ZELLETA 75 MICROGRAMS TABLETS
Active substance(s): DESOGESTREL / DESOGESTREL / DESOGESTREL
NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets
Zelleta 75 micrograms Tablets
QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION
One tablet contains 75 micrograms desogestrel.
Excipient: 58.22 mg lactose (as Lactose anhydrous).
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
The tablet is round, white to off-white, uncoated, biconvex , 5 mm in diameter,
debossed ‘152’ on one side and other side plain.
Posology and method of administration
“The safety and efficacy of desogestrel in adolescents below 18 years has not yet
been established. No data are available.”
“The safety and efficacy of desogestrel in adolescents below 18 years has not yet
been established. No data are available."
Method of Administration
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets must be taken every day at about the same time
so that the interval between two tablets always is 24 hours. The first tablet should be
taken on the first day of menstrual bleeding. Thereafter one tablet each day is to be
taken continuously, without taking any notice on possible bleeding. A new blister is
started directly the day after the previous one.
How to start Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets.
No preceding hormonal contraceptive use [in the past month]
Tablet-taking has to start on day 1 of the woman's natural cycle (day 1 is the first day
of her menstrual bleeding). Starting on days 2-5 is allowed, but during the first cycle
a barrier method is recommended for the first 7 days of tablet-taking.
Following first-trimester abortion
After first-trimester abortion it is recommended to start immediately. In that case
there is no need to use an additional method of contraception.
Following delivery or second-trimester abortion
Contraceptive treatment with Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets after delivery can
be initiated before the menstruations have returned. If more than 21 days have elapsed
pregnancy ought to be ruled out and an additional method of contraception should be
used for the first week.
For additional information for breastfeeding women see Section 4.6.
How to start Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets when changing from other
Changing from a combined hormonal contraceptive (combined oral contraceptive
(COC), vaginal ring, or transdermal patch)
The woman should start with Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets preferably on the
day after the last active tablet (the last tablet containing the active substances) of her
previous COC or on the day of removal of her vaginal ring or transdermal patch. In
these cases, the use of an additional contraceptive is not necessary. Not all
contraceptive methods may be available in all EU countries.
The woman may also start at the latest on the day following the usual tablet-free,
patch-free, ring-free or placebo tablet interval of her previous combined hormonal
contraceptive, but during the first 7 days of tablet-taking an additional barrier method
Changing from a progestogen-only-method (minipill, injection, implant or from a
progestogen-releasing intrauterine system [IUS])
The woman may switch any day from the minipill (from an implant or the IUS on the
day of its removal, from an injectable when the next injection would be due);
Management of missed tablet
Contraceptive protection may be reduced if more than 36 hours have elapsed
between two tablets. If the user is less than 12 hours late in taking any tablet, the
missed tablet should be taken as soon as it is remembered and the next tablet should
be taken at the usual time. If she is more than 12 hours late, she should use an
additional method of contraception for the next 7 days. If tablets were missed in the
first week and intercourse took place in the week before the tablets were missed, the
possibility of a pregnancy should be considered.
Advice in case of gastrointestinal disturbances
In case of severe gastro-intestinal disturbance, absorption may not be complete and
additional contraceptive measures should be taken.
If vomiting occurs within 3-4 hours after tablet-taking, absorption may not complete.
The same advice is applicable as for a missed tablet.
Before prescription, a thorough case history should be taken and a thorough
gynaecological examination is recommended to exclude pregnancy. Bleeding
disturbances, such as oligomenorrhoea and amenorrhoea should be investigated
before prescription. The interval between check-ups depends on the circumstances in
each individual case. If the prescribed product may conceivably influence latent or
manifest disease (see Section 4.4), the control examinations should be timed
Despite the fact that Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets are taken regularly, bleeding
disturbances may occur. If bleeding is very frequent and irregular, another
contraceptive method should be considered. If the symptoms persist, an organic cause
should be ruled out.
Management of amenorrhoea during treatment depends on whether or not the tablets
have been taken in accordance with the instructions and may include a pregnancy test.
The treatment should be stopped if a pregnancy occurs.
Women should be advised that Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets do not protect
against HIV (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Active venous thromboembolic disorder.
Presence or history of severe hepatic disease as long as liver function values
have not returned to normal.
Known or suspected sex-steroid sensitive malignancies.
Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
Hypersensitivity to active substance or to any of the excipients listed in
Special warnings and precautions for use
If any of the conditions/risk factors mentioned below is present, the benefits of
progesterone use should be weighed against the possible risks for each individual
woman and discussed with the woman before she decides to start with Desogestrel 75
micrograms Tablets. In the event of aggravation, exacerbation, or first appearance of
any of these conditions, the woman should contact her physician. The physician
should then decide on whether the use of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets should
The risk for breast cancer increases in general with increasing age. During the use of
combined oral contraceptives (COCs) the risk of having breast cancer diagnosed is
slightly increased. This increased risk disappears gradually within 10 years after
discontinuation of COC use and is not related to the duration of use, but to the age of
the woman when using the COC.
