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6 months (6x21 pills) (£28.99)

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More information about Mercilon

What is Mercilon?

Mercilon is a combined oral contraceptive (the pill), which can be taken daily to prevent pregnancy. If taken in the correct manner, Mercilon is proven to be almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy . Mercilon is a variant of Marvelon that has a lower dosage of synthetic oestrogen, making it a better choice for women who are more sensitive to this hormone.

What are the additional benefits of Mercilon?

If you take it on the first day of your period, Mercilon's contraceptive effects will be immediate. If you take it later, it may take up to seven days to become effective. Like other variants of the pill, it can help to make painful periods less uncomfortable and more regulated. Pre-menstrual symptoms could also become less severe when you take the pill.

Weight gain is one of the main concerns women have when using oral contraceptives. Mercilon pills contain less oestrogen than most traditional combination contraceptives; this significantly reduces your chances of gaining weight while on the pill. Some research has even shown that using this contraceptive can possibly cause a slight reduction in weight with long-term use.

Does the Mercilon combined pill protect me against STIs?

Mercilon tablets will not protect you or your partner against any sexually transmitted diseases/infections. If you've had unprotected sex and are worried you might have contracted an STI, you should talk to your doctor right away, or visit a walk-in sexual health clinic.

Alternatively, you can take a look at some of the STI treatment options available from HealthExpress.

How do Mercilon pills work?

  • Firstly, the two active ingredients found in Mercilon prevent ovulation from occurring, so that the ovaries don't release an egg that could potentially be reached by a sperm.
  • Secondly, to prevent sperm from entering the womb, Mercilon pills increase the viscosity of the mucous in the womb.
  • As a third and final measure, this treatment ensures that the womb lining doesn't thicken up enough for an egg to grow and develop.
Without oral contraceptives With oral contraceptives Released egg Fallopian tube Ovary Endometrium
(uterus lining)
Cervix UTERUS VAGINA Oestrogen and progestogen can prevent an egg from being released from the ovaries each month most of the time. Progestogen causes thinning of the endometrium (uterus lining) so, if an egg is released, it cannot implant on the wall. Lastly, progestogen also thickens the mucus in the cervix so sperm is prevented from reaching the egg.

How do I take Mercilon?

Starting your first Mercilon pill on the very first day of your period offer immediate protection. You can find out more details about using this combined contraceptive in the attached patient information leaflet or by consulting with your doctor.

  • Mercilon pills are taken for 21 continual days.
  • They should be taken at around the same time every day to be fully effective.
  • This is followed by a seven-day rest period.
  • You may experience withdrawal bleeding similar to that of your regular period during this time.
  • You will still be protected during the pill-free week.
If not taken on the first day of your period, use condoms for the following seven days. Take each pill around the same time every day for maximum effectiveness. Many women set an alarm to remember their next dose. Each Mercilon pill can be easily swallowed with or without drink and food. Store away from direct sunlight and under the temperature of 25°C. Double check the expiry date and patient leaflet regarding use and missed pill if unsure.

What should I do about a missed Mercilon pill?

If you happen to forget to take your pill or more than one pill in one blister pack at the usual time, you can follow the below protocol:

  • If you have missed one Mercilon pill, then take it as soon as possible unless it is close to the time of your next pill. If it is nearer to the next pill than the previous time, miss it out completely and continue with the blister pack as normal. Missing one pill in one blister pack will not affect the effectiveness of a combined pill. You will not need further barrier protection.
  • If you miss two or more pills in one blister pack, then you will not be protected at the maximum level. Take the last missed pill as soon as you remember unless it is close to the time of your next pill. Taking two pills in close proximity will not combat the mistake - and skip the previous missed pills. Use condoms for the next seven days or refrain from sex.

Use our interactive tool below on what to do if you miss one or multiple pills in one month (menstrual cycle). Simply click to begin.

How many pills have you missed? How late?
  • One pill less than
    12 hours late
  • Started a new pill pack less than 12 hours late
  • One pill more than
    12 hours late
  • Started a new pill pack more than 12 hours late
  • Two or more pills in one pack
  • One menstrual cycle = 28 days

*Vomiting and diarrhoea experienced within four hours of taking the pill is also classed as a missed pill.

*There are more than seven pills left in the pack. Continue to finish the pack, overlapping the seven-day break. Take your seven-day break and start your new pack as usual.

*There are fewer than seven pills left in the pack. Continue to finish the pack, overlapping the seven-day break. Start the new pack immediately after the old one is finished (missing out the seven-day break completely).

*If you have missed contraceptive pills in the first one to nine days of the pill pack and have had sex without barrier contraception, you could be pregnant. If you have calculated this between one to five days after the unprotected sex, you could use emergency contraception such as the IUD or morning-after pill. If not, continue your contraception until the seven-day break. If you don't have any bleeding, it is advised to take a pregnancy test and/or consult your doctor.

