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What is Cilest?

Cilest is a type of hormonal contraception more commonly known as the pill or oral contraceptive pill.

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Cilest Oral Contraceptive Tablets 63 Cilest tablets £0.14 per tablet Prescription only Select

How does Cilest work?

Cilest contraception tablets contain two active ingredients, Ethinylestradiol and Norgestimate. These ingredients are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – and work by overriding the normal menstrual cycle. The dose of hormones taken in the Cilest pill tricks your body into thinking that ovulation has taken place, preventing the egg from being released from your ovaries each month.

How to take Cilest

Cilest is a monophasic pill, meaning that each tablet has the same dose of hormones in it. Take one tablet each day for 21 days, and take a seven-day break between each pack.

What are the side effects of Cilest?

Although not everyone will get them, there are some potential side effects caused by taking Cilest. The following are regarded as serious side effects, so you will need to speak with your doctor if you experience any of these:

  • Signs of a blood clot: Symptoms may include swelling or a sharp pain in your leg, a tightening in your chest, developing a harsh cough without reason, apparent changes in your eyesight (including both blurred and loss of vision) and suffering from a feeling of weakness or numbness in a specific part or side of your body. Migraines are also a key side effect – whether it is your first one or, or a more severe migraine than a usual– as well as frequent headaches, an uncomfortable pain when breathing and a change in your senses (i.e. hearing, smell, speech, taste or touch).
  • Signs of a severe allergic reaction or worsening of hereditary angioedema: Developing an itching of the skin or hives (a bumpy red rash) or a swelling of your mouth, lips, tongue or throat – which may lead to swallowing and breathing difficulties – and your face or hands.
  • Signs of breast cancer: These can range from a noticeable change in your nipples, skin dimpling or any lumps you’ve detected that weren’t there before.
  • Signs of cancer of the cervix: Symptoms may include painful intercourse, unusual bleeding from the vagina, potent vaginal discharge that may/may not contain blood or a sharp pain in the pelvis region. Signs of severe liver problems: An itching sensation throughout the entire body, an inflamed liver (hepatitis), severe pain in your upper abdomen or the presence of jaundice (yellowing of either the skin or eyes).

Other side effects that are regarded as less serious include a gain in weight, an enlargement of your breasts, stomach ache and either feeling or being sick. You may also have painful or sore breasts, migraines, itchy skin rashes, a retention of bodily fluids or a distinct loss of interest in sex.

Read the patient information leaflet provided with the treatment for a full list of side effects. You'll also find advice here on what to do if you are late in taking a pill, or if you miss a pill. Details of this can also be found here.