Cilique Pill

An alternative to Cilest

1 pack of 3 x 21 Cilique 250/35mg norgestimate and ethinylestradiol tablet

Cilique and Cilest are two types of combined contraceptive pill, commonly known as ‘the Pill’. Cilest is the better-known, brand name than Cilique. They both contain the same active ingredient and have the exact same effects on your body, but Cilique is slightly cheaper. The manufacturers of Cilest plan to stop production in 2019.

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What is Cilique?

Cilique is a combined hormonal contraceptive pill that should be taken orally, by swallowing.

It contains a combination of two sex hormones, oestrogen (norgestimate) and progestogen (ethinylestradiol). These are the same active ingredients found in the other combined pill known as Cilest.

Together, these hormones prevent your monthly egg from being released by your ovaries (ovulation). They also thicken the fluid around the cervix (the entrance to the womb), which makes it hard for any sperm to enter your womb. When taken correctly, Cilique provides over 99% protection from pregnant.

How do you use Cilique?

Cilique comes in pill form, and should be swallowed whole. Don’t chew your Cilique pill, but do take it with water if you need to.

It comes in a blister packet strip of 21 pills, where each pill is marked by a day of the week, in order. You should try to take your Cilique pill at the same time every day, taking the pill marked by the matching day of the week.

After 21 days, you should have finished all the pills in the strip. You will then have 7 days when you take no pills. During this pill-free ‘break’, it’s normal to experience a withdrawal bleed that acts a lot like your usual monthly period. If you have taken your pills correctly, you won’t need to use any extra contraception during this time: you will still be protected from pregnancy.

After this 7-day break, you can start your next pill packet, taking a pill marked by the correct day of the week. If you continue to take your Cilique pills correctly, you will notice that you always start each new strip on the same day of the week.

If you ever miss a pill, don’t panic: take your missed pill as soon as you remember, and continue with the rest of the strip as usual. If you miss more than one pill at a time, see your patient information leaflet for specific advice on what to do next.

Missing more than one pill or starting your new strip late will make Cilique less effective, and could leave you at risk of getting pregnant. You may have to use extra contraception (like condoms), and may be advised to get a pregnancy test.

How are Cilique and Cilest related?

Cilique and Cilest are two different types of the same combined contraceptive pill: they both contain the same active ingredients (the hormones that stop you getting pregnant). In medical terms, they are ‘bioidentical’. This simply means that they both have the same effect on your body.

Cilique is a newer branded version of this medication, and Cilest is the better-known, longer-standing branded version. Cilest is only manufactured by one company, who plan to stop production in 2019.

How do you switch from Cilest to Cilique?

Because Cilest and Cilique are identical from a medical point of view, switching between them is easy. Both pills come in strips of 21, so in theory, you could swap them out for each other and they would be just as safe and effective.

To switch from Cilest to Cilique, we would recommend waiting until you have finished your current strip of Cilest (including the 7 day pill-free break) before starting your new strip of Cilique, but this is only to make sure you don’t waste any pills.

Ordering your new Cilique pills while you’re on Cilest is exactly the same as if you were reordering your Cilest pills. Switching between the two is much easier than switching between Pills with different active ingredients.

Who can use Cilique

Cilique is mainly used for contraception, but can also used for other reasons, such as for the treatment of acne. You should only ever take Cilique if it has been prescribed directly to you by a doctor. Not everyone can take it safely.

How to order Cilique online

Ordering Cilique online couldn’t be easier:

  • Simply start your order, and fill in a short questionnaire
  • A licensed UK doctor will review your order and check if your treatment is right for
  • If it is, it can be sent to you in the post, or collected from a local post office

Side effects of Cilique

Taking prescription medicine always comes with the risk of side effects. The most common side effects of Cilique are:

  • headaches
  • stomach problems
  • irregular periods

The full list of side effects can be found on the patient information leaflet in your pill packet.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is an IMC and GMC registered GP who works with our Irish team here at ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training at Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 16 Feb 2019