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  • Pack of 63 Mercilon tablets
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Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

What is Mercilon?

Mercilon or 'the pill' is a low-dose contraceptive containing the synthetic equivalents of oestrogen and progesterone (150mg of ethinyl estradiol and 20mg of desogestrel respectively). If used correctly, this product is one of the most reliable reversible contraceptives at over 99% effective. It also has additional benefits including having a non-disruptive effect on your sex life and reducing painful and/or irritating period symptoms such as irregular and/or heavy periods. Mercilon may also help improve pre-menstrual symptoms.

The pill's protective effect does not expand over sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or HIV infections. Condom use is recommended against all STIs. To prevent pregnancy, Mercilon should be administered as prescribed.

In most cases, doctors will evaluate your family's medical history as well as check your blood pressure. Other checks such as a breast examination may also be conducted. While being on the pill you will need to have regular check-ups not just to monitor your health but also when you need another prescription.

How does it work?

Mercilon releases a continual level of hormones entering the female body during the critical stages of your menstrual cycle. Most contraceptives use three mechanisms to prevent an undesired pregnancy, and Mercilon uses the same three ways. This is precisely what makes these tablets so efficient if taken correctly. The first way Mercilon prevents pregnancy is to stop the egg from maturing and being released from the ovaries. The female body usually releases one egg monthly and this process takes place due to fluctuations in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Mercilon keeps the level of these hormones under control by maintaining constant levels in the body as if ovulation has already occurred. Hence, no egg will be released by the ovaries under Mercilon treatment and the risk of pregnancy is extremely rare. However, if a pill is missed, this will cause a disruption in the flow increasing the chances of pregnancy.

Mercilon also minimises the chance of sperm reaching the egg, by preventing it from travelling through the vagina. The contraceptive increases the viscosity of the vaginal fluid that normally has a 'hygienic' role, keeping the vagina and the neck of the womb clean, thus making it difficult for the sperm to swim through.

Finally, the pill also prevents a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the uterus wall by altering the quality and quantity of the uterus lining making it thinner and lesser.

How to take Mercilon

Mercilon is a monophasic pill that comprises of a 21-day pack. All tablets have the same dose of hormones and have a round, biconvex shape of 6mm diameter. This contraceptive must be taken in the order indicated on the package, every day at about the same time. They can be taken with or without water and each blister pack is clearly marked with the days to keep track.

  • Mercilon is to be taken once daily for a period of 21 days consecutively.
  • There should be no interruption in contraceptive administration within this time interval.
  • 21-day regular treatment is followed by a seven-day tablet-free interval, during which period withdrawal bleeding usually takes place.
  • This normally occurs two to three days after the last tablet and is may not have stopped before starting a new pack.
  • Each subsequent pack should be started after the lapse of the seven-day tablet-free term.

It is very important to note that the protective effect of Mercilon against pregnancy also expands over the pill-free period. Moreover, to help you remember to take the pill, they come in a calendar pack marked with days of the week.

If you have not used any hormonal contraceptive treatment before starting Mercilon, it is advisable that tablet intake starts on the very first day of menstruation in which case no additional pregnancy protective measures are necessary. However, if menstruation has already commenced (e.g.: two to four days before), you should start taking Mercilon on day five of the menstrual period. In this situation, additional contraceptive measures should be taken for the first seven days of intake.

If menstruation started more than five days before, it is recommended that the patient waits until the next menstrual period before taking Mercilon.

If you are already on another hormonal contraceptive and switch to Mercilon, for instance, from 22-day pills with a six-day break or from another contraceptive with 21-day intake and seven-day break, you should start taking Mercilon the following day, leaving no time lapse between packs. You should not wait for your period to begin. Continue taking Mercilon following the instructions above. No extra contraceptive precautions are necessary.

Your period will not begin before the end of the Mercilon pack. This is not harmful, though, nor does it matter if you experience some bleeding while taking the pills.

If you switch from a combined every day (ED) 28-tablet contraceptive to Mercilon, where each pack contains 21 or 22 active pills followed by six or seven inactive (dummy) pills, start taking Mercilon immediately after finishing the active pills in the ED pack (21 or 22) and throw away the dummy tablets. Do not leave any break between taking the ED pill and Mercilon. Follow the instructions above on how to take Mercilon. No extra contraceptive precautions are necessary. Again, your period will not begin before the end of the Mercilon pack but this is not harmful.

