This information is only intended for women prescribed Cilique®. If you are not currently prescribed Cilique® you should not view this page.
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 Patient Information Leaflet or PIL.
What is Cilique®?
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 (norgestimate) in low doses. Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are called "combined oral contraceptive pills".
How does this pill work?
This combined contraceptive pill protects you against pregnancy in two ways. The hormones:
1. stop the ovary from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)
2. thicken the fluid in your cervix (at the neck of the womb) making it more difficult for the sperm to enter the womb.
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.
Taken correctly, the pill is a reliable, 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.
This medicine slightly increases your risk of having a blood clot in the veins and arteries (especially in the first year or when restarting the Pill after a break of 4 or more weeks.) Please be alert and see your doctor if you think you may have symptoms of a blood clot (See section Am I likely to develop a blood clot?)
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 Cilique®
Cilique® comes in a strip of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
- Try to take your pill at about the same time each day.
- Start by taking a pill marked with the correct day of the week.
- Follow the direction of the arrows on the strip. Take one pill each day.
- Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the 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, including possible side effects and what to do if you miss a pill.
What is Cilique®?
This is a combined oral contraceptive pill that contains 35µg ethinylestradiol (an oestrogen) and 250µg norgestimate (a progesterone) which work together to prevent egg release.
I was previously on Cilest® and have now been changed to Cilique®. 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 difference when I move to Cilique®?
As this contraceptive pill contains exactly the same active ingredients as Cilest® 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?
As a new user or starting the Pill again after a break
Either: Take your first Cilique® pill on the first day of your next period. This way you will have contraceptive protection with your first pill.
Or: if your period has already begun, start taking Cilique® up to day 5 (counting the first day of your period as day 1) whether or not your bleeding has stopped. You must also use extra contraception, such as condoms, until you have taken the first seven pills correctly.
Changing from a combination hormonal contraceptive, or combination contraceptive ring or patch or from a progesterone-only method:
You can start Cilique® preferably on the day after the last active tablet (the last tablet containing the active substances of your previous pill), but at the latest on the day after the tablet-free days of your previous pill (or after the last inactive tablet of your previous pill). When changing from a combination contraceptive pill, patch or ring, follow the advice of your doctor.
You may switch any day from the progestogen only pill (from an implant or an IUS on the day of its removal, from an injectable when the next injection would be due) but in all of these cases use extra protective measures, (for example, a condom,) for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
If you are starting this pill after a miscarriage or abortion or having a baby you should consult your doctor.
What if I miss a dose?
Missing pills or starting a strip late may make your pill less effective. The chance of pregnancy after missing pills depends on when pills are missed and how many pills are missed. Missing one pill anywhere in your strip or starting a new strip one day late is not a problem. Missing more than one or starting a strip more than one day late may affect your contraceptive cover.
It is more risky to start a strip late and miss more than one pill. If you have missed any of the pills in a strip, and you do not bleed in the first pill-free break, you may be pregnant. Contact your doctor or family planning clinic, or do a pregnancy test yourself.
What happens if I have a stomach upset?
If you have been sick or have very bad diarrhoea your body may not get its usual dose of hormones from that pill. If you have been sick within two hours of taking Cilique®, take a pill from a spare strip. Carry on taking your pills as normal if you can. You won’t need to use extra contraception.
What side effects may I experience?
Like all medicines Ciliquereg; may 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 Cilique®.
Serious side effects (See a doctor straight away)
- Harmful blood clots in a vein or artery for example in a leg or foot, a lung, heart attack, stroke, mini stroke or temporary stroke-like symptoms, known as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or blood clots in the liver, stomach, intestines, kidneys or eye.
- Breast cancer signs include dimpling of the skin, changes in the nipple, any lumps you can see or feel
- Severe liver problems signs include severe pain in the upper abdomen, yellow skin or eyes
- Other serious side effects include:-
- Increased blood pressure
- Fits (convulsions)
- o Hives (urticarial) swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
If you think you may have any of these, see a doctor straight away. You may need to stop taking Cilique®.
Other possible side effects include headache, stomach problems, bleeding and spotting between periods and painful or unusual periods.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
Am I at risk of developing breast cancer?
The Pill slightly increases your risk of breast cancer. This risk goes up the longer you’re on the Pill, but returns to normal within about 10 years of stopping it. Because breast cancer is rare in women under the age of 40, the extra cases of breast cancer in current and recent Pill users are small.
Your risk of breast cancer is higher:
- as you get older
- if you have a close relative (mother, sister or grandmother) who has had breast cancer
- if you are seriously overweight
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?
Using a Pill such as Cilique® 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.
It is important to remember that the overall risk of a harmful blood clot caused by this pill is small.
How to recognise a blood clot:-
Seek urgent medical attention if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:-
- if a blood clot forms in a vein in the leg or foot it can cause a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- if a blood clot travels from the leg and lodges in the lung it can cause a pulmonary embolism
- Very rarely a clot may form in a vein or in another organ such as he eye (retinal vein thrombosis)
Factors that increase your risk of a blood clot in a vein:-
- If you are very overweight (body mass index of BMI over 30kg/m2)
- one of your immediate family has had a blood clot in the leg, lung or other organ at a young age (such as below the age of 50 years)
- if you need to have an operation or if you are off your feet for a long time because of an injury or illness
- as you get older (particularly above 35 years)
- if you gave birth less than a few weeks ago.
The risk of developing a blood clot increases the more conditions you have. It is important to tell your doctor if any of these risk factors apply to you, even if you are unsure.
Factors that increase your risk of a blood clot in an artery:-
The risk of a heart attack or stroke when using this pill is very small but can increase:-
- With increasing age (over 35 years old)
- If you smoke
- If you are overweight
- If you have high blood pressure
- If a member of immediate family has had a heart attack or stroke at a young age (less than about 50)
- If you or someone in your family has a high level of fat in the blood
- If you get migraines especially migraines with aura
- If you have a problem with your heart
- If you have diabetes
If you have more than one of these conditions or if any of these are particularly severe the risk of developing a blood clot may be increased even more.
Tell your doctor if any of these risk factors apply to you.
Are there any medicines I shouldn't take whilst I am on this pill?
If you ever need to take another medicine at the same time as being on the Pill, always tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. Also check the leaflets that come with all your medicines to see if they can be taken with hormonal contraception. Some medicines may stop your pill from working properly.
For a full list of medicines that can be affected by your hormonal contraceptive pill, consult the patient information leaflet contained in your packet of pills or speak with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
What if this pill does not suit me?
There are lots of 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 straight away?
|Starting your pill on the first day of your period||You are immediately protected against pregnancy|
|Starting your pill 2-5 days after your period starts||You must use extra protective measures, e.g. condoms, for the first seven pill-taking days|
|Starting your pill after changing from another form of contraception||Read the Patient Information Leaflet or check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist [ Insert hyperlink]|
|Starting your pill after childbirth, a miscarriage or abortion||Read the Patient Information Leaflet or check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist [Insert hyperlink]|
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.
Missing pills or starting a strip late may make your pill less effective. The chance of pregnancy after missing pills depends on when pills are missed and how many pills are missed.
Missing a pill anywhere in your strip or starting a new strip one day late is not a problem. Missing more than one or starting a strip more than one day late may affect your contraceptive cover.
It is more risky to start a strip late and miss more than one pill. If you have missed any of the pills in a strip and you do not bleed in the first pill-free break you may be pregnant. Contact your doctor or family planning clinic, or do a pregnancy test yourself.
If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking 2 pills on the same day not at the 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 is 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.