The expected number of cases diagnosed per 10 000 women who use combined OCs
(up to 10 years after stopping) relative to never users over the same period have been
calculated for the respective age groups and is presented in the table below.
The risk in users of progestogen-only contraceptives (POCs), such as Desogestrel 75
micrograms Tablets is possibly of similar magnitude as that associated with combined
OCs. However, for POCs the evidence is less conclusive. Compared to the risk of
getting breast cancer ever in life, the increased risk associated with COCs is low. The
cases of breast cancer diagnosed in COC users tend to be less advanced than in those
who have not used COCs. The increased risk in COC users may be due to an earlier
diagnosis, biological effects of the pill or a combination of both.
Since a biological effect of progestogens on liver cancer cannot be excluded an
individual benefit/risk assessment should be made in woman with liver cancer.
When acute or chronic disturbances of liver function occur the woman should be
referred to a specialist for examination and advice.
Epidemiological investigations have associated the use of combined OCs with an
increased incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE, deep venous thrombosis and
pulmonary embolism). Although the clinical relevance of this finding for desogestrel
used as a contraceptive in the absence of an oestrogenic component is unknown,
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets should be discontinued in the event of a
thrombosis. Discontinuation of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets should also be
considered in case of long-term immobilisation due to surgery or illness. Women with
a history of thrombo-embolic disorders should be aware of the possibility of a
Although progestogens may have an effect on peripheral insulin resistance and
glucose tolerance, there is no evidence for a need to alter the therapeutic regimen in
diabetics using progestogen-only pills. However, diabetic patients should be carefully
observed during the first months of use.
If a sustained hypertension develops during the use of Desogestrel 75 micrograms
Tablets, or if a significant increase in blood pressure does not adequately respond to
antihypertensive therapy, discontinuation of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets
should be considered.
Treatment with Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets leads to decreased estradiol serum
levels, to a level corresponding with the early follicular phase. It is as yet unknown
whether the decrease has any clinically relevant effect on bone mineral density.
The protection with traditional progestogen-only pills against ectopic pregnancies is
not as good as with combined oral contraceptives, which has been associated with the
frequent occurrence of ovulations during the use of progestogen-only pills. Despite
the fact that Desogestrel 75 micrograms tablets consistently inhibits ovulation,
ectopic pregnancy should be taken into account in the differential diagnosis if the
woman gets amenorrhoea or abdominal pain.
Chloasma may occasionally occur, especially in women with a history of chloasma
gravidarum. Women with a tendency to chloasma should avoid exposure to the sun or
ultraviolet radiation whilst taking Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets.
The following conditions have been reported both during pregnancy and during sex
steroid use, but an association with the use of progestogens has not been established:
jaundice and/or pruritus related to cholestasis; gallstone formation; porphyria;
systemic lupus erythematosus; haemolytic uraemic syndrome; Sydenham’s chorea;
herpes gestationis; otosclerosis-related hearing loss; (hereditary) angioedema.
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets contain 58.22 mg lactose (as Lactose Anhydrous)
and therefore should not be administered to patients with rare hereditary problems of
galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose
Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
Interactions between hormonal contraceptives and other medicinal products may lead
to breakthrough bleeding and/or contraceptive failure. The following interactions
have been reported in the literature (mainly with combined contraceptives but
occasionally also with progestogen-only contraceptives).
Hepatic metabolism: Interactions can occur with medicinal products that induce
microsomal enzymes, which can result in increased clearance of sex hormones (such
as hydantoins (e.g. phenytoin), barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbital), primidone,
carbamazepine, rifampicin, and possibly also for oxcarbazepine, topiramate, rifabutin,
felbamate, ritonavir, nelfinavir, griseofulvin and products containing St. John’s wort
Maximal enzyme induction is not seen for 2-3 weeks, but may then be sustained for at
least 4 weeks after the cessation of drug therapy. Women on treatment with any of
these medicinal products should temporarily use a barrier method in addition to
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets. With microsomal enzyme-inducing drugs, the
barrier method should be used during the time of concomitant drug administration
and for 28 days after their discontinuation. For women on long-term therapy with
hepatic enzyme inducers a non-hormonal method contraception should be considered.
During treatment with medicinal charcoal, the absorption of the steroid in the tablet
may be reduced and thereby the contraceptive efficacy. Under these circumstances,
the advice as given for missed tablets in section 4.2. is applicable.
Hormonal contraceptives may interfere with the metabolism of other drugs.
Accordingly, plasma and tissue concentrations may either increase (e.g. cyclosporine)
Note: The prescribing information of concomitant medications should be consulted to
identify potential interactions.
