Cerazette vs Cerelle

I was 15 when I first started taking Cerazette. It was a countermeasure to having periods because I was anorexic at the time and my other 21-day pill was forcing me to have periods when I couldn’t really afford to, given my physical state. So my doctor prescribed me Cerazette in the hope that it would naturally stop me having periods via hormones.

Cerazette was quite honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. It stopped my periods and, even after I had recovered from anorexia and returned to a healthy weight, I never got them. Every three years I’d get what can only be described as a ‘mini-period’, which wasn’t a big deal at all. I’d just bleed a couple of tablespoons a day for around 3-4 days and it’d be over.

Despite this, I was looking into a hysterectomy as a long-term solution to not wanting periods or children. Although the pill is effective, there is always that risk and what’s the point of taking the risk when you know you don’t ever want children? I won’t go into the reasons why I don’t want kids here, but I have written about it before and will probably write about it at a later date.

All was going swimmingly well with Cerazette, until I went to fill my prescription and was told that Cerazette had been rebranded as Cerelle. I didn’t think anything of it and took my new prescription home.

Over the course of the following months, hell ensued. Cerelle was not a rebranding of Cerazette. As I said earlier, I started Cerazette when I was a teenager. I had no adverse effects to it. If anything, you’d expect that you would whilst you’re still going through puberty. But no, none of that happened when I was 15. It was happening when I was 22. Cerelle caused me to break out in what can only be described as acne for the first time in my life. I have always had flawless skin, perhaps the odd spot here and there when I get stressed. Now, at 22, my whole chin, nose and part of my cheeks were breaking out in spots every day. I couldn’t stop them. It was making me even more depressed and I was having to wear make up everyday to cover everything up. When the spots eventually did heal, they were discolouring and scarring my skin. Nothing had changed in my diet or skin routine. The only thing that had changed was my pill.

The side effects of Cerelle were horrendous. Not only did I have acne, but my skin was dull and sallow. I was also bleeding randomly and it was much heavier than the ‘mini-period’ that I was used to having every few years. The cramps were the worst. Working in media, I found that these side effects were knocking my confidence. I wanted to look my best at all times and my skin was going through breakout after breakout. I was just so ashamed of my skin and, as someone who had an eating disorder and still suffered from bouts of BDD, I knew this could become a slippery slope.

I went to my local GP and asked if I could be put back on Cerazette instead of Cerelle, because despite what I was told, they clearly aren’t the same thing. The nurse didn’t even need me to say anymore; I was previously going to tell her what effect it was having on my confidence, but showing her my blotchy chin sans cosmetics was enough. Whilst changing my prescription on the computer, she commented, ‘I don’t know why but so many people keep coming to me, saying that the Cerelle is giving them bad side effects that they never had on Cerazette’. After mere minutes, I was out of there with a prescription for my beloved Cerazette.

Finding Cerazette was another thing entirely. I had to go home and ring around several local pharmacies before finding one that kept Cerazette. When I went to pick it up from the pharmacy, the guy serving me told me that in a bid to try and force people to switch to Cerelle, a lot of pharmacies aren’t stocking it and typically in one area, only a couple will. He did advise that by law, they had to stock it because as long as it was still being prescribed, they couldn’t offer me an alternative and had to honour my Cerazette prescription. I left, armed with extra knowledge and my perfect pill.

Cerelle is actually cheaper for the NHS, which is why they’ve been told to force people on Cerazette to take it. It is not a rebranding. Although they contain the same compounds, there must be something that is done differently in the manufacturing of it because it really is not the same tablet at all. I mean, it can’t be. How can someone be perfectly fine on Cerazette during their most troublesome and unsettled years and then, when switched to something supposedly the ‘same’, have such a terrible reaction?

I’ve been taking Cerazette for the past week after the Cerelle debacle and already, my skin is clearing up. My skin is smoother, there have been no more breakouts of spots and my skin is now glowing and bright. Oh, no bleeding either.

