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The eMC  

Last Updated 20 Mar 2014

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Cerazette 75microgram tablets

Cerazette (Sair-raz-et) is a medicine which is used in contraception. Cerazette contains desogestrel. It is supplied by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Cerazette varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Cerazette 75microgram tablets

Information specific to Cerazette 75microgram tablets when used in contraception

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Your medicine

Cerazette contains a hormone which is similar to the hormone progesterone that is produced by the body. It is used to prevent women from becoming pregnant. It works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovary and by increasing the thickness of vaginal fluid which can stop a sperm from reaching an egg.

Hormonal contraceptives may also increase the chances of developing breast cancer. You and your prescriber will need to weigh up the benefits and risks of taking Cerazette before you start to take it. Women who take Cerazette need to regularly examine their breasts for any changes or lumps.

Hormonal contraceptives will only prevent a pregnancy if they are taken regularly. It is important you take this medicine at the same time each day. When you first start to take Cerazette you may need to take extra contraceptive precautions until it starts to work. You may also need to take extra contraceptive precautions in certain situations. These situations include missing a dose by more than 12 hours or vomiting within three to four hours of taking Cerazette. Ask your prescriber, family planning nurse or read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for more information about when to take additional contraceptive precautions.

Other information about Cerazette:

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most from your medicine can also be affected by what you eat, when you eat and the times at which you take other medicines. Make sure you follow any specific instructions given to you by your prescriber or that are in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • this medicine should be taken at the same time each day
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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.

In the case of Cerazette:

If you are having problems taking this medicine, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other medicines that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex so it is very important that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems with this medicine, do not stop taking it unless you no longer need this form of contraception or you are advised to stop taking it by your prescriber.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. You should keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • store the blister pack in the original sachet to protect it from light and moisture
  • you must dispose of this medicine one month after opening the sachet. It is a good idea to make a note of the date when you opened the sachet

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Cerazette is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for females who are under 18 years of age.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Cerazette can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Cerazette has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

Common: More than 1 in 100 people who take Cerazette:

  • acne
  • breast pain
  • decreased libido
  • depression
  • headaches
  • menstrual problems including irregular menstrual periods or amenorrhoea. You should seek medical advice if you have been taking Cerazette regularly and you bleed more often, if your periods are irregular or if you do not have a menstrual period
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • weight gain

Uncommon: More than 1 in 1000 people who take Cerazette:

  • hair loss
  • heavy or painful menstrual periods
  • infection of the vagina
  • intolerance to contact lenses
  • ovarian cyst
  • tiredness
  • vomiting - you may need to take extra contraceptive precautions if you vomit within three to four hours of taking Cerazette

Rare: More than 1 in 10,000 people who take Cerazette:

  • skin problems including skin rashes, erythema or urticaria

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

  • angioedema or worsening of angioedema
  • blood problems
  • discharge from the breast
  • ectopic pregnancy - seek medical advice if you have stomach pain or amenorrhoea
  • gallstones
  • hearing loss
  • infections
  • liver problems including jaundice or itching
  • lupus or lupus-like problem
  • porphyria or porphyria-like reaction
  • raised blood pressure - seek medical advice if this occurs
  • worsening of chorea

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown and has been reported in women who have taken combined oestrogen and progestogen contraceptives :

  • chloasma - if you are prone to having chloasma, you should avoid exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light while taking Cerazette
  • hormone sensitive cancers such as liver or breast cancer
  • may affect the results for certain tests
  • thromboembolic problems such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism - these problems may return in women who have had them before

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Cerazette:

The following types of medicine may interact with Cerazette:

If you are taking Cerazette and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins.

Make sure you tell your prescriber the names of all the complementary preparations and vitamins that you are taking or are planning to take.

Your prescriber can then decide whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact.

In the case of Cerazette:

If you have been prescribed Cerazette you should only take something on the above list on the specific advice of your prescriber or pharmacist.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

Like all medicines Cerazette can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.

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Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when taking Cerazette
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Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Cerazette
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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • do not take this medicine during pregnancy
  • your prescriber will only start your treatment with Cerazette once they are certain that you are not pregnant. For more information talk to your prescriber

It is very important that you seek urgent medical advice if you become pregnant or think you have become pregnant while taking this medicine.

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Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Cerazette:

  • this medicine passes into breast milk. If you take this medicine while breastfeeding, your baby may need some extra monitoring

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. You should only breast-feed your baby while taking this medicine on the advice of your doctor or midwife.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

You should check that you are able to take the ingredients in your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.

Cerazette contains:

  • all-rac-α-tocopherol
  • hypromellose
  • lactose monohydrate
  • macrogol 400
  • maize starch
  • povidone
  • silica colloidal anhydrous
  • stearic acid
  • talc
  • titanium dioxide (E171)

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Cerazette before, do not take Cerazette. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Cerazette, Version 6, last updated 20 Mar 2014