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Please note – Cilest has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Please see our alternative contraceptive pills.

Cilest is a combined oral contraceptive. It contains the oestrogen Ethinylestradiol as well as the progesterone Norgestimate and has to be taken daily.

To place an order, fill in our brief questionnaire. You can choose a preferred treatment, such as Cilest. Our online doctor will review your information and approve an appropriate treatment.

Prescriptions for urgent treatment can be delivered by Pharmacy Collect, usually within an hour. Or you can choose for your prescription to be delivered to your address. Prescriptions can be used at a pharmacy of your choice.

A consultation for the contraceptive pill costs €20.

  • Genuine Prescriptions from Registered Doctors
  • Safe, Fast and Convenient
  • Delivery to Home or Pharmacy

Who is Cilest for?

Cilest is a contraceptive pill for women and prevents pregnancy. Like other combined pills, Cilest is a very reliable and safe contraceptive, which has to be taken daily in order to work effectively. It is suitable for most women, with the exception of those who breastfeed, women who have had a stroke or thrombosis in the past and those suffering from illnesses affecting the kidneys or liver. Cilest is a prescription-only contraceptive and it is very important that you discuss prior health problems with a doctor before choosing an oral contraceptive.

How does it prevent pregnancy?

In principle, all combined oral contraceptives work in a similar way. Just like Cilest, they all prevent ovulation and lead to a thickening of the mucus around the entrance of the womb to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Does Cilest differ from other pills?

The main difference between the contraceptive pills currently on the market lies in the combination of hormones they contain. The active ingredients in Cilest are Ethinylestradiol, an oestrogen which can be found in many other contraceptive pills, and the progesterone Norgestimate. In combination, the two hormones provide a very reliable contraceptive effect.

When should I start taking it?

If you have recently been prescribed Cilest for the first time, you should begin your first course by taking the first tablet from the blister pack on the first day of your period. This way, you will not require additional contraception. If you prefer to start taking Cilest on a later day in your cycle, you will need to use a barrier method such as a diaphragm or a condom for 7 days, until contraception with Cilest is effective. Don’t take Cilest if you suspect you might already be pregnant, as it will have no contraceptive effect in this case but may harm your baby.

Is Cilest suitable for smokers?

Smokers over the age of 35 are advised not to use contraceptives which contain oestrogen. This is due to the slight increase in the risk of thrombosis and blood clots, which is associated with the regular intake of oestrogen. If you drink a lot of alcohol, are suffering from hypertension, high cholesterol or any other health condition, you need to discuss your suitability for Cilest with a doctor and make sure you provide all relevant information.

What else do I need to know about contraception with Cilest?

While taking a contraceptive pill, you can enjoy spontaneous sex without having to worry about additional contraception. In this situation, it is easy to forget that with regards to sexually transmitted diseases, you are still having unprotected sex. It is vital that you continue to use a condom when having sex with partners whose health status you are unsure of. Having unprotected sex puts you at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, human papilloma virus and HIV.

I would like to get pregnant. When I stop taking Cilest, can I get pregnant straight away?

If you would like to get pregnant and have decided to stop using contraception, you should finish your current blister pack of Cilest. After having taken your last tablet, you will no longer be protected from pregnancy. You will be able to get pregnant from the time of your next ovulation. Usually, this occurs within 1 - 2 weeks of taking your last contraceptive pill. In some cases however, it can take longer. Taking a contraceptive pill generally has no long-term impact on your fertility.

How often do I need to take Cilest?

In order to work effectively and provide safe contraception, Cilest has to be taken at the same time every day. The only exception is the 7 day pill break in the fourth week of your cycle. You will find 21 tablets in one Cilest blister pack. After three weeks of taking a tablet every day you will have one week without taking any tablets, during which you will experience a period. You are still protected during this week but it is important that you start the next blister pack after 7 days.

What happens if I forget to take a pill?

