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Cerazette - Contraceptive progestogen only pill (birth control)
  • Daily progestogen-only pill – no pill break
  • 99% effective when taken correctly
  • Suitable for smokers and over-35s


Cerazette is an effective branded mini pill or POP (progestogen-only pill). It's a good alternative to combined contraceptive pills for women who are over 35 or smoke.

We're registered with the Care Quality Commission

Cerazette - Contraceptive progestogen only pill (birth control)
Pack size
Returning patient? Reorder

Alternative treatment: Desogestrel

  • Daily progestogen-only pill – no pill break
  • 99% effective when taken correctly
  • Suitable for smokers and over-35s

Generic or branded treatments?

Some treatments contain the same active ingredient but are sold under different names. If the active ingredient and the dosage are the same, the treatments will have the same effect and work in the same way. 

Generic Branded
Same active ingredient
Works in the same way
Often less expensive
On this page

    About Cerazette

    On this page

    How to take Cerazette

    Take 1 pill every day, at the same time each day, with no breaks to prevent pregnancy. You take the packs back-to-back without a break, including during your period. Many women won’t have their period at all while on Cerazette – this is normal and should not cause concern.

    How does Cerazette work?

    Cerazette is a form of progestogen-only mini pill. Its active ingredient is desogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. Cerazette is prescribed to sexually active women who do not want to get pregnant. It's the branded version of Cerelle - it contains the same active ingredient and works in the same way.

    How effective is Cerazette?

    If you start using Cerazette on days 1-5 of your period, you will be immediately protected against pregnancy.

    Used correctly, Cerazette can be up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, if you are vomiting or have severe diarrhoea you may not be protected against pregnancy. If this happens, continue to take the pill as usual but use a condom whilst you're ill. If this continues for more than 24 hours you should follow the same steps as a missed pill.

    Are Cerazette and Cerelle the same thing?

    Cerazette, Cerelle and Desogestrel all contain the same active ingredient and they work in exactly the same way to protect you against pregnancy. Cerelle and Desogestrel can be more cost effective versions of this mini-pill. 

    What are the side effects of Cerazette?

    Most women will not experience any side effects on Cerazette, but some report irregular bleeding – this usually settles within 3 months. Other side effects can include headaches, acne, feeling sick, mood swings, and breast sensitivity.

    For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet. If any side effects concern you, contact us via your Patient Record.

    If you forget your pill

    If you forget to take it, unlike most mini pills, Cerazette offers a window of 12hrs in which it can be taken and still protect you from pregnancy. Take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember. Then take the next pill at the normal time. This may mean taking 2 pills in one day.

    If you do not take it within 12hrs of the usual time, you will not be protected against pregnancy. Continue to take your pills as usual but use condoms for the next two days. If you've had unprotected sex during this time, you may need emergency contraception.

    Can Cerazette stop periods?

    Many women won’t have their period at all while on Cerazette,but some women may still experience regular, lighter, more frequent or longer periods.

    Can smokers use Cerazette?

    Cerazette is suitable for smokers, and is a good alternative to the combined contraceptive pill. ​​​​​​​

    Is Cerazette safe to use whilst breastfeeding?

    Cerazette is safe to use while breastfeeding. Small amounts of the hormone in Cerazette may pass into the baby’s bloodstream through breast milk, but this won't affect them or impact the way breast milk is produced. 

    Will Cerazette affect my weight?

    There is no evidence that the progestogen-only pill will cause women to put on weight. You may find your weight changes throughout your cycle due to fluid retention and other reasons not related to the pill.

    Can I buy Cerazette online?

    You can request and pay for a Cerazette prescription online. As this pill is a prescription-only medication, even if you are using an online doctor, you will need a prescription from a clinician before you can buy Cerazette online. You should never buy the contraceptive pill online without a prescription from a regulated health service with professionally qualified and registered clinicians.

    How do I switch to Cerazette from a different pill?

    If you would like to switch your contraceptive pill, contact us via your Patient record or get an appointment with your GP to discuss the change. If you are changing to a new pill you would be advised to have no break between the packs and you may have to use other contraceptive methods during the changeover.

    Important information about Cerazette

    If you’ve already bought your pill from us, you can request a further 3, 6 or 12-month supply from your Patient Record, if you're medically suitable. If you want to change your pill, please send us a message in your Patient Record.

    Safety: taking other medicines

    You should be able to take Cerazette alongside other medicines. However, it is important that you let us know which prescription, over-the-counter medicines and recreational drugs you are taking so that we can prescribe Cerazette safely.

    Alternative treatments

    We offer a range of contraceptives, including NuvaRing, Evra Patch, combined pills, low-dose pills and mini pills. View all our contraception options.

    Condoms are an effective form of contraception and protect against STIs.

    There are also long-acting contraceptives available through your GP or family planning clinic, including implants, the coil and injectable contraception.

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