In my personal opinion, I believe that Cerelle is just a sham. There is something fundamentally wrong with it and it’s frightful to think that in a bid to save money, the NHS have been ordered to switch thousands of people onto a pill which has a higher chance of giving them unbearable side effects. I’ve paid into the NHS and up until recently, it has always looked after me. But I think people know their bodies well enough to be able to decide what pill is right for them. A happy person is worth so much more than the saving they may have made by pushing Cerelle.

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33 thoughts on “Cerazette vs Cerelle

  1. Thank you! I have only been on Cerazette for a year when I was told there were “manufacturing problems” and they couldn’t get it so switched me to Cerelle. I went in with an open mind, same active ingredient etc. and told myself I’d be fine. No, I’m not fine. In two months on Cerelle I’ve had panic attacks, depression, mood swings, cramps, bloating, increased appetite, blotchy skin, and horrible anxiety. This is the only thing that has changed. It got so bad I called the pharmacy and they said they got one box of Cerazette in and I told her what I’d been going through and she said to call and get my prescription changed and she’d save the box for me. I went and got it today and just pray that’s what has been wrong with me and that switching back will fix it. How long did it take you before you noticed the difference going back to Cerazette? I was diagnosed with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder in the past and I feel like I’m right back there right now. 😦

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    • jazzykinks says:

      That’s alright — there’s not a lot of information about it online so when I was looking for answers, I came across very little so I thought I’d write something about it 🙂

      It’s really not the same thing at all. I felt more bloated than usual and honestly, my skin has always been flawless. Of course I get a spot or two when I am stressed but I honestly had huge break outs and I had a new spot or more than one each day! It was horrible (and the spots have scarred so I’m not happy but I’m reducing the scarring slowly).

      I also found out that if you are on Cerazette, they HAVE to stock it or order it in for you. They can’t force you off it if you have tried Cerelle and it’s had bad side effects.

      Honestly it took all of two weeks for me to notice a difference, maybe even less time. My skin cleared up almost immediately and the bloating went down pretty quickly too. It won’t take too long to get you back to your old self 🙂 x

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      • Christy Christoffersen says:

        I felt better by the next day after switching back. Like 80% better. Third day and I was back to my old chilled out self and my legs and stomach have gone down too. My calves were so swollen. My skin on my face is still adjusting but it won’t be long. I was oily on cerelle and now it is a bit flaired up but the itching is better. My cheeks were very itchy and I guess it was that. So glad I switched back. I’m going to go to the chemist next week to thank the lady for getting the Cerazette for me and reinforce how bad the other one was so hopefully they will keep it in stock. She seems nice so I believe her when she says it was a manufacturing problem. I also read cerelle has talc in it. I can’t use anything with talc on my skin, much less be eating it. I wonder if that’s part of the problem with them? Thank you again for writing this. It helped put my mind at ease. Xx

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      • jazzykinks says:

        Oh that’s great new! Yeah, my skin has never been oily but on Cerelle it was and obviously, there were all the spots. They have to keep it in stock, so just talk to them and ask if they could always keep it in stock for you. It does? Wow, that’s really surprising. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to ingest any talc! No worries, glad I could help! x

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  2. debbie martin says:

    Hi the doctor has just changed me from cerazette to cerelle and I was very very ill after taking it for 5 days. I had violent headache,nausea,flashing images in my eyes,aching all over,pains in my groin,no appetite. After not taking for just a day I started to feel better . the doctor has now changed me to microgynon as I refused to accept the cerelle. God only knows what they have put it in but in my eyes,its dangerous,you really shouldn’t have side effects that bad. I’m no wimp but they floored me.

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    • jazzykinks says:

      That’s terrible! I’m so sorry you experienced that. Have you tried asking to go back on Cerazette? Legally, you’re well within your right to. I just really hate Microgynon as well because it forces me to have a period which is usually excruciatingly heavy and painful, whereas with Cerazette my periods stop. x

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      • debbie martin says:

        I did ask again for cerazette but was told by the doctor it is no longer available. I live in Scotland. Will have to see how I go with microgynon or micronor as it’s now known!

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  3. jazzykinks says:

    Honestly, demand Cerazette. It IS available, they just want you to go for a cheap pill as Cerazette costs the NHS £26 per year per person. So be adamant!

