Femodette is a combined oral contraceptive pill (‘the Pill’) taken to prevent pregnancy.
This low-dose contraceptive contains two types of female sex hormones, oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones prevent an egg being released from your ovaries so you can’t get pregnant. Femodette also makes the fluid (mucus) in your cervix thicker which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb.
The benefits of taking the Pill include:
- it is one of the most reliable reversible methods of contraception if used correctly
- it doesn’t interrupt sex
- it usually makes your periods regular, lighter and less painful
- it may help with pre-menstrual symptoms.
Femodette will not protect you against sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia or HIV. Only condoms can help to do this.
Take Femodette every day for 21 days.
Femodette comes in strips of 21 pills, each marked with a day of the week.
- Take your pill at the same time every 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, until you have finished all 21 pills.
- Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary. Do not chew the pill.
Then have seven pill-free days.
After you have taken all 21 pills in the strip, you have seven days when you take no pills. So, if you take the last pill of one pack on a Friday, you will take the first pill of your next pack on the Saturday of the following week.
Within a few days of taking the last pill from the strip, you should have a withdrawal bleed like a period. This bleed may not have finished when it is time to start your next strip of pills.
You don’t need to use extra contraception during these seven pill-free days – as long as you have taken your pills correctly and start the next strip of pills on time.
Then start your next strip
What if I miss a dose?
A missed pill
If you miss a pill, follow these instructions:
Less than 12 hours ago
- Take the delayed pill straight away, and further pills as usual. This may mean taking two pills in one day.
- Don’t worry your contraceptive protection should not be reduced.
More than 12 hours ago, or you have missed more than one Pill
- Take the most recently missed pill straight away.
- Leave any earlier missed pills in the strip.
- Take your further pills as usual. This may mean taking two pills in one day.
- Use extra precautions (condoms for instance) for the next 7 days.
- Check how many pills are left in the strip after the most recently missed pill.
(Please read the patient leaflet included with your pack of Femodette for more information on missed pills.)
A lost pill
If you lose a pill,
Either take the last pill of the strip in place of the lost pill. Then take all the other pills on their proper days. Your cycle will be one day shorter than normal, but your contraceptive protection won’t be affected. After your seven pill-free days you will have a new starting day, one day earlier than before.
Or if you do not want to change the starting day of your cycle, take a pill from a spare strip. Then take all the other pills from your current strip as usual.
You can then keep the opened spare strip in case you lose any more pills.
If you are sick or have diarrhoea
If you are sick (vomit) or have very bad diarrhoea your body may not get its usual dose of hormones from that pill.
If you vomit within 3 to 4 hours after taking your pill, this is like missing a pill. You must follow the advice for missed pills
If you have severe diarrhoea for more than 12 hours after taking Femodette follow the instructions for if you are more than 12 hours late.
When should you not use Femodette?
You should not use Femodette if you have any of the conditions listed below.
Your doctor will discuss with you what other form of birth control would be more appropriate.
- If you have (or have ever had) a blood clot in a blood vessel of your legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), your lungs (pulmonary embolus, PE) or other organs
- If you know you have a disorder affecting your blood clotting
- If you need an operation or if you are off your feet for a long time
- If you have ever had a heart attack or stroke
- If you have regular migraines
- If you have or have recently had a severe liver disease
- If you have or have had a pancreatitis
- Known or suspected pregnancy
- if you have cancer affected by sex hormones – such as some cancers of the breast, womb lining or ovary
- if you have vaginal bleeding that has not been explained by your doctor
- if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the ingredients in Femodette
- if you have hepatitis C and are taking medicinal products containing ombitasvir/ paritaprevir/ ritonavir and dasabuvir
If you suffer from any of these, or get them for the first time while taking Femodette, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Using a combined hormonal contraceptive such as Femodette, increases your risk of developing a blood clot compared with not using one.
It is important to remember that the overall risk of a harmful blood clot due to Femodette is small.
Factors that increase your risk of a blood clot in a vein
The risk of a blood clot with Femodette is small but some conditions will increase the risk. Your risk is higher:
- if you are very overweight (body mass index or BMI over 30kg/m2)
- if one of your immediate family has had a blood clot in the leg, lung or other organ at a young age (e.g. below the age of about 50). In this case you could have a hereditary blood clotting disorder
- if you need to have an operation, or if you are off your feet for a long time because of an injury or illness, or you have your leg in a cast. The use of Femodette may need to be stopped several weeks before surgery or while you are less mobile. If you need to stop Femodette ask your doctor when you can start using it again
- as you get older (particularly above about 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.
Air travel (> 4 hours) may temporarily increase your risk of a blood clot, particularly if you have some of the other factors listed.
It is important to tell your doctor if any of these conditions apply to you, even if you are unsure. Your doctor may decide that Femodette needs to be stopped.
If any of the above conditions change while you are using Femodette, for example a close family member experiences a thrombosis for no known reason; or you gain a lot of weight, tell your doctor.
Some medicines may stop Femodette from working properly. These include medicines used for the treatment of:
- epilepsy (primidone, phenytoins, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, felbamate, modafinil)
- tuberculosis (rifampicin)
- HIV infections (ritonavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, efavirenz)
- Hepatitis C virus infection (e.g., boceprevir, telaprevir)
- Some infectious diseases (e.g., griseofulvin)
- depressive moods (the herbal remedy St. John’s wort)
Your doctor will prescribe another type of contraceptive prior to start of the treatment with these medicinal products.
Femodette can be restarted approximately 2 weeks after completion of this treatment.
Like all medicines, Femodette can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. If you get any side effect, particularly if severe and persistent, or have any change to your health that you think may be due to Femodette, please talk to your doctor.
Common side effects include:
- feeling sick
- stomach ache
- putting on weight
- depressive moods or mood swings
- sore or painful breasts
Uncommon side effects include:
- being sick and stomach upsets
- fluid retention
- loss of interest in sex
- breast enlargement
- skin rash, which may be itchy
Bleeding between periods should not last long
A few women have a little unexpected bleeding or spotting while they are taking Femodette, especially during the first few months. Normally, this bleeding is nothing to worry about and will stop after a day or two. Keep taking Femodette as usual. The problem should disappear after the first few strips.
You may also have unexpected bleeding if you are not taking your pills regularly, so try to take your pill at the same time every day. Also, unexpected bleeding can sometimes be caused by other medicines.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.