesterone-only pill (mini pill) you can start Maexeni the day after your last pill. 

How effective is Maexeni?

Maexeni is over 99% effective when taken correctly. Though sometimes it can be tricky to remember to take the pill every day so Maexeni is actually about 91% effective on average. 

Maexeni is a pill that should be swallowed whole with water. It can be taken with or without food. Take one pill a day at around the same time every day for 21 days followed by a 4-7 day break before starting the next pack. During the break, you will have a bleed like a period called a withdrawal bleed. You can also:

  • take 3 strips of Maexeni back to back before having a 4-7 day break
  • take Maexeni continuously until you bleed then have a 4-7 day break 
  • take Maexeni continuously without any breaks.

All of these are safe ways to take Maexeni.

When to take Maexeni

It's up to you when you take your pill, but you need to take it at around the same time every day for it to work properly. Pick a time that is convenient for you and when you are less likely to forget to take it. It may be a good idea to set an alarm to remind you to take your pill at the same time every day. 

How much Maexeni to take (dosage)

Take one pill per day. One Maexeni pill contains 30 micrograms of the active ingredient ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms of the active ingredient levonorgestrel

How long do you need to take Maexeni for

You need to take Maexeni for as long as you are sexually active and do not want to get pregnant. 

What happens if I miss a pill? 

  • If you forget to take your dose of Maexeni,  take it as soon as you remember. 
  • If it is within 24 hours of your missed pill, you will still be protected against pregnancy. 
  • If it has been more than 24 hours since you took your last pill, you should take the missed pill as soon as possible, even if it means taking 2 pills on the same day. 
  • If you’ve used your pill as instructed in the 7 days beforehand, then emergency contraception isn’t needed. 
  • If you are late restarting your pack after the break or miss 2-7 pills (or more), you might need emergency contraception and use condoms for 7 days, depending on where you are in your pack when you miss the pills. You should check with your pharmacist or pill prescriber if emergency contraception is required.

What if I vomit or have diarrhoea after taking Maexeni? 

If you are sick (vomit) or have diarrhoea within 4 hours of taking Maexeni, your pill may not work properly. You should continue to take your pill at the usual time and follow the missed pill rules above. If you continue to have vomiting and diarrhoea after speaking with your pharmacist or doctor about emergency contraception, you should use condoms until you’ve been able to take your pill normally for at least 7 days.  

You can buy Maexeni online or from your local pharmacy, but you will need a prescription first.

This is because Maexeni is a prescription-only medication, meaning it needs to be prescribed by a doctor before you can buy it.

Can I buy Maexeni online?

Yes. You can buy Maexeni online quickly, easily, and discreetly with Superdrug online doctor.  Simply fill in a short questionnaire and one of our doctors will check that it is safe for you to take. You can then either collect your medication in-store, or we can deliver it to your home. 

Can I buy Maexeni over the counter?

Maexeni is not available over the counter. This is because your doctor needs to check that it is safe for you to take. You will need to answer some questions about your general health, any medical conditions, or allergies you may have, and other medications you are taking before being prescribed Maexeni. 

Can I get Maexeni on the NHS?

Yes. Your GP can usually prescribe Maexeni on the NHS. 

Like all medications, Maexeni can cause side effects in some people. Most side effects are mild and not serious. Always read the patient information leaflet carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medication. 

Common side effects of Maexeni include: 

  • nausea (feeling sick) 
  • abdominal (stomach pain)
  • depression ( feeling low in mood)
  • mood swings
  • tender, sore, or painful breasts
  • headache

Uncommon side effects include: 

  • vomiting (being sick)
  • diarrhoea 
  • migraine (severe, prolonged headache)
  • skin rash
  • fluid retention
  • enlarged breasts
  • less interest in sex

Rare side effects include: 

  • weight loss
  • increase or change in vaginal discharge 
  • breast discharge
  • increased sex drive
  • discomfort when wearing contact lenses 
  • a reaction to the medication

Though weight gain is listed as a potential side effect by the manufacturers, more recent studies show there’s no link between contraceptive pills and weight gain.

If you have any of the above side effects and they are causing you concern, getting worse, or not going away, talk to your GP. If you start to get migraines whilst taking Maexeni stop the pill as soon as you are able to and speak to a doctor about changing to a different method of contraception. 

Serious side effects

Rarely, serious side effects can occur when taking Maexeni. 

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience: 

  • swelling, pain, and redness in the lower leg
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • stomach pain 
  • changes to your vision (eyesight) 
  • sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • confusion
  • severe headache or headache that doesn’t go away
  • collapse

Anaphylaxis is a very rare, but serious allergic reaction that can occur after taking Maexeni. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience: 

  • swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • red, itchy rash (hives) 
  • collapse

Psychiatric disorders

Taking the contraceptive pill can cause depression and mood swings in some women. Rarely this may lead to suicidal thoughts. If you experience changes in your mood after starting Maexeni, talk to your GP or health care provider as soon as possible. 