If you have forgotten to take your pill but remember to take it within a 12 hour window, you are still protected. Just take your pill as soon as you remember and continue by taking the next pill at the usual time. This might mean taking two tablets on the same day. If you are more than 12 hours late, you may need to use an additional method of contraception for 7 days to ensure that you will not get pregnant. Whether this is necessary depends on your cycle - please read the patient leaflet of your pill, which will give you detailed instructions on how to proceed in different scenarios.

What does Cilest contain?

Cilest contains two active ingredients, Ethinylestradiol and Norgestimate. With every tablet, you are taking 250 micrograms Norgestimate and 35 micrograms Ethinylestradiol.

Cilest Side Effects

Some women experience side effects when taking Cilest.

Very Common Cilest side effects include:

  • headache
  • stomach problems
  • irregular bleeding during the first three months
  • changes in your period

Common side effects include:

  • migraines
  • swollen limbs
  • mood swings and depression
  • insomnia
  • constipation
  • skin conditions such as acne
  • muscle pain and spasms
  • painful breasts
  • infections of the urinary tract and vagina such as cystitis and thrush
  • missing periods
  • weight gain
  • feeling tired or weak

You will find more information on rare side effects on the patient leaflet of your medication.


Cilest is may not be suitable for you if:

  • you are obese
  • a heavy smoker or a smoker over the age of 35
  • have a family history of stroke or heart disease
  • are suffering from severe migraines
  • have high cholesterol or hypertension
  • have heart problems
  • you are restricted to lying or sitting for a long period of time (for example due to injury or illness)
  • you have diabetes and your condition is not under control

For a complete list of warnings please read your patient leaflet. It is important that you inform your doctor of any previous illnesses or current conditions affecting your health.

Drug Interactions

The following types of medicine can interact with the active ingredients of your pill:

  • medication to treat epilepsy
  • certain types of medication used to treat high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lung
  • some types of antibiotics
  • anti-HIV medicines
  • griseofulvin
  • modafinil
  • St. John’s Wort
  • metoclopramide
  • charcoal
  • some types of medication used to treat high cholesterol levels
  • etoricoxib
  • ciclosporin
  • lamotrigine
  • prednisolone
  • theophylline

If you have a question about this service, please email [email protected] with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

Pharmacy Collect

If you need your medication urgently, choose DrEd's Pharmacy Collect service. This service is available between 9am and 4pm Monday - Friday. Orders placed outside of these hours will be processed the next working day. First, our doctors will review your treatment and approve if appropriate. We will then send an advanced notification of your prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. We aim to do this within an hour.

If your chosen pharmacy is unable to fulfil your prescription, we will get in touch with you to arrange alternative collection arrangements.

Prescription sent by mail

You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This takes 3-5 working days.


1 Order Prescription

Complete a fast and simple online health questionnaire

2 Doctor Prescribes

Doctor reviews your suitability and if appropriate issues your prescription

3 Prescription Delivered

We’ll send urgent scripts fast to any Irish pharmacy or the paper script to your address

  • Genuine Prescriptions from Registered Doctors
  • Safe, Fast and Convenient
  • Delivery to Home or Pharmacy

Anytime, Anywhere

You can complete one of our online assessments at any time, whenever it suits you. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Choose your medication
    You'll complete a short online health assessment and choose the medication you need. If you\'re unsure, our in-house GPs can also recommend the best treatment for you.

  2. Our GP prescribes your medication
    Our doctors will review your order and issue your prescription.

  3. Free delivery to your door or collect from the pharmacy
    Free delivery to your address is included. Or for urgent orders you can collect straight from your pharmacy

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FREE Fast Delivery

Orders placed before 4pm will be dispatched the same day.

Standard Delivery

Estimated Delivery:
Delivered to your chosen address within 3-5 working days.

Pharmacy Collect

Estimated Delivery:
For urgent orders, delivered to your chosen pharmacy from 1 hour of placing your order if placed Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.

Discreet Packaging

Your prescription will be delivered in plain, unlabeled packaging

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DrEd is a brand you can trust. We’ve treated over 1,000,000 patients since 2011.

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