Desogestrel - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Desogestrel is an oral contraceptive (birth control pill). This medicine is used to prevent pregnancy.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Desogestrel exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

Try to take it at the same time each day.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.

Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist on how to manage your dose if you vomit within 3-4 hours after taking this medicine.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
If you missed a dose and it is within 12 hours of your usual schedule, take the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

If you are more than 12 hours late, take the missed dose as soon as you remember (even if this means taking 2 doses in 1 day) and return to your normal dosing schedule. You may also need to use additional birth control methods, such as condom, for the next 7 days.

Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist how to properly manage your missed dose.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • active blood clot disorder
  • with or a history of severe liver disease
  • sex hormone-sensitive cancers
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
as Desogestrel may not be suitable for you.

Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while being treated with Desogestrel, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • breast cancer
  • liver cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • migraine
  • depression
  • history of chloasma gravidarum (discolouration of the skin especially on the face or neck during pregnancy)
  • history of blood clot disorder
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disease that causes inflammation)
  • mild to moderate liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.

Desogestrel does not lower the risk of getting HIV infection or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid getting these diseases.

If you are going to have an operation or certain laboratory tests (e.g. liver, thyroid or kidney function test), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Pregnancy tests must be done before starting the treatment to know if Desogestrel is suited for you to take.
  • Regular monitoring for absence of menstruation, stomach pain, vaginal bleeding, and signs of depression may also be needed.
What side effects could I experience?
Desogestrel may cause any of the following side effects: headache, acne, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, increased weight, decreased sex drive, breast pain, and irregular menstruation.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
  • shortness of breath and chest pain
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine, tiredness
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed)
  • sudden or severe lower abdominal pain; heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
  • medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine
  • medicines for hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole
  • certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin
  • St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Desogestrel.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Keep tablets in their original package to protect from light and moisture.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on desogestrel - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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