What is Cilest?
Cilest are film-coated tablets that contain 0.25 mg of norgestimate and 0.035 mg of ethinylestradiol. They contain artificial versions of the hormones produced in women’s reproductive system. They are known as combined contraceptive pills, which means that both components work together to prevent women from becoming pregnant.
Norgestimate belongs to progesterone hormone which regulates the inner lining of the uterus. It is produced by the ovaries, placenta and adrenal glands. Ethynilestradiol belongs to the estrogen hormone which is known to have different functions in a female’s body.
What are the normal functions of progesterone and estrogen?
Normally, estrogen, which is a steroid hormone is in charge of various functions in your body. It is known to play a role in bone resorption. Estrogen, in adequate amounts is needed to prevent bone loss. It also has an effect on the vagina and the female bladder, maintaining the vagina lubricated and preventing urine leaking from the bladder. At earlier ages, it is responsible for the development of female sex characteristics such as growth of breasts.
Progesterone is a hormone produced after ovulation. It regulates the inner lining of the uterus so that when an egg has been fertilized it will prepare the uterus for a pregnancy. It is produced 14 days after ovulation and will decrease if there is no pregnancy. In counterpart from estrogen, progesterone decreases the cell growth of breasts which is important in the prevention of cancer. If estrogen is in charge of reabsorbing bone, progesterone will act producing new bone cells to replace the old ones. Progesterone also plays an important role in the brain. It decreases symptoms of insomnia and depression acting as a natural antidepressant.
How does Cilest prevent pregnancy?
Being a combined pill contraceptive, it has the same mechanism as others in the market. Cilest prevents ovulation and makes the mucus in your uterus thick preventing sperm from reaching the egg and fertilizing it. It also thins the lining of your uterus so that there is a lower probability of a fertilised eff to be able to be implanted in your womb and grow.
How effective is Cilest?
If taken correctly, Cilest is over 99% effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Meaning that ess than 1% of women who use this contraceptive pill will get pregnant in one year.
Who should consider other alternatives over Cilest?
People who have or suffer:
- Obesity with a body mass index over 30 kg/m²
- Over the age of 35
- Family history of strokes or heart diseases
- Family history of thrombosis
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Uncontrolled chronic diseases such as diabetes
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Chronic heavy smoker or started smoking at an older age
- Chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis
- Breast cancer
If you suffer from these conditions it is advisable for you to consider other options and consulting with a GP before taking this medication. Always remember to inform your doctor of all health issues and doubts you have before taking any new medication
What should you do if you start Cilest and were taking other contraceptive pills before?
If you are certain you are not pregnant and have been taken the previous contraceptive pills correctly, you can start Cilest immediately without any worry of an unwanted pregnancy or the need to use other contraceptive precautions.
Are there medicines that have interactions with Cilest?
Before starting any medication, it is important to inform your doctor about this. There are certain medications that interact with the efficiency of Cilest or vice versa. They can as well increase the risk for side effects and as well cause false test results, therefore make sure your doctors and laboratory personnel are informed of what medicine you are taking. Consult your doctor if Cilest is recommended for you if you take the following medications:
Not recommended/ Use alternative
Antihrombin alfa, antithrombin iii, carbamazepine, clarithromycin, enoxaparin, darunavir
Amikacin, amiodarone, amobarbital, amoxicilin, atorvastatin, azithromycin, budesonide, cefadroxil, cefixime, ciprofloxacin, cortisone, ertapenem, eucalyptus, fluconazole, grapefruit, lamotrigine. Levofloxacin, marijuana, oxcarpazepine, pheytoin
What should you do if you become pregnant?
If you are pregnant while taking this medication, be sure to stop taking it and consult immediately your doctor for evaluation. It is not recommended to to use this medication while breastfeeding.
What special precautions should you take if you suffered from either vomiting or diarrhea?
If you suffer from vomiting within two hours after taking Cilest, it is recommended you take another pill immediately, since it may have not been absorbed correctly in your bloodstream. Take the pill the next day as usual. If you continue to feel sick and continue vomiting it is recommended to use another type of contraceptive for at least 7 days. If you’ve had over six watery stools in more than 24 hours, it is recommended to use other contraceptive options while suffering from diarrhea and two days after you’ve fully recovered to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
What are the advantages of taking Cilest?