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  4. everyotherfreckle says:

    I have been reading loads online about the differences between Cerelle and Cerazette and just came across this. For about 6 months I was taking Cerazette and it was great! It stopped my heavy, long, painful periods which had caused me issues since I first started my period. However, one day when going to the doctors to get a repeat prescription I noticed the change in name. I didn’t think anything of it so carried on (or so I thought) taking the same pill. It was fine for a few months, apart from the fact I’d started to get lots of spots around my hairline and on my chin, which wouldn’t go away. I’d never really had acne or major spots even during puberty. I thought it was due to the foundation I was wearing but they were still there when I stopped using the particular foundation. I didn’t think anything of it because I was just so happy not to have periods anymore. However around May 2016 I started feeling really anxious all the time and had a panic attack at work. Since May it got progressively worse, feeling depressed, anxious and I started to get bad headaches and dizziness and my weight dropped loads! I stopped taking Cerelle a month ago and since then I feel terrible. People on other websites say that it takes a few months to get back to normal but honestly I don’t know if I can carry on feeling like this for that long. Is it true that Cerazette is no longer available?
    I know this has been a super-long post but just wanted to share my experience! Please let me know if you have any advice for me.

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Cerazette rocks — I was put on it to deal with really heavy periods initially and then when I became sexually active, it still worked wonders. My situation was the same, I didn’t think anything of it when I picked up Cerelle instead. The same thing happened to me with the spots (never had spots really so I became super self-conscious). Honestly, I would say that the best thing to do is complain to your GP/nurse. I complained to the nurse at my local health centre and she said that loads of other people were having the same problem and changed my pill back to Cerazette immediately. It took some hunting for me to find somewhere that stocks it in my local area but the pharmacist I went to said that it is available. It is available but the NHS want people to switch to Cerelle because it costs them £13 per year per person, whereas Cerazette costs double that. The pharmacist also said that legally, if you are prescribed Cerazette you must receive it!

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      • everyotherfreckle says:

        Just wanted to say thank you for posting this issue and for your reply. I honestly think from hearing experiences like yours and others that the problem is Cerelle. How is your face now since changing back? Some of my spots on my face are definitely scarred now and it’s very upsetting as I never had spots as a teenager or on Cerazette. Just phoned the doctors for an appointment and I have to wait until Next Wednesday!! But hoping to get back on Cerazette and these horrible feelings will go away. Here’s hoping!

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  5. jazzykinks says:

    No worries 🙂 glad I could help! I’m in the same boat. Now I’ve changed, I don’t get spots but unfortunately the ones I did get when I was on Cerelle scarred so I basically have to cover them up whenever I go out.

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  6. Sam says:

    Omg
    ..wished i had read this before i went to gp today.
    I’ve been on Cerelle for 4 weeks and my mood change and headaches are awful!
    Gp has just told me Cerazette is exactly the same and i should stick with cerelle as it can take 2-3 mths to settle down…..after reading this im going back tomorrow!!

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    • jazzykinks says:

      It has bad side effects. It has the same sort of ingredients but I’m sure something dodgy happens in the production of Cerelle for it to have such bad side effects for so many people. Insist upon being put back on!

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      • everyotherfreckle says:

        I spoke to the nurse today about the range of horrible side effects I’d been having and she said “Oh that’s funny, a few women have been saying the same”…. So I have been changed back to Cerazette as of today! Had to go to two chemists to find it though. Seems to be low in stock. If in doubt with Cerelle, change it. I hope I feel better and back to my normal self on Cerazette soon!

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  7. Claire Ruditis says:

    oh my gosh! I am so glad I have found this blog – I have been on Cerazette for 3 years with no issues. Then in March, I got told that it was no longer available, but that Cerelle is exactly the same drug, just a different brand name. After a month on Cerelle, I have had random periods every two or three weeks, severe mood swings, terrible IBS (like, really bad), my acne has come back, and the last few days the side effects have gotten even worse, with terrible cramping and lower back pain. I feel absolutely awful. And depressed, where I literally start crying for no reason – and this has happened to me at work!!! How embarrassing! So this evening, I have googled issues surrounding Cerelle, and here I am. I have just found out that you can buy Cerazette from Lloyds online pharmacy in the UK!!! One of their doctors will assess my order in the morning, and then hopefully I will be able to pick up a 6 months supply of Cerazette tomorrow afternoon from my local Loyds pharmacy (like 4 miles down the road). I am astounded that the GP lied to me and said it was no longer available. I had even got back in to see them a few months after switching, to complain about the side effects, but they said it would not be caused by the change to Cerelle.
    Thank you thank you for your information!!!!
    Claire x

