Gedarel® 20/150

If you are changing from another brand of contraceptive or you are starting to use an oral contraceptive for the first time you will understandably have questions and even concerns. How do I take it? Will it work effectively? Will I experience side effects? All these questions and many more are answered here. For further information please consult the Gedarel 20/150® Patient Information leaflet PIL.

Gedarel 20/150®


What is Gedarel 20/150®?

This pill is a combined oral contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy. Each tablet contains two types of female sex hormones: an oestrogen (ethinylestradiol ) and a progesterone (desogestrel). Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are called "combined oral contraceptive pills".

How does this pill work?

A combined contraceptive pill protects you against pregnancy in three ways.

The hormones:

  1. stop the ovary from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)
  2. thickens the fluid in your cervix (at the neck of the womb) making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg.
  3. alter the lining of the womb to make it less likely to accept a fertilised egg.

If you want to learn more details about how your pill works, please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Why was I given this pill?

If you want to find out more about why this specific pill was chosen as your contraceptive method, please talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. They will be able to explain in greater detail why it has been selected.

For those taking this pill a FREE pill reminder app is available for most smart phones to help you remember when to take your pill.

To find out more details about taking your pill, please click here to see the patient information leaflet. This contains lots of useful detailed information about taking your pill, possible side effects and what to do if you miss a pill.

General Information

Taken correctly, the pill is an effective, reversible form of contraception. But, in certain circumstances, the pill’s effectiveness may be reduced, or you may have to stop taking it.

In these cases, either do not have sex, or use a barrier method of contraception e.g. condoms.

Remember, that combined oral contraceptive pills will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (such as AIDS). Only condoms can help to do this.

How to take Gedarel 20/150®

Always take your pill exactly as your doctor, nurse or pharmacist has told you. The daily dose is one tablet per day.

  • Try to take your pill at about the same time each day. You may find it easiest to take it either last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
  • Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary.

To find out more details about taking your pill, please click here to see the Patient Information Leaflet. This contains lots of useful, detailed information all about taking your pill, including possible side effects and what to do if you miss a pill.

What is Gedarel 20/150®?

This is a combined oral contraceptive pill that contains 20µg ethinylestradiol (an oestrogen) and 150µg desogestrel (a progesterone) which work together to prevent egg release.

I was previously on Mercilon® and have now been changed to Gedarel 20/150® - what is the difference?

These pills contain exactly the same active ingredients in the same quantities, but they are made by different manufacturers and therefore have different names.

Will I notice any change when I move to Gedarel 20/150®

As this combined oral contraceptive pill contains exactly the same active ingredients as Mercilon® you should notice no difference when changing pills. If taken correctly, as described in the Patient Information Leaflet, this pill is an effective, reversible form of contraception.

When should I take my contraceptive pill?

If you have not taken any other contraceptive pills in the last month take the first dose on the first day of your normal menstrual cycle and at the same time every day until the end of the blister strip, then wait 7 days before starting the next strip.

If you are changing from another contraceptive pill, vaginal ring, patch, injection, implant or intrauterine device, or are starting this contraceptive pill after childbirth, a miscarriage or abortion see the Patient Information Leaflet for advice.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking two pills at the same time. If the missed pill is less than 12 hours late, your contraceptive protection should not be affected and additional contraception should be unnecessary. If the missed pill is more than 12 hours late, or more than one pill in a pack is late, contraceptive cover may be reduced and use of a condom may be advised. Click here to see the Patient Information Leaflet for full details and advice . If you miss more than one pill ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.

What happens if I have a stomach upset?

If you vomit within 3-4 hours after taking your pill, or you have severe diarrhoea, your body may not get its usual dose of hormones from that pill. After vomiting or diarrhoea, take another pill from a reserve strip as soon as possible. If possible take it within 12 hours of when you normally take your pill. If that is not possible or 12 hours or more have passed, you should follow the advice given for missing a pill.

For further information, please consult the Patient Information Leaflet in your pill packet or click here.

What side effects may I experience?

Like all medicines Gedarel 20/150® may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Common side effects include irregular bleeding and weight increase. Other common and uncommon side effects include none or reduced bleeding, tender breasts, breast enlargement, breast pain, decreased sexual desire, depression, headache, nervousness, migraine, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, acne, rash, nettle-rash (urticaria), fluid retention and high blood pressure.

Am I at risk of developing breast cancer?

Breast cancer has been observed slightly more often in women using combined oral contraceptive pills, than in women of the same age who do not take any contraceptive pills, but it is not certain if the combined oral contraceptive pill causes this increased risk. For example, it may be that more tumours are detected in women on combined oral contraceptive pills because they are examined by their doctors more often.

The risk of breast cancer increases the longer you take the combined oral contraceptive pill but gradually reduces after stopping and returns to normal within ten years. For further information please consult the Patient Information Leaflet in your pill packet or click here.

Am I likely to develop a blood clot?

The use of any combined oral contraceptive pill increases your risk of developing a blood clot compared with women who do not take any contraceptive pill. This can be in a vein or in an artery. However, this increased risk is lower than the risk of developing a blood clot associated with pregnancy. To find out more about the risk of thrombosis associated with your pill read the Patient Information Leaflet.

Are there any medicines I shouldn’t take whilst I am on this pill?

Some medicines may stop your pill from working properly and mean that you need to take extra contraceptive precautions. These include antibiotics, St John's wort and medicines to treat epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections.

Your pill may also stop other medicines from working properly such as ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant) and lamotrigine (to treat epilepsy).

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will advise you if you are unsure about taking other medicines in combination with your pill.

What if this pill does not suit me?

There are lots of other alternative brands all varying in active ingredients and/or dose which may be more suited to you. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.

Am I protected from pregnancy straightaway?

It depends when in your menstrual cycle your pill is started and whether other oral contraceptives were being used during the preceding cycle. Please consult the Patient Information Leaflet in your pill click here, or ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are unsure.

Starting Gedarel 20/150®

To find out more about taking your pill, please click here to see the Patient Information Leaflet. This contains lots of useful, detailed information about taking your pill, possible side effects and what to do if you miss a pill.

If you have any concerns, or are worried about anything to do with your contraceptive pill, you should speak with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

What should I do if I forget to take my pill?

If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking two pills at the same time. If the missed pill is less than 12 hours late, your contraceptive protection should not be affected and additional contraception should be unnecessary. If the missed pill is more than 12 hours late, or more than one pill in a pack is late, contraceptive cover may be reduced and use of a condom may be advised. Click here to see the Patient Information Leaflet for full details and advice . If you miss more than one pill ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.