Cerazette - Birth control medicine

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Cerazette contains an active substance called desogestrel and belongs to a group of sex hormones and modulators of the genital system. It also belongs to medicines known as progestins. It works by preventing ovulation (preventing the ovaries from releasing the eggs), but also by making it more difficult for sperm to fertilize an ovum. Because of this effect it is used as contraception (birth control).


Cerazette should be avoided in the following conditions:

  • In patients with abnormal vaginal bleeding (bleeding not related to menstrual cycle) and in patients with oligomenorrhea (decreased menstrual bleeding) or amenorrhea (absence of menstrual bleeding).
  • Patients who have or have ever had a thrombosis.
  • In patients with tumors.
  • Porphyria (affects the nervous system and skin).
  • In patients allergic to the active substance desogestrel. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy, contact your doctor immediately.
  • In patients with severe hepatic impairment.

It can be used only with extra precautions in the following conditions:

  • In patients who have had heart attacks or other heart diseases.
  • Patients who smoke.
  • In patients with diabetes.
  • In patients who have had a stroke.

Cerazette slightly increases the risk of breast cancer (4 to 5 cases in 10 000 women), although the risk of breast cancer increases with age.

Cerazette slightly increases the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.

This drug does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, but only prevents an unwanted pregnancy.

If you are experiencing high blood pressure (hypertension), rapid heart rate and chest pain, contact your doctor immediately.

This medicine can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. If you vomited in the next 4 hours after taking the drug the effect of the drug will be reduced and contraceptive protection will fail. Use an extra protection if you have experienced vomiting.

Use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Cerazette should not be used during pregnancy. It has been shown that patients who have used this drug do not have an increased risk of fetus malformations in later pregnancy.

This medicine is excreted in breast milk and should not be used in nursing mothers.

How to use

Take the first pill on the first day of menstrual bleeding. After that, you should take one pill of Cerazette every day at the same time.

If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill (36 hours from the last use), protection against pregnancy will be reduced. Therefore, you will have to use an extra protection for the next seven days.

This medicine can also be used after a miscarriage in the first trimester.

If you vomited after taking the pills, the protection will be reduced.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Cerazette should be avoided in combination with the following drugs:

  • All drugs that induce CYP3A4 enzyme (enzyme through which is metabolized Cerazette), such as:
    • phenytoin,
    • phenobarbital,
    • carbamazepine,
    • topiramate (medicines used to treat epilepsy),
    • ritonavir,
    • nelfinavir,
    • efavirenz (medicines used to treat HIV),
    • griseofulvin (a medicine used to treat fungal infections) and St. John's wort. These drugs increase the metabolism of Cerazette, which reduces its effect and cause reduced protection against pregnancy.
  • Drugs used to treat diabetes. Cerazette reduces the effect of these drugs.
  • Orlistat (Xenical, Alli), a drug used in the treatment of obesity. Concomitant use this medicine with this medicine can cause severe diarrhea.
  • Cyclosporin, a drug used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Cerazette increases the risk of side effects of this drug.
  • MAO inhibitors, such as:
    • selegiline (used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease),
    • moclobemide,
    • isocarboxazid,
    • phenelzine and others. This drug increases the risk of side effects of these drugs, which can be very dangerous. Therefore, concomitant use of these drugs should be avoided.

Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal products you are taking.

Side effects

Cerazette may cause the following side effects:

  1. nausea,
  2. vomiting,
  3. diarrhea,
  4. mood changes,
  5. decreased sex drive,
  6. vaginal bleeding disorder (occurs very often),
  7. ovarian cysts,
  8. breast pain,
  9. headache,
  10. dizziness,
  11. acne,
  12. alopecia (hair loss),
  13. vaginal infections,
  14. weight gain,
  15. harder time during menstrual cycle,
  16. weight gain,
  17. allergy and others.

Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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