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Thank you! Cerelle might be composed of the same stuff but they’ve either added something or taken something away. Or there’s something wrong in the manufacturing process. It’s certainly different in some way. Unfortunately I’m not surprised that you’ve had such side effects as I had some that were similar. It really knocked my confidence. Gosh I feel so bad for you. That’s exactly why I wrote this piece — there isn’t enough information on Cerazette and Cerelle and I wanted to make sure that there was something because when I was googling symptoms, there was very little available. That’s great news! It will take some time but the side effects will reverse. Perhaps your GP genuinely didn’t know? From what I’ve been told, they’re fed the same rubbish as us (and so are pharmacists in certain pharmacies). But I’m just glad you’ve found a resolution! x

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      • Christy Christoffersen says:

        Just an update. I contacted the manufacturer of Cerazette and they told me themselves that there were no manufacturing issues and told me to tell my chemist to contact them directly and even gave me the info to give them.

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  8. HF says:

    Am so glad I found this blog. I am due to get a repeat prescription and was told the same. However, after reading this have done some research, in the interim I have bought some off the internet but have also found out that the NHS is doing this to cut costs. The cerazette costs the NHS circa £8.68 for 3 months while the Cerelle or Generic costs the NHS circa £3.50 ! So we are just being fed rubbish. So annoying !

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Thank you! Yes, it’s cheaper for them to get Cerelle and they couldn’t really care about the side effects. The nurse at my GP said that loads of other people had had the same side effects and she said she’s fed up because she keeps having to re-prescribe Cerazette!

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  9. Emma McGeachy says:

    Hello! Iv only just started researching the difference between the 2 pills, i just honestly believed my doc when he said they were the same. I have had erratic and much heavier bleeding but worst than that my PMT and over all mental health has been all over the place. Erratic mood swings, dark low moods, and the feeling of a complete lack of any feeling sometimes! I have been feeling dreadful for months and its getting worse. I am a happy postive person with a fantastic life and this came out the blue when I changed the pill. Will be changing ASAP. Thanks for writing this post.

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    • jazzykinks says:

      They’re really not. I know they’re supposed to be the same but I think there’s something different in the manufacturing. It certainly has side-effects that I never experienced with Cerazette. Sorry to hear you’ve had bad problems with it 😦 Let me know when you change back!

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  10. Started cirelle around 6 weeks ago as cernazette wasnt available.
    Started getting really paranoid and bad insomnia.
    Tried to work out what was causing this then 5am monday morning i realised i had started taking this new pill.
    Come on here and see all this stories about others suffering with the change.
    Stopped taken the cirelle the next day and ordered cernazette from Lloyds pharmacy.
    Hope i get back to normality.
    Sending love ladies. X

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    • jazzykinks says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Initially I didn’t think to realise it was Cerelle — I thought it was something in my diet but I eat similar sorts of things and haven’t had any intolerance before. My mum did mention that the only thing that had changed was my pill. As I wasn’t having sex, I stopped taking it and my side effects vanished and I went to my doctor to get it switched back. Never had any problems since! I hope everything works out for you! I think things will be fine once you’re back on Cerazette! x

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  11. Lucy says:

    So glad I’ve come across this too, I’ve been on cerazette for approx 10year after trying different pills and it’s been great completely stopped my period apart from the odd spotting randomly when I went abroad.
    I came off the pill for a good year to clear it out my system before trying for a baby.
    Just recently had my baby, 2wks after birth feeling fine and all bleeding stopped. 6wks after I’ve been put on cerelle being told its the same with a different name.
    1 week on cerelle and well I’ve felt awful…bleeding so heavy very emotional, paranoid, sicky and not clear thinking and all round feelin down! Not great with a baby 😦
    My chemist said they can’t give me cerazette as it’s too expensive £9.95 for 3mths instead of £1.95 like cerelle.
    I was told my options were a private proscription and I pay myself or try another chemist.
    Well Boots have saved the day and given me 3mths worth I was advised they have a bigger budget that allows to take the costly hit.
    3days in and I’m back to my normal self and feeling great!! Xx

