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What is Femodene?
Femodene is a combined oral contraceptive pill. Contraceptives are designed to stop you getting pregnant. There are two different types - barrier methods, such as condoms, or hormonal methods, such as pills that you swallow, implants, injections and patches that you wear on your skin.
Femodene is a pill that you swallow every day. When taken correctly, it is one of the most reliable methods of hormonal contraception. It can be taken by most healthy women without long term health conditions under 35 years old.
Femodene is a prescription medication, available from your doctor or pharmacist. Alternatively we can prescribe it to you following a brief online consultation. Contact us to find out more.
The active ingredients in Femodene are ethinylestradiol and gestodene. For more information about Femodene, please contact your doctor or review the patient information leaflet.
How it works
Combined pills like Femodene work in much the same way. Femodene contains two female sex hormones, gestodene (a progestogen) and ethinylestradiol (an oestrogen). Combined, these hormones stop your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation). Without an egg, sperm have nothing to fertilise, so you cannot become pregnant. Femodene also thins the lining of your womb to make it more difficult for an egg to implant itself, and also thickens cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to travel towards the egg.
Any oral contraceptive such as Femodene can take up to seven days to begin working, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle when you begin taking it. It’s a good idea to use an additional method of contraception, such as condoms, during this period.
Before you take it
You should not take the pill if you are allergic to the active ingredients ethinylestradiol and gestodene. Your doctor will be able to discuss an alternative method of contraception.
Femodene will not protect you against sexual health problems such as sexually transmitted infections. No oral contraceptive can do this. You must continue to use other methods of contraception such as condoms in order to minimise your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
You should not breastfeed while taking the pill, as the oestrogen can reduce the level of breast milk you produce. You should discuss with your doctor an appropriate alternative method of contraception to use while breastfeeding.
If you need to take emergency contraception, such as ellaOne or Levonelle while taking Femodene, you should be aware that Femodene may be less effective. You should use another method of contraception, such as condoms, for 14 days after taking emergency contraception if you do not want to become pregnant.
Women who take Femodene may be at an increased risk of developing blood clots. You should be aware that this risk is extremely small, but if you have a history of blood clotting you should speak with your doctor. A blood clot is more likely to develop if you are sat still for long periods of time or if you smoke. Detailed information on the statistics and likelihood of blood clotting when taking Femodene is available within the patient information leaflet.
Do not take Femodene with any other hormonal contraceptive pills, such as Femodette, Yasmin or Brevinor. Mixing hormonal contraceptives can cause a rise in blood pressure. Taking one type of hormonal contraceptive is sufficient to protect you from pregnancy if taken correctly.
Your doctor may wish to monitor you while you are taking Femodene in order to establish your risk of developing breast cancer or cervical cancer. This could mean they may wish to examine your breasts or conduct a cervical smear test.
Some illnesses and conditions mean that you are unable to take Femodene. Check with your doctor before taking Femodene if you have any of the following:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- You have had a heart attack, blood clot or stroke
- You have ever had deep vein thrombosis
Some other medicines interact with Femodene. It is important that you tell your doctor before taking Femodene if you are also taking any of the following:
- Antiepileptic medications such as carbamazepine, topiramate or oxcarbazepine
- Medications to treat HIV such as ritonavir or efavirenz
- Antifungal medications such as griseofulvin
- Narcolepsy medications such as modafinil
- Antibiotics such as rifabutin or rifampicin
- St John’s Wort for depression
This is not a full list of warnings and interactions. For an exhaustive list, please consult the patient information leaflet.
You need to use Femodene exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are in any way unsure of how to take Femodene, speak with your doctor for clarification.
Femodene comes as a calendar pack of 21 pills. Each pill is marked with a day of the week. You should take one pill at the same time every day for 21 days, and then have a 7 day break. You will have a withdrawal bleed during your 7 day break similar to a period.
You don’t need any additional contraception during this 7 day break, as long as you have taken all your pills correctly and you start taking your new pack on time. Start the next pack after 7 pill-free days. If taken correctly, you should always start a new pack on the same day of the week.
If you’re a new user, you should start taking Femodene on the first day of your next period.
Store Femodene in a cool, dry place, free from moisture and heat. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
Common Side Effects of Femodene
Like any medicines, Femodene may cause side effects. Usually they are mild to moderate in nature, and should go away on their own as your body becomes used to the medication. However, if they persist, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Potential side effects include:
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in mood
- Lighter periods / no periods at all
Femodene may also cause serious side effects in some patients. These are rare, but if you experience them you must go to your doctor. They include:
- Fluid retention
- Increased risk of blood clotting, leading to heart attack or stroke
- Skin reactions
- Rise in blood pressure
- Change in sex drive
Femodene can also cause a serious allergic reaction. This is extremely rare but an allergic reaction is an emergency, so if you believe you are having an allergic reaction you must immediately seek medical advice. Symptoms include:
- Nettle rash
- Difficulty breathing or speaking
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, mouth, eyelids or throat
This is not a complete list of potential side effects. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens if I become pregnant?
It is extremely unlikely that you will become pregnant while taking Femodene. When taken correctly, it is around 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Most cases of pregnancy where Femodene has been used as a contraceptive are as a result of a dosing mistake. Make sure you take your tablets at the same time each day, and follow the dosing instructions exactly. If you become pregnant while taking Femodene, stop taking it and discuss with your doctor or local family planning centre.
What happens if I vomit or have diarrhoea?
Vomiting or diarrhoea can make the pill less effective. If you have vomited or had diarrhoea within 2 hours of taking Femodene, it may not have been absorbed into your bloodstream. Take it again and continue taking it as normal the next day.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you miss your dose of Femodene, take it as soon as you remember. If you take it within 24 hours of your missed pill, you should still be protected from pregnancy. However, if you leave it any longer than this you may not be protected and may need to use additional contraceptive methods for another 7 days.
What happens if I take too much?
When taking Femodene, you should never take more than you have been prescribed. An overdose of Femodene is unlikely to harm you, although you may experience nausea, vomiting, or bleeding from the vagina. If you are concerned because you have taken too many Femodene tablets, speak with your doctor.
|Dosage Instructions||Please see medicine label for the dosage instructions.|