The mini pill contains just progestogen making it suitable for women who are sensitive to oestrogen. Cerazette is well tolerated by the majority of women who use it but there is a possibility of side effects, like any prescription medication. For the complete list, please see below.

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About Cerazette

Cerazette is one of two contraceptive pills in the UK classed as 12-hour mini pills. Whilst side effects of any contraceptive are unlikely, and these are usually experienced temporarily at the start of the course, it's important to highlight the side effects and what you should do.

If you wish to buy Cerazette, it is available in 3 and 6-month supplies after completing an online consultation similar to your usual appointment process.

Cerazette side effects overview

On this page we will look at the common side effects through to rare side effects of Cerazette mini pill following these frequency guidelines:

  • Common – Likely to affect from 100 to 1,000 women in every 10,000
  • Uncommon – Likely to affect from 10 to 100 women in every 10,000
  • Rare – Likely to affect from 1 to 10 women in every 10,000

When starting a new pill, the body needs to alter to the influx of hormones. This means that side effects, whilst still unlikely, may appear during the first few months. These are generally manageable.

Doctors tend to recommend a course of three months initially. If during this time, side effects are disruptive and consistent, contact your doctor about the next steps.

Common Side Effects Uncommon Side Effects Rare Side Effects
Mood changes Vaginal infection Rashes and hives
Low sex drive Vomiting Erythema nodosum (painful blue/red skin lumps)
Nausea Painful periods Vaginal discharge
Heaches Ovarian cysts Breast discharge
Acne Increased fatigue
Breast tenderness
Irregular or no periods

Like all prescription medications, side effects are listed but may not occur. If side effects persist past the initial three months, visit your doctor to talk about your contraceptive options.

Common side effects of Cerazette

Many of the side effects of taking Cerazette are relatively minor. The above table outlines some of these less serious effects as defined in the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC). Each side effect is also classified in terms of how likely you are to experience them.

For common side effects, it is often advised to manage them with other medication such as painkillers, although do read the patient leaflet to ensure that Cerazette will maintain its efficacy. Monitor these side effects and if they are causing any distress, contact your doctor.

Irregular Bleeding as a side effect of Cerazette

Irregular bleeding sure to the Cerazette pill is classed as a common side effect which will usually pass over time. This is often light enough to be referred to as "spotting". It may require a thin sanitary pad until your body has gotten used to the hormones. For heavier bleeding, a tampon or pad can be used.

If bleeding, regardless of the amount and frequency, persists then it's important to contact your doctor.

If you have unexplained irregular bleeding that isn't your period before you begin Cerazette (or any other contraception), it is essential to visit your doctor to determine why it is happening.

When you first start taking contraception, like other long-term medications, it can take time for your body to adjust. This is completely normal during the first few months and these symptoms should ease over time.

Uncommon side effects of Cerazette

There are some slight additional risks associated with taking Cerazette. It is again important to be aware of these and their potential signs and symptoms.

For uncommon side effects such as a vaginal infection, painful periods and fatigue, there are other medications you can try that can lessen the severity. However, these should be discussed with your doctor and always thoroughly read the label/patient leaflet before use.

If you are vomiting on Cerazette, this may make the mini pill less effective, especially if it is soon after you have taken the contraception.

Rare side effects of Cerazette

Any side effects in the table classed as "rare" are more serious effects of the medication and you should stop taking Cerazette. Consult your doctor who will advise you whether to keep taking this mini pill or change to another form of contraception. If you have stopped taking Cerazette, this will reduce its effectiveness so use barrier contraception such as condoms for the foreseeable future.

Rare side effects such as a rash or hives can indicate an allergic reaction to the medication. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of the face, neck and throat. If you are experiencing an allergic reaction, it's important to seek medical assistance immediately. Stop taking the medication until further notice and doctor's approval.

Cerazette and angioedema

Angioedema is a swelling in the skin's deeper layers. It can be cause by an allergic reaction to Cerazette in rare cases. If you experience symptoms of angioedema such as a swelling of your face, tongue or pharynx or difficulties breathing or swallowing, you should seek medical help right away.

Cerazette and blood clots (Thrombosis)

It is believed that women who take the pill are at a slightly higher risk of developing blood clots (medically known as thrombosis). This could be deep venous thrombosis (in the blood vessels) or pulmonary embolism (in the lungs). However, this is lower than the risk during pregnancy and it is also thought to be lower with progesterone only pills compared to combined pills containing oestrogen.

Cerazette and breastfeeding

Mini pills like Cerazette can be used whilst breastfeeding. Research has shown that it does not pass through the body into breast milk. It is also a great alternative for women who have difficulties tolerating oestrogen-based pills.

Always inform your doctor if you are using Cerazette, and other medications, if you are breastfeeding.

Cerazette and ectopic pregnancies

If you become pregnant while taking Cerazette, you are at an increased risk of the pregnancy being an ectopic pregnancy, compared to other forms of contraception. An ectopic pregnancy is one that is outside the womb. If you experience any sudden or abnormal pain or bleeding, you should contact your doctor.

Risk factors that provoke side effects from Cerazette

Certain factors can put you at an increased risk of experiencing side effects on Cerazette, or in the worst case scenario, be dangerous to your health. To minimise and prevent these risks, it's important to fully advise your doctor during the consultation process if any of the below apply. You should NOT take Cerazette if you have:

  • Ever had breast cancer or have undiagnosed lumps
  • Any unexplained or excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Ever had liver cancer or jaundice
  • Ever had, or have a family history of, blood clots (Thrombosis)
  • Diabetes
  • Ever suffer from epilepsy
  • Tuberculosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Had chloasma or any brown skin patches

Medications that interact with Cerazette

The following medications may interact negatively with the Cerazette mini pill. This includes provoking side effects, and/or making the pill less effective:

  • Epilepsy
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV infection
  • Hepatitis C
  • High blood pressure
  • St John's Wort
  • Some bacterial and fungal infections

What to do if you experience side effects of Cerazette

Many of the less serious side effects, such as irregular bleeding due to the pill, should ease as your body gets used to taking Cerazette. This period is usually monitored by yourself over the first three months however, if you are experiencing prolonged issues or are concerned about any of the side effects, you should contact your doctor who may be able to recommend an alternative method of contraception.

If you show any signs of the more serious side effects, you should seek medical help or advice immediately. It is recommended that you check your breast for lumps regularly, and if you notice any irregularities see a doctor.

Cerazete and breast cancer

Similar to other pills, it's thought that progesterone only pills such as Cerazette can also slightly increase your chance of breast cancer, although this is not conclusive. Whilst the risk of breast cancer increases with age, the below table highlights the potential additional risks of the pill according to recent research. It is thought that the mini pill and the combined pill have similar results.

The below table details the women who have never taken the contraceptive pill and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, versus the women who have:

Category Never on the pill On the pill for 5 years
Stopped pill at 20 4 out of 10,000 5 out of 10,000
Stopped pill at 30 44 out of 10,000 49 out of 10,000
Stopped pill at 40 160 out of 10,000 180 out of 10,000

It is difficult to determine whether it is the contraceptive pill that is one factor of a breast cancer diagnosis as age and hereditary factors can play a major part.

It's important to check your breasts frequently for lumps or abnormalities, and report to your doctor if you notice anything different.

Did you know?

Cerazette is one of four mini pills available in the UK and available at HealthExpress. It is under the category of a 12-hour mini pill, offering the same protection as the combined pill without using oestrogen. This makes it appropriate for smokers, women with migraines and women over the age of 35.