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    • jazzykinks says:

      I get the odd spotting too but it’s a small price to pay. I’m so sorry to hear about your horrible side effects. It might have essentially the same chemicals in there but something is different in the manufacturing or something because if it was the same, it wouldn’t give long-term Cerazette users wful side effects. Yes, the reason why you won’t get Cerazette is because it costs more to make than Cerelle and obviously, we don’t pay for contraception, so they’re making a big loss if they give us Cerazette instead. Glad to hear Boots were able to help! x

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  12. Ella says:

    I have literally just got cerazette yesterday after being on cerelle for the last few months and bleeding profusely. I wish i had seen this post sooner. I suffered several panic attacks whilst on it but didn’t put two and two together even though I have never suffered any form of anxiety before. I have good skin and broke out in major huge spots on my face. Luckily I didnt scar but I was incredibly self conscious and didnt want to go out whilst they were there or healing. My doctor had told me cerelle was the same as cerazette but when I complained of excessive bleeding to a different doctor this week she advised that this was not true and prescribed me cerazette. She said if i ever see a different doctor make sure I insist on cerazette. I definitely will. Thanks for sharing.

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Sorry to hear this! Glad you managed to get back on Cerazette though! I bled more than usual too but the spots were my main gripe as I’ve always had nice skin and these spots were scarring and awful. This other doctor actually said it wasn’t the same? Interesting. Luckily the nurse I saw did say that she’d had loads of people come back and complain about the awful side effects and she’s basically spent most of her time at work just re-prescribing Cerazette. Yes, you just have to be persistent! Thanks for reading 🙂 x

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  13. Beverley says:

    So glad to read your report/experience – thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve not had the POP before, previously just Microgynon which never gave me any side effects .. stopped to have children and now in my late 40’s got recently prescribed the POP and given Cerelle – halfway through my first packet and have awfully sore nipples, never, ever had them this sore at any point ever before and can only put it down to the Pill .. Googled it this evening and found so many women who have previously been on Cerazette with no problems and then getting switched to Cerelle, having horendous issues, including heavy, very lengthy bleeding several months in, massive weight gain, dreadful mood swings, sore boobs, to name a few, but many saying that all this went, the moment they either stopped or switched back to Cerazette. Getting an appointment at my GP is horrendous, so for now, I’ve purchased some Cerazette at Lloyds online pharmacy – just got to wait until morning to find out whether it is approved, so fingers crossed. Thanks again x

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Thank you for reading! Sorry to hear you’re having issues on Cerelle but as I said, it seems to be the way and despite what the doctors say, it really isn’t the same as Cerazette. I know what you mean — at my GP, you have to call at 8am on the day, no advance appointments. Luckily if it’s something like a pill change, you can see the senior nurse and get her to authorise it (especially if you’ve previously had Cerazette like I had). I hope you manage to get your hands on some Cerazette and get a GP appointment soon! x

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  14. Lisa Lay says:

    I was taking Cerazette and got switched to Cerelle, the GP advising me they no longer manufactured Cerazette. I took the Cerelle for 3 months or so but knew I didn’t feel right, more painful cramps for weeks on end so rang my GP surgery and got through to a GP who I always used to see who advised me Cerazette was still available and she herself was still taking it and not switching to Cerelle and she’d issue a new prescription for me straight away. I got the new prescription and got the Cerazette from Boots. x

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    • jazzykinks says:

      Well that’s a lie — Cerazette is still available, it’s just that some places don’t stock it. They’re only saying it’s not manufactured anymore because Cerelle is cheaper for the NHS and, considering we don’t pay for contraception, they want to save as much money as they can, even if it means putting us at risk of awful side effects. Good on your GP! Glad she told you what’s going on. Hope you feel better now you’re back on Cerazette! x

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