CILIQUE® – A contraceptive alternative to Cilest®1

CILIQUE® contains the same active ingredients as Cilest® which is no longer available1

What is CILIQUE® and what is it used for?

Cilique contraceptive packet

  • CILIQUE® is a contraceptive pill and is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • Each tablet contains a small amount of two different female hormones, namely norgestimate and ethinylestradiol.
  • Contraceptive pills that contain two hormones are called “combination” pills.

How does CILIQUE® work?

  • A combined contraceptive pill protects you by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg each month (ovulation), thickening the fluid in your cervix (at the neck of the womb) making it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, and altering the lining of the womb to make it less likely to accept a fertilised egg.
  • If you want to learn more details about how your pill works, please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

What you need to know before taking CILIQUE®

  • Before you start to use CILIQUE® you should read the information on blood clots in section 2.3 of the Patient Information Leaflet contained inside your CILIQUE® pill packet.
  • Before you start taking CILIQUE® your doctor will ask you some questions around your personal health history and that of your close relatives. Your doctor will also measure your blood pressure and may also carry out some other tests.

How to take CILIQUE®

  • The daily dosage is one coated tablet.
  • You should try to take your pill at about the same time each day. You may find it easiest to take it either last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
  • Swallow each pill whole, with water if necessary.
  • Each pack of CILIQUE® contains 1 memo strip of 21 coated tablets or 3 memo strips of 21 coated tablets. The memo strip has been designed to help you remember to take your pills.
  • The pack is marked with the day of the week on which each pill should be taken. Following the direction of the arrow printed on the pack you should take one pill each day for 21 days until the strip is empty.
  • Then you have 7 days when you do not take a pill. During the 7 pill-free days, on day 2 or 3, you will have menstruation-like withdrawal bleeding, i.e. your monthly period.
  • Start your next strip on the 8th day (following the 7 pill-free days) – even if the bleeding has not yet ended.
  • As long as you take CILIQUE® correctly, you will always start each new strip on the same day of the week, and you will always have your monthly period on the same day of the month.

How to start taking CILIQUE®

If you have not used a contraceptive with hormones in the previous month.

  • Take the first pill on the first day of your period. This is day one of your cycle, the day when bleeding starts. You will be protected at once.
  • If you start on any other day of your period, you should use another method of contraception as well, such as the condom, for the first seven pill-taking days, but this is only for the first pack.
  • You can take your pill at any time, but you should take it about the same time each day. Take a pill every day in the order shown until you finish all 21 pills in the pack. Once you have taken all 21 pills, stop for seven days. You will probably bleed during some of these seven days. You do not need to use any other form of contraception during the seven-day break provided you have taken the 21 pills properly and you start the next pack on time.
  • After seven pill-free days, start your next pack. Do this whether or not you are still bleeding. You will always start a new pack on the same day of the week.

Changing from a combined hormonal contraceptive medicine

  • When changing from another 21-day combined Pill, start taking CILIQUE® the next day after the end of the previous course.
  • If you are changing from a 28-day combined pill, start taking CILIQUE® the day after you take the last active pill in the previous course.
  • In either of these cases a withdrawal bleed (period) should not be expected until the end of the first course of CILIQUE®. No additional contraception is required.

Changing from a progestogen-only-method (progestogen-only pill, injection, implant or a progestogen-releasing intrauterine system (IUS))

  • If you are changing from a progestogen only pill (POP), you can stop taking the POP any day and start taking CILIQUE® on the next day at the same time. An additional form of contraception, such as the condom, should be used for the first seven days of pill-taking.
  • If you are changing from an injectable or implant contraceptive you can start using CILIQUE® when your next injection is due or on the day your implant is removed. An additional form of contraception, such as the condom, should be used for the first seven days of pill-taking.

What if I forget to take CILIQUE®?

  • If you are less than 12 hours late taking a tablet, protection against pregnancy is not reduced. Take the tablet as soon as you remember and then take the following tablets again at the usual time.
  • If you are more than 12 hours late taking a tablet, protection against pregnancy may be reduced. The greater the number of tablets that you have forgotten, the greater is the risk of becoming pregnant. The risk of incomplete protection against pregnancy is greatest if you forget a tablet at the beginning or at the end of the strip.

For step by step guidance on what to do if you forget to take your tablets, please click on the button below:

Missed Pill Guidance button

What if I vomit or have severe diarrhoea after taking CILIQUE®

  • If you have been sick or have very bad diarrhoea your body may not get its usual dose of hormones from that pill.
  • If you have been sick within two hours of taking CILIQUE®, take a pill from a spare strip.
  • Carry on taking your pills as normal if you can.
  • You won’t need to use extra contraception.
  • For step by step guidance on what to do if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea, please click on the button below:

Missed Pill Guidance button

Frequently asked questions about CILIQUE®

I was previously on CILEST® and have now been changed to CILIQUE® – what is the difference?

These pills contain exactly the same active ingredients in the same quantities, but they are made by different manufacturers and therefore have different names.


What if I miss a dose of CILIQUE®?

If you miss a pill, follow the missed pill guidance or review the Patient Information Leaflet contained inside every pack of CILIQUE®.

If you miss more than one pill ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for advice.


What side effects may I experience?

Like all medicines CILIQUE® may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Common side effects include depressive mood, headache, migraine, nausea, breast pain, tenderness, menstrual disorders, bleeding between periods, thick whitish vaginal discharge and vaginal yeast infection. If you get side effects, including any possible side effects not listed above, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Depressed mood and depression are undesirable effects of hormonal contraceptives. Contact your physician in the case of mood changes and depressive symptoms.


Am I likely to develop a blood clot if I take CILIQUE®?

The use of any combined oral contraceptive pill increases your risk of developing a blood clot compared with women who do not take any contraceptive pill. This can be in a vein or in an artery. However, this increased risk is lower than the risk of developing a blood clot associated with pregnancy. To find out more about the risk of thrombosis associated with your pill read section 2.3 of the Patient Information Leaflet.


Are there any medicines I shouldn’t take whilst I am on oral contraceptives?

Some medicines may stop your pill from working properly and mean that you need to take extra contraceptive precautions. These include antibiotics, St John’s Wort and medicines to treat epilepsy, tuberculosis, HIV and fungal infections. Your pill may also stop other medicines from working properly such as ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant) and lamotrigine (to treat epilepsy). Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will advise you if you are unsure about taking other medicines in combination with CILIQUE®.


Am I at risk of developing breast cancer?

Breast cancer has been observed slightly more often in women using combined oral contraceptive pills, than in women of the same age who do not take any contraceptive pills, but it is not certain if the combined oral contraceptive pill causes this increased risk. The risk of breast cancer increases the longer you take the combined oral contraceptive pill but gradually reduces after stopping and returns to normal within ten years.

CILIQUE® General Information

  • If taken correctly, CILIQUE® is an effective, reversible form of contraception.
  • CILIQUE® will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Only condoms can help to do this.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your contraception please speak to your local doctor or nurse.


  1. Cilest SPC, available on
  2. Cilique Patient Information Leaflet

Information placed on this digital platform is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your healthcare professional. Please consult your doctor or nurse for further information.

IE/OCS/0119/0102(1) Date of Preparation: March 2019.

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