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Qlaira (estradiol valerate and dienogest)

What is Qlaira?

Qlaira is used as a contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy, or to control heavy or painful periods in women over the age of 18.

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Qlaira Tablets Qlaira Tablets £0.37 per tablet Prescription only Start consultation

What are the key benefits of Qlaira?

Taking the Qlaira pill usually means that your period will be less painful, considerably lighter and more regular. It’s because of this reason that the pill can be used as an aid for women with either painful or heavy periods.

How does Qlaira work?

Qlaira tablets come in varying colours, representing differing hormone levels. Each coloured, active tablet contains a female hormone – either estradiol valerate, or estradiol valerate combined with dienogest. The different colours contain different levels of each hormone and must be taken in the particular order stated on the pack. Estradiol valerate is a synthetic version of oestrogen, and dienogest is a synthetic form of progesterone. The two white tablets don’t contain any active substances and are called inactive tablets. Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are called "combined pills".

The pill works by overriding the normal menstrual cycle thus affecting fertility. These hormones stop you getting pregnant by working in three ways: by preventing an egg being released from your ovaries; by making the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker, so it becomes more difficult for sperm to enter the womb; and by preventing the lining of your womb becoming thick enough that an egg is able to grow in it.

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What are the side effects of Qlaira?

Although not all users will get them, taking Qlaira may cause potential side effects. It is possible that serious side effects can occur. If you experience any of the following, you should speak with your doctor immediately:

Signs of a blood clot: sharp pains when inhaling and exhaling, fainting or dizziness, sudden issues with your eyesight (loss of, or blurred, vision, for example), a tightening of the chest and changes to your sensory system (hearing, smell, taste and touch). Look out for sudden problems with your speech, severe or frequent headaches, unusual swelling or pain of the leg, migraines (either for the first time, or a worsening of previous migraines), coughing without a cause and the feeling of weakness, or no feeling at all, in one side/part of your body.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction or worsening of hereditary angioedema: swollen lips, tongue and throat (which may lead to breathing and swallowing difficulties), mouth, face and hands, and itchiness or hives (a red, bumpy skin rash).

Signs of breast cancer include: evidence of dimples on the skin, a sudden change in the nipple, and the growth of any lumps which you may feel or see.

Signs of cancer of the cervix include: vaginal discharge that has an odour and/or contains blood, unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Signs of severe liver problems include: jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes or skin), experiencing severe pain in the upper abdomen, itching across the entire body, and inflamed liver (hepatitis).

Less serious side effects can also occur including headache, abdominal pain, nausea, acne, an absence of periods, breast discomfort, painful periods, and irregular bleeding (or heavy irregular bleeding). Those who take this pill may also experience weight gain, fungal infections, fungal infection of the vulva and vagina, vaginal infection, increased appetite, depression, depressed mood, emotional disorder, problems sleeping, decreased interest in sex, mental disorder, mood swings, dizziness, migraine, hot flush, high blood pressure, diarrhoea, vomiting, increased liver enzymes, hair loss, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), itching, rash and muscle cramps.

Start ConsultationYou should also be sure to keep an eye out for swollen breasts and lumps in the breast, but there is also the possibility of abnormal cell growth on the neck of the womb (cervical dysplasia), dysfunctional genital bleeding, pain with intercourse, fibrocystic breast disease, heavy periods, menstrual disorders, ovarian cyst, pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome, growth in the uterus, contractions of the uterus and uterine/vaginal bleeding including spotting. Vaginal discharge, vulvovaginal dryness, fatigue, irritability, swelling of parts of your body, for example in the ankles (oedema), weight loss and blood pressure changes might also be experienced.

Ensure you check the full list of side effects for Qlaira, and consult the advice about what you should do if a pill is missed, or you are late in taking a pill, on the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment. Details of this can also be found here.

Contraceptive consultations are available through the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service, which could lead to Qlaira tablets being prescribed.

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