Some of the advantages of taking this medication are:
- It is over 99% effective against an unwanted pregnancy
- It regulates your cycle if you suffered before from irregular menstrual cycles by making it lighter and less painful
- It reduces the risk of certain cancers such as ovary and cervical cancers when using combined pills.
- It can reduce the symptoms of of premenstrual symptoms. It is known to have an effect on acne.
What are the disadvantages of taking Cilest?
Like all medications, it has certain disadvantages. Some of them are:
- It does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, HIV or gonorrhea.
- Irregular bleeding and spotting is observed in the first months while taking Cilest before your body gets used to the medication.
- It may increase your blood pressure
- It can produce unwanted side effects such as headaches or migraines, mood swings, nausea or breast tenderness
- It has a proven risk of increasing the chances of suffering from thrombosis and breast cancer.
Before starting any contraceptive method, it is important you visit a doctor to have gynecological exams and check-ups made to evaluate which best suits you. That way you can decide which method best suits you.
Who can take Cilest?
Cilest can be used as a contraceptive method for women over 16 years of age. In women who suffer menopause it is used to help reduce the symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness and atrophy and hot flashes. Women who have had already their uterus removed do not need to take the combined contraceptive pills since they don’t need the progestin that is contained in this medication. Postmenopausical women can take this medication to treat osteoporosis which is the loss of bone. Your GP will decide if this alternative is est for you before starting other treatments.
How should you take this medication?
In order for the pills to work correctly, they should be taken as instructed. The dosage will depend on what you are taking this medication for. If you are taking this medication as a contraceptive pill, it is important for you to take it every day, at the same hour, orally with or without food.
There are 21 pills in the blister pack. Each pill should be taken every day at the same time without interruption. After finishing the 21 pills, you will have 7 free day tablets. At this period, 2 to 4 days after the free day tablets have passed, your period will commence. After those 7 days have passed, you have to start a new package even if you are still bleeding or not.
When should you start the treatment?
It is important to know before starting the medication that you are not pregnant. Preferably, it is recommended that you start taking the medication the first day of your period or at least while you have your period. You may start taking it at any point of your menstrual cycle, but if you take it after your period has started, then you will have to take extra precautions during sex to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, barrier contraceptives are recommended to be used for at least the first week while taking the pills.
What should you do if you miss a dose?
If you miss taking a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, take the normal dose and do not double the dosage to try to catch up the dose you’ve forgotten. It is recommended that you take other contraceptive precautions for at least 7 seven days afteryou forgot taking a pill for over 24 hours.
How should you start Cilest after having a baby?
If you are not breastfeeding and just had a baby, you can start taking this pill 21 day after you gave birth, but it is advisable for you to ask your doctor if this medication suits you. You will be protected against another pregnancy immediately after taking it. If you are breastfeeding, you can start taking Cilest after 6 weeks after giving birth.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Tell your doctor, pharmacist or family planning nurse if you get any side effect particularly if they are severe and persistent, or you have any change in your health which you think may be due to Cilest.
Very common side effects (affects more than 1 in 10 patients)
- Headache (but if severe, unusual or long lasting, see a doctor as soon as possible)
- Stomach problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Bleeding and spotting between your periods for the first few months (though this usually stops when your body adjusts to Cilest). Bleeding between periods should not last long
- Painful or unusual periods
Common side effects (affects more than 1 in 100 patients)
- Migraine (see a doctor as soon as possible if this is your first migraine or it’s worse than usual)
- Swollen hands, ankles or feet
- Depression; mood changes; feeling nervous or dizzy
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Stomach ache and bloating; constipation; wind
- Acne; rash
- Muscle spasms; pain in the legs, arms and back
- Painful breasts
- Urinary tract infections (pain on passing urine)
- Vaginal infections such as thrush
- Vaginal discharge
- No menstrual periods
- Feeling weak
- Weight gain.
Uncommon side effects (affects fewer than 1 in 100 patients)
- Breast problems, such as fuller breasts; producing fluid from the nipples
- Abnormal cells in the cervix (identified by a smear test)
- Feeling anxious or faint; tingling sensation or numbness
- Changes in skin colour
- Skin problems such as redness and itchiness
- Hair thinning (alopecia), excessive hair growth
- Changes in appetite
- Weight may vary
- Change in sex drive
- Dry eyes
- Changes in vision
- Palpitations (feeling your heart beat)
- Hot flushes
- Muscle pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Ovarian cysts (may cause pain and swelling of the abdomen, changes in periods)
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.