For more information about what to do if you've missed your dosage for a significant period, it's always best to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

What dosage is Mercilon?

There is a single standard dosage for Mercilon tablets. Each pill contains 150mcg of the progestogen desogestrel and 20mcg of the oestrogen ethinyl estradiol. This quantity has been formulated to be effective whilst also minimising potential undesirable reactions.

Chemical formula of ethinylestradiol

What side effects are associated with Mercilon?

Side effects are very rare with this medication, but if they do occur, they are usually mild and will pass as soon as your body has adjusted to the hormones. Possible side effects of the Mercilon pill include:

  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Breakthrough bleeding

Does Mercilon cause weight gain?

Some pills have high oestrogen content, and oestrogen affects body mass. However, since Mercilon contains less of this hormone than some other contraceptives, weight gain is reported less by women using this particular treatment.

Mercilon and breakthrough bleeding

Women using Mercilon pills for the first time may experience side effects such as spotting, breakthrough bleeding or missed periods. You should talk to your GP if any breakthrough bleeding continues, though.

Stopping taking Mercilon

If you're thinking about coming off Mercilon, then it's always recommended that you speak to your doctor. Some things that might have initially pushed you towards starting the Mercilon contraceptive pill, besides pregnancy prevention, might come back. These things, and others, include:

  • Acne or bad skin
  • Reduction in the size and tenderness of the breasts. Many report a lessening of sensation in the nipples also.
  • You may see an increased sex drive when coming off this medication.
  • Mood-swings are sometimes experienced, however lots of women won't experience this at all.
  • Heavier, more painful, or more irregular menstruation

What Mercilon precautions/interactions should I be aware of?

You can buy Mercilon for daily contraception use if you are over 18 years of age. There are certain instances and conditions that may prevent the use of this pill, this includes:

  • If you are pregnant, think you are pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • If you have blood circulation problems
  • If you suffer from unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • If you have heart problems, liver problems or have had a stroke.
  • If you are over the age of 50
  • If you are over 30 and smoke
  • If you have had a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis

Make sure that you mention any other medical issues or medications you are using in your consultation. This will help our doctors ensure that this medication is the most suitable contraceptive pill for you. If it isn't, they will be able to recommend a more appropriate alternative.

For more information about Mercilon and its side effects, precautions and interactions, please refer to the detailed patient information leaflet. This is included with your medication, and is also available for download on this page.

Can I buy Mercilon online?

You can buy Mercilon pills online from HealthExpress. All you need to do is complete a quick online consultation form. The answers you provide help our doctors to make sure that the treatment you have chosen is suitable for you. A prescription will then be sent to our pharmacy, where your order dispatched. Get your order approved before 4.30pm Monday-Friday for free next day delivery.

Mercilon info
Product nameMercilon
Active ingredient(s)Ethinylestradiol and Desogestrel
ManufacturerMerck Sharpe & Dohme
Lowest price£18.99
Trustpilot rating5/5
Trustpilot reviews25
AvailabilityIn stock
DescriptionMercilon is a combined contraceptive pill that offers 99% effectiveness at preventing pregnancy
ExemptionSubject to medical prescription
Available dosage(s)150mcg/ 20mcg
ApplicationOffering protection against pregnancy for women over 18
UsageTake 1 tablet per day for 21 days followed by a 7 day break
Drug classCombined pill (POM)
Alcohol consumptionNo influence
When breastfeedingNot recommended, ask your doctor for alternatives
When pregnantNot applicable

Note: Decisions about treatment are for both the prescriber and the person to jointly consider during the consultation. However, the final decision will always be the prescriber’s.

Mercilon FAQs

What is Mercilon used for?

Mercilon is a combined contraceptive pill. It works by preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs and thickening the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach the uterus and fertilize an egg.

Is Mercilon the same as Marvelon?

No, they contain slightly different doses of the oestrogen ethinyl estradiol. Mercilon contains 20 mcg whilst Marvelon contains 30 mcg.

When should I start taking Mercilon?

You can starting Mercilon as soon as you receive it, but taking it within the first 5 days of your cycle will mean you are protected from pregnancy immediately.

Can you take Mercilon without a break?

Yes, you can take Mercilon without taking a 7 day pill-free break to bleed. However, it's always best to discuss your dosage with your doctor beforehand.

Can I take Mercilon to delay my period?

Yes, if you skip the 7-day break and immediately start your next strip of pills, you will skip the bleed (your period).

Does Mercilon cause weight gain?

Yes, Mercilon can cause weight gain in some women. However, weight gain may have many causes including variations during your menstrual cycle. If you're worried about side effects of the pill, please consult your doctor before taking it.

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Mercilon reviews
Pack of Mercilon® 63 tablets Excellent 5 25 patients have reviewed Mercilon on Trustpilot
10 Mar


24 Feb

Excellent service

02 Apr

Always worked for me, lower hormones, skin is better no pms.

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What are the benefits of taking contraception?

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Your guide to barrier methods of contraception

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