If you change from a progesterone-only-based pill (POP or mini pill) to Mercilon, where POP is taken every day with no break, it is recommended that you start taking Mercilon on the very first day of your period, even if you have taken the mini-pill on the same day. Throw away the remaining POP tablets and continue with Mercilon as per the instructions above. No additional contraceptive precautions are necessary.

Menstruation may not take place while you are on the mini pill, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Start taking Mercilon the following day after you stop taking the mini pills and throw away the remaining tablets. In such case, extra contraceptive precautions are recommended for the first two days of Mercilon contraceptive treatment.

If you need to take extra contraceptive precautions, you can either:

  • Abstain from sex; or
  • Use a condom
  • Or use a cap and spermicide

Use of rhythm methods as extra contraceptive solutions is not recommended. The main reason is that the pill intake disrupts the normal menstrual cycle changes (e.g.: changes in temperature and cervical mucus).

If you are a non-breastfeeding mother and wish to start Mercilon contraceptive treatment, it is recommended that you start taking the pill 21 days post-partum. No extra contraceptive measures are required in this case. If sexual intercourse has taken place following childbirth, it is advisable that you delay contraceptive use until the first day of the menstrual period.

In case you start taking Mercilon more than 21 days after delivery additional contraceptive methods should be considered for the first seven days.

Breastfeeding mothers are advised not to use the combined pill as this may reduce the quantity of breast milk. However, even in such case patients willing to follow contraceptive treatment may be recommended to take the progesterone-only pill (POP).

If you have experienced a miscarriage or abortion, Mercilon administration should commence immediately in which case no additional precautions are required.

When to start Mercilon?

It is best to start taking Mercilon on the first day of the menstrual cycle i.e. the first day bleeding occurs. Mercilon takes immediate effect and no additional contraceptive methods are required. It is also possible to start on days two-five of your menstrual cycle, however in this case some extra precautions are required and you may consider using a condom or other method of contraception.

What happens if you miss a pill?

If you forget to take your pill at the usual time, take it as soon as you remember. A missed pill is usually one, which is 24 hours or more late. In this case, you should follow these instructions:

  • If you miss ONE pill only or you are one day late to start your new pack, it is recommended that you take the missed pill as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills on the same day. Then you can continue usual administration. You will face no pregnancy risks and no extra precautions are necessary.
  • In case you miss TWO or more pills, or start your next Mercilon pack two days or later that you should have, you will be exposed to pregnancy risk. It is best to take the last missed pill immediately even if this means you should take two the same day. Disregard the other missed pills and continue taking your contraceptive normally. In such case, it is advisable you should either not have sex or use extra precautions for the next seven days, though.
  • If there are fewer than seven pills left in the pack, you should first finish taking those and immediately start a new pack skipping the seven-day break.
  • If there are seven or more pills remaining in the pack after taking the pill you missed, you should then finish those and have your week pill-break before starting the next pack.

If unprotected intercourse has taken place in the seven-day period before you missed pills, you may need to use emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill or the IUD. It is advisable that you seek medical advice, however. If you find any of this confusing, it is best to address your physician, pharmacist or local family planning clinic.

Mercilon Side Effects

Although side effects of the combined pill are unlikely, some women can experience some. The good news is there are so many hormonal forms of contraception, the likelihood of you finding the perfect contraception is high. It is also worth mentioning that you may experience light side effects during the first three months as your body adjusts to the new medication. This means doctors tend to offer a three month trial period initially.

Side effects of Mercilon include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches and migraines, flutuations in weight and water retention, breast tenderness, thrush, spotting, decreased sex drive, depression, rise in blood pressure, skin reactions, gallstones and blood clots.

Mercilon Precautions

Mercilon, like any other combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC), should not be administered if there are signs of the conditions mentioned below. In such a scenario, contraceptive administration must be stopped immediately:

  • Signs or risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE)
  • Venuous thromboembolism – current condition (following anticoagulant treatment) or if you have a medical history of deep venuous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).
  • If you know you have a hereditary or acquired predisposition for venuous thromboembolism (VTE) (e.g.: APC-resistance [including Factor V Leiden], antithrombin-III-deficiency, protein C deficiency, or protein S deficiency.
  • If you have undergone a major surgical procedure requiring prolonged immobilisation
  • If you are a venuous thromboembolism high-risk patient due to multiple risk factors being present
  • Symptoms or risk of arterial thromboembolism (ATE)
  • Arterial thromboembolism – present condition of arterial thromboembolism or having a history of arterial thromboembolism (e.g.: myocardial infarction) or prodromal condition (e.g.: angina pectoris or chest angina).
  • Cerebrovascular disease – current stroke experience or having a history of stroke or prodromal condition (e.g.: transient ischemic attack, TIA).
  • If you know you have a hereditary or acquired predisposition for arterial thromboembolism (e.g.: hyperhomocysteinaemia and antiphospholipid antibodies (anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant).
  • If you have a history of a migraine with focal neurological symptoms
  • If there is a high risk that you develop arterial thromboembolism in future due to the presence of multiple risk factors or presence of one major risk factor such as diabetes Mellitus with vascular symptoms, severe hypertension and severe Dy lipoproteinemia.
  • Pancreatitis or related history if associated with severe hypertriglyceridaemia
  • Evident symptoms or history of severe hepatic diseases provided that liver functions have not returned to normal.
  • Presence or established history of liver tumours whether benign or malignant
  • Determined or suspected oestrogen-dependent tumours
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • Known or suspected pregnancy
  • Hypersensitivity to the active substances or to any of the following excipients; dl-alpha-tocopherol, potato starch, povidone, stearic acid, aerosol and lactose.

If any of the following risk factors are present, the suitability of Mercilon should be discussed with the patient. If there are any signs of aggravation or first appearance of any of these conditions or risk factors becomes noticeable, it is advisable that you seek medical advice to determine whether Mercilon administration should be discontinued.

Circulatory disorders

The risk of VTE: usage of any combined hormonal contraceptive method increases the risk of venuous thromboembolism (VTE). Products containing levonorgestrel, norgestimate or norethisterone are generally associated with the lowest VTE risk. Other contraceptives, like Mercilon, are likely to have up to double this level of risk. The decision to use any contraceptive other than the one with the lowest VTE risk should be made only after discussion with the patient to make sure she fully understands the risk involved by taking Mercilon, and how her current risk factors influence VTE risk and raise awareness that VTE risk is highest during the first year of administration. VTE risk was proved to increase when a combined hormonal contraceptive intake is resumed after a four-week break or more.

There is some evidence that two of 10,000 women who do not use combined hormonal contraceptives and are not pregnant will develop a form of VTE over a one-year period. Depending on underlying risk factors, the risk is likely to be much higher in any individual woman, however.

Scientific estimates suggest that one in 10,000 women taking CHC with a composition of desogestrel between 9 and 12 will develop a form of VTE in one year compared with approximately 62 in women who use levonorgestrel -based CHC.

The number of VTE cases per year in both cases, however, is lower than the number expected during pregnancy or in the post-partum period.

Women suffering from hypertriglyceridemia or those who have suffered from it in the past are at a higher risk of developing pancreatitis with CHCs.

Although there is evidence that CHC intake accounts for small blood pressure in many women, clinically relevant increases are rare. No relationship between CHC administration and hypertension was clinically proved. However, if a sustained clinically relevant hypertension develops during CHC use it is prudent for the physician to disrupt CHC and treat hypertension. Where appropriate, CHC use may be resumed if antihypertensive treatment has positive outcomes and normotensive values are achieved.

Conditions such as jaundice and/or pruritus associated with cholestasis, formation of gallstone, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, haemolytic-uraemic syndrome : Sydenham's chorea, herpes gestationis, otosclerosis-related hearing loss, hereditary angioedema have been reported to occur or deteriorate with both pregnancy and CHC use, however, the evidence indicating any association between CHC use and any of these conditions is inconclusive.

Acute or chronic liver function disorders may require withdrawal of CHC until biomarkers of liver function return to normal values. Recurrence of cholestatic jaundice previously occurring during pregnancy or use of sex steroids requires CHC discontinuation.

Despite that CHCs are likely to have a certain effect on peripheral insulin resistance and glucose tolerance, there is no conclusive evidence to support a need to change diabetic therapy during CHC use. However, it is advisable that patients taking CHCs are carefully observed.

A clear association between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and CHC use has been clinically determined.

Chloasma is likely to occur occasionally, especially in patients with a chloasma gravidarum history. Women who are predisposed to chloasma should avoid exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation while taking this product.

