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Microlite is a contraceptive pill containing the active ingredients levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol used to prevent pregnancy in women.

To place an order, fill in our brief questionnaire. You can choose a preferred treatment, such as Microlite, Cerazette or 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.

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About Microlite

Microlite is a type of contraceptive pill used by women to prevent pregnancy. Microlite is what's known as a 'combined' or 'combination' pill which contains two different hormones: levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol. These two hormones are synthetic versions of the hormones naturally produced by your body, oestrogen and progesterone.

The Microlite pill is a low-dose contraceptive pill containing only a small amount of these two hormones which will suit women who tend towards oestrogen-related side effects.

When taken correctly, Microlite is effective in preventing pregnancy in 99% of cases per year.

Microlite is taken at the same time every day for 21 consecutive days, with a 7-day tablet-free 'break' period, during which you will experience a 'withdrawal' bleed that imitates a monthly period. You can safely use Microlite pills to delay your monthly bleeding by skipping this 7-day 'break' period, although you may experience some spotting or breakthrough bleeding.

Who can take Microlite?

Microlite is to be taken by sexually active women as a form of contraceptive in the prevention of pregnancy.

You should not take Microlite if:

  • You are or suspect yourself to be pregnant
  • You are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the listed ingredients
  • You have had thrombosis (blood clot of your leg) or embolus (blood clot of the lung)
  • You have had a stroke or heart attack, or any disease that could indicate a future heart attack (e.g. angina pectoris) or stroke (e.g. a 'slight stroke')
  • You have damaged blood vessels due to diabetes
  • You have had migraines with focal neurological symptoms
  • You have had a liver tumour or any severe liver disease
  • You have kidney problems
  • You have genital or breast cancer
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You have not started to have your monthly period (i.e. children and adolescents) or no longer have monthly periods following the menopause

How to take Microlite

Microlite should be swallowed whole, with or without food or water.


Always follow the directions for dosage given to you by your prescribing nurse, pharmacist or doctor. Otherwise, the usual dosage is as follows:

Each packet of Microlite contains a strip of 21 tablets which are marked with a day of the week. You should take one tablet per day for 21 days in a row. If you start your packet on a Monday, press the first tablet through the blister foil section marked 'MON' and take one tablet per day around the same time every day (e.g. just before you go to bed) in the order shown by the arrows.

After these 21 days of taking tablets, you will have a 7-day 'break' period, in which you should not take any tablets. You will have a 'withdrawal' bleed during these 7 days which acts like a usual monthly period.

Start your next packet of Microlite on the 8th day after this 7-day break (even if you are still having your withdrawal bleed) and begin your cycle of 21 tablet-taking days once again.

If you have not taken hormonal contraceptives in the last month: start taking Microlite on the first day of your cycle (your monthly period) and you will be immediately protected against pregnancy. If you take it 2-5 days after your cycle starts, you will need to use extra preventative measures (e.g. condoms) for the first 7 days of using Microlite.

If you are changing hormonal contraceptives to Microlite: start on the day of your last active tablet of your previous pill (if you are changing from another combined contraceptive), or on any day (if you are changing from a progestogen-only method) but use extra preventative methods (e.g. condoms) for the first 7 days.

What if I forget to take or miss a pill?

If you are less than 12 hours late from the usual time you take your Microlite tablet, take the tablet as soon as you remember and continue to take it at your usual time every day.

If you are more than 12 hours late, follow these instructions:

During days 1-7: take the tablet as soon as you remember, even if this means doubling up on your usual dose the next day. If you have had unprotected sex in the week previous, see your doctor as you may be at risk of pregnancy. Use another protective method (e.g. condoms) for the next 7 days and finish your current Microlite strip as usual.

During days 8-14: take the tablet as soon as you remember, even if this means doubling your usual dose on the following day. Use another protective method (e.g. condoms) for the next 7 days and finish your current Microlite strip as usual.

During days 15-21: if you used the pill correctly in the 7 days before missing this pill, and follow these instructions, you won't need to use extra contraceptives as well. EITHER: take the tablet as soon as your remember and continue with the rest of the packet as usual but, instead of taking your 7-day break, start the next packet of 21 tablets as soon as you finish the first. OR: stop taking the tablets from your current pack and take your 7-day break immediately, starting a new 21 day packet on the 8th day, as usual.

If you miss several tablets or take your Microlite pill irregularly, you may be at risk of pregnancy and should consult your nurse or doctor.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients in Microlite tablets are ethinylestradiol at a strength of 20mg and levonorgestrel at a strength of 100mg.

Other Ingredients

The other ingredients in Microlite tablets are: maize starch, lactose monohydrate, pregelatinised starch, magnesium stearate (E470b), povidone, sucrose, macrgols, talc (E553b), calcium carbonate, glycerol 85%, yellow ferric oxide (E172), titanium dioxide (E171), monotanglycol wax, and red ferric oxide (E171).

As with all medications, you may experience some side effects as a result of taking Microlite tablets. Discuss these with your prescribing nurse, pharmacist or doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits of taking this combined contraceptive pill.

Common side effects (affecting between 1 in 100 users):

  • Spotting or bleeding between periods, which will usually settle after the first three months of taking Microlite: visit your doctor if this is prolonged, or begins after months of using the pill
  • Mood imbalance, anxiety, depression
  • Nausea
  • Headaches or pain in the abdomen
  • Tender or sore breasts
  • Weight gain

Uncommon side effects (affecting between 1 in 1,000 users):

  • Loss of libido (less interest in sex)
  • Migraine
  • Rash, itching or bumps on the skin
  • Swollen breasts and fluid retention
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

Rare side effects (affecting between 10 in 10,000 users):

  • Allergic reaction
  • Intolerance to contact lenses
  • Increased libido
  • Vaginal or breast discharge
  • Red or blotchy skin, or nodules/ lesions on the skin

See a doctor immediately in you experience:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing or swallowing, fever, swelling of the lips, tongue or face)
  • Possible symptoms of a blood clot (venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, or a blood clot in another part of the body) e.g. severe pain/ swelling in one of your legs, sudden severe pain in the chest, breathlessness or fainting, seizure or unconsciousness

Drug interactions

You should always discuss your medical history and any medicines you are currently taking before taking Microlite. Certain medicines, if taken alongside, can make Microlite less effective, cause irregular bleeding, or interfere with either treatment. These include:

  • Medicines for epilepsy (e.g. lamotrigine, carbamazepine, primidone, barbituates, phenytoin, topiramate, oxcarbazepine, felbamate)
  • Medicines for tuberculosis, or TB (e.g. rifampicin)
  • Medicines for HIV infection (e.g. ritonavir or nevirapine)
  • Antibiotics such as griseofulvin, tetracycline, or penicillin
  • Herbal remedy St. John's Wort
  • Medicines including the ingredient cyclosporine

Ask your prescribing nurse, pharmacist or doctor for advice before taking Microlite and/ or any of these medicines in combination.


Do not take Microlite if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. The use of Microlite is not advised when breastfeeding and should be discussed with a doctor.

Like other forms of contraceptive pill, Microlite will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. You should use a barrier form of contraception (such as condoms) in order to properly protect yourself against these.

The use of Microlite can increase a woman's risk of developing venous thrombosis (a blood clot in a vein) or arterial thrombosis (a blood clot in an artery).

In long-term users of Microlite, cervical cancer, breast cancer and liver tumours have been reported, but this is incredibly rare and it is currently not known whether this is caused by the treatment itself.

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.


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