Gedarel is a combined hormonal contraceptive pill you can take to effectively prevent pregnancy. Each Gedarel pill contains man made versions of the female sex hormones oestrogen (as ethinyl estradiol) and progesterone (as desogestrel).
Gedarel is available in 2 strengths:
- Gedarel 30/150, which contains 30 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol and 150 micrograms of desogestrel
- Gedarel 20/150, which contains 20 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol and 150 micrograms of desogestrel
Ordering Gedarel contraceptive pill from ZAVA online doctor is fast, convenient and confidential. To order, simply:
- Press start order and fill in a short medical questionnaire
- A doctor will review your answers to make sure it's right for you
- Our doctors will post it directly to your door, or you can collect it from your nearest post office
You can also message a doctor through your patient account if you have any questions regarding Gedarel, your health, or another treatment.
6 x 21 tablet(s) - £23.00
3 x 21 tablet(s) - £17.00
6 x 21 tablet(s) - £22.00
3 x 21 tablet(s) - £15.00
What is Gedarel?
Gedarel is a combined pill that you can use to prevent pregnancy.
Each pill contains the active ingredients desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol. These are similar to the hormones your body naturally produces during your menstrual cycle.
However, taking Gedarel does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). One of the most effective ways to prevent STIs is to use a condom during sex.
How to take Gedarel
To take Gedarel, you need to swallow one tablet at the same time every day for 21 days. Then take a 7 day, pill free break where you will have a withdrawal bleed, similar to a period. After 7 days of not taking Gedarel, you should start the next strip, even if you’re still bleeding.
The back of a Gedarel strip of tablets is labelled with every day of the week to help you remember to take your daily pill.
If you vomit or have severe diarrhoea within a few hours of taking Gedarel, you should take another Gedarel pill to replace it.
If you miss a Gedarel pill, you should take it as soon as you remember. If it’s been less than 24 hours since you forgot to take it, take it as soon as you remember even if it means taking it with your next pill.
But, if you miss 2 or more pills in a row, see a doctor or healthcare professional as you may need emergency contraception.
How does Gedarel work?
Gedarel works by releasing oestrogen and progesterone into your body, and this:
- prevents ovulation (an egg being released from your ovaries)
- thickens the fluid in your cervix, so that it is harder for semen (sperm) to get through
- thins the lining of your womb (uterus) so it is harder for a fertilised egg to implant and grow
These effects work together to prevent you from getting pregnant, but for Gedarel to be effective you need to take it without missing any pills.
How effective is Gedarel?
If you take Gedarel perfectly and do not miss a pill, it is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
You should take Gedarel at the same time every day for it to be the most effective.
What are the side effects of Gedarel?
Common side effects of Gedarel include:
- irregular or no periods
- low mood
- mood changes
- weight gain
- abdominal pain
- tender breasts or breast pain
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Uncommon side effects of Gedarel are:
- bumpy rash (urticaria)
- low sex drive
- fluid retention (bloating)
- hearing problems
- increase in blood pressure
If you get any side effects that affect your daily life, you can speak with your doctor about switching to another birth control pill.
Read the patient information leaflet that comes with your pack of Gedarel pills to learn about any rare side effects.
Who can take Gedarel?
You can take Gedarel if you regularly have periods and want to protect yourself from getting pregnant. If you are over 35 and do not smoke, you can keep taking Gedarel and do not need to switch to a progesterone only pill. This also depends on other factors like your weight.
You should not take Gedarel if you have:
- allergies to any of the ingredients in Gedarel, including lactose
- ever had a migraine with an aura
- liver disease or a liver tumour
- pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas)
- ever had a blood clot (thrombosis)
- ever had a stroke, heart attack or angina (heart pain)
- cervical cancer or breast cancer
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- endometrial hyperplasia
- hepatitis C
- an operation coming up
You should not take Gedarel if you’re pregnant. You may be able to use it while breastfeeding, depending on how long it's been since your delivery.
If you cannot take Gedarel, you can speak to a doctor or fill out an online questionnaire with ZAVA to help you find another form of birth control.
Gedarel can interact with certain medications that you might be taking, including supplements or herbal products.
Before you take Gedarel, you should let your doctor know if you’re taking medication for:
- epilepsy, such as topiramate, lamotrigine or phenytoin
- tuberculosis, such as rifampicin
- hepatitis C or HIV, such as ritonavir
- fungal infections, such as griseofulvin
- underactive thyroid, such as levothyroxine
- arthritis, such as etoricoxib
- low mood, such as St. John's Wort
- muscle stiffness, such as tizanidine
- suppressing your immune system, such as ciclosporin
Taking these medications along with Gedarel may make it less effective, so you might get pregnant if you use them at the same time. Gedarel may stop these medicines from working properly too, and this can affect your overall health.
Alternative contraceptive pills
If you’re looking for an alternative to Gedarel, ZAVA offer other types of contraception that you can use instead and are just as effective.
There are also other types of contraception, such as:
- barrier methods (condoms, female condoms, contraceptive diaphragm)
- copper IUD
- hormonal IUD
- birth control patches, such as Evra
- vaginal ring
You can speak to a doctor or fill out a form with ZAVA Online Doctor to find the most suitable birth control method for you.
What is the difference between Gedarel 20 and Gedarel 30?
The difference between Gedarel 20 and Gedarel 30 is that there is less oestrogen in Gedarel 20 pills.
You may want to use Gedarel 20 if you have a low body weight, or you are sensitive to the hormone oestrogen.
You might be sensitive to oestrogen if you start to get strong headaches while on the pill. So if you are taking Gedarel 30 and start getting these headaches, you can easily switch to Gedarel 20. If the headaches do not stop, you may need to use a progesterone or progestogen only pill, known as the mini pill.
Another benefit of taking Gedarel 20 instead of Gedarel 30 is that there will be an even smaller chance of you getting a blood clot as a side effect.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 12 Jan 2022
Contraceptive pills are a reliable way of reducing your risk of getting pregnant from sex. ZAVA offers most common brands of pill, so you can order your preferred brand by visiting our contraceptive pill service page.
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