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pack of 3x21 Mercilon contraceptive pill

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pack of 3x21 Mercilon contraceptive pill
Mercilon is a popular combined contraceptive pill. It is manufactured by Organon and contains ethinylestradiol and desogestrel. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

When taken correctly, Mercilon prevents 99% of all possible pregnancies (same as many other combined contraceptive pills). It does not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections, so you still need to take additional precautions to stay safe.

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 x 21 tablets £25
6 x 21 tablets £35

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 Mercilon
How can I order?

In the UK, you need a doctor to prescribe Mercilon. Superdrug Online Doctor offers a convenient way to order repeat prescriptions of Mercilon. You can order online and our doctor will review whether you can continue your treatment. If your treatment is approved, you will receive your pill via post or you can pick it up at a local Superdrug pharmacy.

How does Mercilon work?

Mercilon works in the same way as any combined pill, by:

  • stopping your body releasing eggs (ovulation)
  • making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg and
  • preventing fertilised eggs from implanting in the womb.

Which dosage do I need?

As with other contraceptive pills, Mercilon only comes in one dosage. You take one pill per day. If you take Mercilon as advised, it is 99% effective.

Each Mercilon pill contains 0.020 milligrams of ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms of desogestrel. Do not exceed this dosage. Increasing the dosage does not make the pill more effective and could seriously damage your health.

How do I take Mercilon?

Mercilon is easy to take - you just take one pill every day for 21 days, then have a 7 day break. During this break you are still protected against pregnancy. You would normally have your period during the 7 day break too.

It doesn’t matter whether you take the pill with or without food but it is better to take Mercilon at roughly the same time everyday.

Try not to delay the time at which you take it. Try not to miss a dose too, as this increases your risk of getting pregnant.

What happens if I miss a pill?

If you forget to take one pill, work out how many hours have passed since you would normally have taken it.

If it is less than 12 hours from the usual time you’d take your pill, you will still be protected against pregnancy.

If it is more than 12 hours since you would normally have taken your pill, Mercilon may not work properly. In this case, use a condom or other type of contraceptive for a week. The patient leaflet contains detailed information on what to do if you ever miss a pill.

Some medications can stop Mercilon working properly. If you are prescribed any other medication, make sure you ask for your doctor’s advice on possible drug interactions.

What does Mercilon contain?

Mercilon contains ethinylestradiol (0.02mg) and desogestrel (0.15mg): these are the active ingredients in the medicine.

Other ingredients include: dl-alpha-tocopherol, lactose, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid and aerosol.

Mercilon pills are white, 6mm in diameter and they are marked with a TR4 on one and “Organon” on the other side (Organon is the name of the manufacturer). Each strip of pills contains 21 tablets.
Mercilon Side Effects

You may experience side effects when taking Mercilon. Often, side effects subside after a few menstrual cycles, once your body has got used to the hormones.

The following side effects are common:

  • weight loss and weight gain
  • breast tenderness and discharge
  • changes in sex drive
  • mood changes and depression
  • fluid retention and circulation problems
  • irregular bleeding
  • skin problems and rash
  • nausea and vomiting
  • discomfort wearing contact lenses
  • migraine and headache

Rare Side Effects

  • increase in blood pressure
  • chorea (a movement disorder)
  • Crohn’s disease and pancreatitis
  • gall stones
  • worsening of systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease)
  • problems with blood sugar level
  • worsening of porphyria (a rare blood disease)
  • brown patches on face and body (chloasma)
  • blister-like rash
Please note, that this list is not exhaustive - please read the patient information leaflet for a full list of all risks and side effects associated with Mercilon.


Mercilon is taken by many women in the UK, but it is not safe for everyone. Mercilon may not be suitable for you if:

  • you have a history of blood clots or are at increased risk of thrombosis
  • you have an increased risk of heart attack or have ever suffered a stroke
  • you have a high cholesterol levels in your blood
  • you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • you suffer from a severe form of migraine
  • you are experiencing unexplained bleeding from the vagina
  • you have or have had an inflammation of the pancreas
  • you have or have had a form of cancer affecting your breasts or genitals or a type of cancer affected by sex hormones
  • your liver function is not normal
  • you have ever had a migraine with an aura
  • you have diabetes-related blood vessel damage
  • you have ever suffered from systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease)
  • you are allergic to one of the ingredients in Mercilon
Some medications interact with Mercilon. This means, that if you take them at the same time as Mercilon, they may not work or have an impact on how well Mercilon works.

When you get a prescription for Mercilon, it is important that you let your prescribing doctor know if you are currently taking any other medication. 

It is also important that you let your doctor know that you are taking Mercilon when you are prescribed any other medications, so they can assess whether you need to use an additional form of contraception to stay protected.

Medications which can interact with Mercilon include the following:

  • Medications used to treat epilepsy (such as primidone, felbamate, modafinil, phenytoins, barbiturates, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, felbamate and modafinil)
  • Some medications used for the treatment of HIV 
  • Rifampicin (used to treat tuberculosis)
  • Certain antibiotics (for example penicillins and tetracyclines)
  • St John’s Wort 
  • The antifungal drug Griseofulvin 
  • Hydantoins
  • Bosentan (used to treat high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lung)

There are no special dietary requirements when taking Mercilon.