Blood clots 

Blood clots can occur in arteries or veins in many places in the body including the calves (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism) heart (myocardial infarction), or brain (stroke). The risk of developing blood clots when taking Maexeni is slightly increased but remains extremely small. For example in one year, around 2 out of every 10, 000 women not taking the contraceptive pill will develop blood clots. This increases to around 5 to 7 women when taking Maexeni. If you are already at high risk of developing blood clots, Maexeni may not be suitable for you. You are at higher risk of developing blood clots if you: 

  • are overweight (BMI above 35) 
  • have had a blood clot before
  • someone in your immediate family has had a blood clot under 45
  • are inactive because of recent surgery or illness
  •  smoke over the age of 35
  •  have high blood pressure 
  • have high cholesterol 
  • have diabetes
  • have heart problems 
  • have had a stroke
  • have a genetic condition that makes your blood more likely to clot
  • suffer from migraines with aura
  • have Lupus (SLE)
  • have recently had a baby
  • have had an organ transplant with complications

Does the pill cause cancer? 

The contraceptive pill appears to slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer. If you have breast cancer or have had breast cancer in the past, it is not safe for you to take the pill. Always check your breasts at the same time each month and see your doctor immediately if you notice any changes such as lumps, dimpling of the skin, or changes to your nipples. If you have a close family member with a history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor before starting Maexeni. 

How long do Maexeni side effects last?

Most side effects of the pill go away on their own after a few weeks. If your side effects are causing you distress, or if they are getting worse or not going away, talk to your GP or healthcare provider about trying a different type of pill. 

What to do if you get Maexeni side effects

Some side effects like nausea can be helped by taking your pill with food and sticking to smaller, frequent meals and plain, non-greasy foods. If you experience headaches (not migraines), make sure you get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. Taking painkillers can also help short-term, so ask your pharmacist to recommend one. If you have side effects in your pill free week you can try running strips back to back without a break.

Side effects vary a lot between people, and what works well for one person may cause unpleasant side effects in another. You may have to try different types of pill to see which one works best for you. 

Maexeni isn’t right for everyone and if you have certain medical conditions or take other medications Maexeni may not be safe for you to take. Always tell your doctor about any other medical conditions you have, and other medications you are taking so they can decide whether Maexeni is suitable for you. You should not take Maexeni if you:

  • are allergic to Maexeni or any of its ingredients ( Lactose monohydrate, Povidone K30, Crospovidone Type A, Magnesium stearate, Polyvinyl alcohol, Titanium dioxide (E171), Macrogol 3350, Talc (E553b), Iron oxide yellow (E172))
  • have a history of blood clots or blood disorders that affect clotting
  • are currently immobile (unable to walk around) for example, due to recent surgery or illness
  • have a history of angina, heart attack, heart problems, stroke, or mini-stroke
  • have a history of migraines with aura symptoms
  • have diabetes with damage to your circulation
  • have a history of high blood pressure or very high levels of fats in your blood
  • have or have ever had severe liver disease or liver tumours
  • have or have ever had breast cancer
  • are aged 35 or over and smoke, or stopped smoking within the last year
  • are aged 50 and over
  • have a BMI over 35
  • have a relative who has had a blood clot under the age of 45
  • have current problems with your gallbladder
  • have had an organ transplant with complications
  • have recently given birth

Maexeni and pregnancy

Maexeni is not safe to take during pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant while taking Maexeni, stop your medication and talk to your GP or healthcare provider. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking Maexeni. 

Interactions with other medications 

Some medications may interact with Maexeni meaning it may not work as well as it should or may make some side effects worse. Tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking including herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications.

Medications known to interact with Maexeni include: 

  • some epilepsy medications including primidone, phenytoin, barbiturates, carbamazepine, oxcarbamazepine, and lamotrigine
  • some medicines used to treat tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis C infections 
  • griseofulvin (an antifungal medicine) 
  • some antibiotics used to treat TB
  • St. John’s Wort (a herbal remedy used to treat depression) 
  •  medicines containing cyclosporine (a drug that suppresses the immune system) 

If Maexeni isn’t the right contraceptive pill for you, there are many alternatives available from Superdrug online doctor. 

Combined contraceptive pills like Microgynon, Rigevidon, Yasmin, Levest, Cilique, Gedarel, Marvelon, Mercilon, Ovranette, Millinette, Eloine, Lucette, FemodeneLizinna, QlairaLogynon, Femodette, and Brevinor contain man made versions of the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The amount of oestrogen in the combined contraceptive pill ranges from 20 to 35 micrograms, so if you are sensitive to oestrogen, it may be better for you to take a lower dose pill. 

Progesterone-only pills (POPs), also known as the mini-pill, do not contain oestrogen and include CerelleCerazetteHana, Noriday, and Norgeston. Progesterone-only pills are a good option for women who can`t take oestrogen, such as women over 35 who smoke, have high blood pressure, or are overweight. 

Talk to your GP or pharmacist about which pill is most suitable for you. 

About Online Doctor

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Reviewed by: Dr Clair Grainger in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 7041314

Dr Grainger studied at the University of Edinburgh and worked in hospitals before becoming a GP. She has an interest in respiratory, and sexual and reproductive health.

Last reviewed on: 27/10/22