Each tablet of Mercilon contains 80mg lactose. Patients with rare hereditary galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption are advised not to take this preparation.

Relative contraindications include severe depression or a history thereof.

Drug interactions

Interactions between contraceptives and other drugs result in breakthrough bleeding and/or contraceptive failure in most cases. Mercilon may interact with drugs inducing microsomal enzymes, which can lead to increased clearance of sex hormones (e.g.: hydantoins, phenytoin, barbiturates, primidone, bosentan, carbamazepine, rifampicin, rifabutin and possibly also oxcarbazepine, modafinil, topiramate, felbamate, ritonavir, griseofulvin and products containing St. John's wort). HIV protease inhibitors with an inducing potential such as ritonavir and nelfinavir, as well as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors such as nevirapine and efavirenz may influence hepatic metabolism. Induction of maximal enzyme is generally unnoticeable for 2-3 weeks but is likely to be sustained for at least 4 weeks after cessation of drug treatment.

Contraceptive failures have been also associated with antibiotic therapy (e.g.: ampicillin and tetracyclines). The mechanism of this effect has not been determined yet. If you are already on or need to use this kind of treatment it is advisable that you temporarily discontinue Mercilon use and choose an alternative method of contraception or resort to a barrier method. If you are on microsomal enzyme-inducing medication, the barrier method must be used during the period of concomitant drug administration and for 28 days after cessation thereof. In the case of long-term enzyme-inducing drug therapy, other methods of contraceptions should be taken into consideration. Patients on antibiotic treatment - with the exception of rifampicin and griseofulvin, which also have an enzyme-inducing action- should use the barrier method until 7 days after cessation of drug therapy. In case the period of time during which the barrier method is used exceeds the end of the contraceptive pack, the next pack should be started skipping the off-pill interval.

Generally, oral contraceptives and Mercilon is no exception, are likely to influence the metabolism of other drugs. Therefore, plasma and tissue concentrations may increase (e.g.: ciclosporin) or decrease accordingly (e.g.: lamotrigine). It is important to refer to the prescribing information to identify potential interaction with concomitant drug treatment.

Contraceptive steroids may influence certain laboratory test results (e.g.: biochemical parameters of liver, thyroid, adrenal and renal function, plasma levels of (carrier) proteins such as corticosteroid binding globulin and lipid/lipoprotein fractions, parameters of carbohydrate metabolism, as well as coagulation and fibrinolysis parameters). Overall, changes remain within the normal laboratory range.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Most doctors recommend avoiding any intake of drugs during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. That is why it is advised that Mercilon should be discontinued during pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs during Mercilon treatment, the further administration should be ceased. However, the majority of epidemiological studies have not demonstrated any increased risk of birth defects in children born to women using combined hormonal contraceptives prior to pregnancy or any teratogenic effect when the drug's intake was continued inadvertently during early pregnancy.

The increased risk of developing VTE post-partum should be carefully considered when resuming Mercilon intake.

Combined hormonal contraceptives may influence lactation. Contraceptive intake may account for a decrease in the quantity of breast milk as well as its composition. Therefore, it is recommended to stop their use while breastfeeding.

Can you buy without a prescription?

No. All clinically proven medication requires a valid prescription and Mercilon is no exception. This is to confirm the medication is perfectly safe and highly effective for you to use. The prescription process will involve a short consultation – this is the same in person as well as online – and involves medical and personal question to ensure Mercilon is compatible with you.

How to buy Mercilon?

When buying Mercilon online, you will still require a prescription as it is clinically proven medication but this doesn't have to be in person. This can be easily obtained when completing our quick consultation that will take approximately five minutes all online. This saves you the time reordering contraception you know works for you. A certified doctor reviews this and then you can order Mercilon online.

Is it safe to order online?

When ordering from a certified online pharmacy, you can be ensured that your medication is safe. If the pharmacy doesn't ask you to complete essential health and medical question, however, this is a telltale sign that the website isn't certified. The website should also display clear signs that it is registered and approved by the relevant authorities. In the UK, this includes being registered by the MHRA and GMC.

All medication will be delivered in tamper proof packaging complete with the full patient leaflet, which confirms that the medication is clinically proven and highly effective.

What is included in the price?

When ordering Mercilon online here at Medilico, this is an all-inclusive price including the prescription, consultation, medication and delivery. There are no hidden costs. The price adjusts depending on the dosage and quantity you have ordered.

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