What is Femodene?
Femodene is a low dose monophasic combined oral contraceptive pill. It contains 21 active tablets, each containing 30mcg ethinylestradiol and 75mcg gestodene. Ethinylestradriol and gestodene are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones work together to prevent pregnancy.
What do you need to know before taking Femodene?
Femodene is only effective when taken correctly. The effectiveness of Femodene may be reduced if it is taken with certain other medications or if you experience vomiting or diarrhea.
Femodene does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and can increase your risk of developing blood clots. It is important that you read the information below and discuss any questions or concerns with your GP before you take Femodene.
What are the benefits of using Femodene?
Femodene is a reliable and reversible method of preventing pregnancy. It also helps to reduce bleeding and pain associated with fibroids or ovarian cysts. In some women, Femodene may reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. The progesterone in Femodene, gestodene, has been shown to provide good cycle control.
Who can use Femodene?
Femodene is suitable for those women of childbearing age who do not have any major health issues, and in particular those who are not at risk of circulatory disorders. This includes women who are non-smokers, women who have given up smoking for over 12 months, or smokers under the age of 35. Your GP will ask you certain questions to ascertain if you can use Femodene safely.
In what dosages is Femodene available?
Femodene is only available as a monophasic preparation in one strength. The 21 active tablets contain 30mcg ethinylestradiol and 75mcg gestodene each.
How do I take Femodene correctly?
Femodene should be taken daily with a drink of water preferably at the same time everyday. You should start taking your first active tablet on the first day of your menstrual period and follow the directions on the blister strip. Once you complete taking the 21 active tablets, take a 7 day break before starting the next blister. During this time you may experience withdrawal bleeding.
What happens if I forget to take Femodene?
The effectiveness of Femodene is reduced if you do not take it as directed. This will vary depending upon how many tablets you missed, what day(s) of the month you missed taking your tablets, and whether or not you have missed any tablets in the past 7 days.
If you miss one tablet, take it as soon as you remember and continue to take the rest of the tablets as normal. You may have to take two tablets at once.
If you miss more than one tablet, take one tablet as soon as you remember, continue taking the rest of the tablets as normal, use additional non-hormonal contraception for the next 7 days and speak to your GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.
Do I have to take Femodene every day?
Femodene is a once daily preparation that should be taken at the same time every day during the 21 days. There is a 7-day tablet free period during which you should not take any tablets.
Is it safe to take Femodene with other medication?
Taking certain other medications with Femodene may modify the action of Femodene making it less effective. On the other hand, Femodene may affect the action of other medications. It is therefore important that you mention any over the counter, prescription or herbal medications that you use together with Femodene, to your GP or pharmacist.
Some medications that might reduce the reliability of Femodene include the herbal remedy St John’s Wort, certain anti-epileptic medications such as phenytoin and phenobarbital, HIV therapies including ritonavir and nevirapine and antifungal medications such as griseofluvin.
What are the side effects of Femodene?
Femodene is often associated with side effects such as acne, fluid retention, headaches, nausea and swelling and tenderness in the breasts.
In occasional cases it has been known to cause more serious adverse reactions including the formation of blood clots. Swelling, pain or warmth in the legs could be a sign of blood clots. If you experience any unusual effects when taking Femodene, stop taking Femodene, seek immediate medical advice.
Rare but life threatening effects include shortness of breath, rashes and itching particularly all over the body. These warrant calling an ambulance or going to the hospital immediately.
Can I miss my period, while taking Femodene?
Femodene can lead to reduced menstrual bleeding or even a missed period. If you have been using Femodene correctly, it is unlikely that you are pregnant. However, you should make a note of any changes to your menstrual flow and discuss them with your GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.
Can I use Femodene to delay my period?
Femodene can be used to delay your menstrual period. If you do not want to have a period during the 7 day break, start the next blister strip as soon as you finish the 21 days on the previous strip. You may experience spotting if you take blister packs back to back in this way.
Do birth control pills cause weight gain?
While there is no evidence that birth control pills such as Femodene cause weight gain, they are however known to cause fluid retention. This may lead to temporary weight gain.
How do I know if Femodene is the right pill for me?
Femodene is suitable for women of child bearing age as long as they are otherwise healthy and do not have any risk factors for heart and blood problems.
Your GP will be able to advise you on whether or not Femodene is the right pill for you.
Can I take Femodene while breastfeeding?
Femodene is not recommended for use while breast-feeding. Your GP or pharmacist can recommend alternative forms of contraceptive that you can use safely while breastfeeding.
I am lactose intolerant, is Femodene safe for me to take?
Each Femodene tablet contains 37.43mg of lactose. Women who are lactose intolerant should factor this into their lactose intake.
- Bayer plc. Femodene Product Information. Accessed online: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1123/pil August 26th 2020
- Joint Formulary Committee (2019) BNF 78: September 2019-March 2020. London: Pharmaceutical Press
- MIMS Online. Femodene. Accessed online: https://www.mims.co.uk/drugs/contraception/combined-contraceptives/femodene August 26th 2020.
- Wilde M, Balfour J. Gestodene. Drugs 50, 364-395 (1995). https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199550020-00010
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.