Data obtained with COCs have shown that contraceptive steroids may influence the
results of certain laboratory tests, including biochemical parameters of liver, thyroid,
adrenal and renal function, serum levels of (carrier) proteins, e.g. corticosteroid
binding globulin and lipid/lipoprotein fractions, parameters of carbohydrate
metabolism and parameters of coagulation and fibrinolysis. The changes generally
remain within the normal range. To what extent this also applies to progestogen-only
contraceptives is not known.
Fertility, pregnancy and lactation
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets are not indicated during pregnancy. When
pregnancy occurs during treatment with Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets, further
intake should be stopped.
Animal studies have shown that very high doses of progestogenic substances may
cause masculinisation of female foetuses.
Extensive epidemiological studies have revealed neither an increased risk of birth
defects in children born to women who used OCs prior to pregnancy, nor a
teratogenic effect when OCs were taken inadvertently during early pregnancy.
Pharmacovigilance data collected with various desogestrel-containing combined OCs
also do not indicate an increased risk.
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets do not influence the production or the quality
(protein, lactose, or fat concentrations) of breast milk. However, small amounts of
etonogestrel, (the metabolite of desogestrel) are excreted with the milk. As a result,
0.01 - 0.05 microgram etonogestrel per kg body weight per day may be ingested by
the child (based on an estimated milk ingestion of 150 ml/kg/day). Limited long-term
follow-up data are available on children, whose mothers started using another
desogestrel-only pill during the 4th to 8th week post-partum. They were breast-fed for
7 months and followed up to 1.5 years (n=32) or to 2.5 years (n= 14) of age.
Evaluation of growth and physical and psychomotor development did not indicate
any differences in comparison to nursing infants, whose mother used a copper-IUD.
Based on the available data, Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets may be used during
lactation. The development and growth of the nursing infant, whose mother uses
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets, should, however, be carefully observed.
Please refer Section 4.3 for information on contraindications.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets has no or neglible influence on the ability to drive
and use machines.
The most commonly reported undesirable effect in the clinical trials is
bleeding irregularity. Some kind of bleeding irregularity has been reported
in up to 50% of women using desogestrel. Since desogestrel causes
ovulation inhibition close to 100%, in contrast to other progestogen-only
pills, irregular bleeding is more common than with other progestogen-only
pills. In 20 - 30% of the women, bleeding may become more frequent,
whereas in another 20% bleeding may become less frequent or totally
absent. Vaginal bleeding may also be of longer duration.
After a couple of months of treatment, bleedings tend to become less
frequent. Information, counselling and a bleeding diary can improve the
woman's acceptance of the bleeding pattern.
The most commonly reported other undesirable effects in the clinical trials
with desogestrel (> 2.5%) were acne, mood changes, breast pain, nausea
and weight increase. The undesirable effects are mentioned in the table
All ADRs are listed by system organ class and frequency; common (≥1/100
to <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100) and rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000).
System and breast
Frequency of adverse reactions
* MedDRA version 12.1;
Breast discharge may occur during use of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets. On
rare occasions, ectopic pregnancies have been reported (see Section 4.4). In
addition, (aggravation of) angioedema and/or aggravation of hereditary angioedema
may occur (see Section 4.4).
In women using (combined) oral contraceptives a number of (serious) undesirable
effects have been reported. These include venous thromboembolic disorders, arterial
thromboembolic disorders, hormone-dependent tumours (e.g. liver tumours, breast
cancer), and chloasma, some of which are discussed in more detail in Section 4.4.
There is no relevant indication for the use of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets in
There have been no reports of serious deleterious effects from overdose. Symptoms
that may occur in this case are nausea, vomiting and, in young girls, slight vaginal
bleeding. There are no antidotes and further treatment should be symptomatic.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Hormonal contraceptives for systemic use, Progestogens.
ATC code: G03AC09
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets are a progestogen-only pill, which contains the
progestogen desogestrel. Like other progestogen-only pills, Desogestrel 75
micrograms Tablets are best for nursing mothers and women who are unable or
unwilling to take estrogen.
Mechanism of action
Unlike traditional pills containing only progestogen, the contraceptive effect of
Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets is achieved mainly by inhibiting ovulation. Other
effects include increased viscosity of the cervical mucus.
When studied for 2 cycles, using a definition of ovulation as a progesterone level
greater than 16 nmol/L for 5 consecutive days, the ovulation incidence was found to
be 1 % (1/103) with a 95% confidence interval of 0.02%- 5.29% in the intention-totreat group (user and method failures). Ovulation inhibition was achieved from the
first cycle of use. In this study, when desogestrel was discontinued after 2 cycles (56
continuous days), ovulation occurred on average after 17 days (range 7 - 30 days).
Clinical efficacy and safety
In a comparative efficacy trial (which allowed a maximum time of 3 hours for missed
pills) the overall intention-to treat Pearl-Index found for desogestrel was 0.4 (95%
confidence interval 0.09 - 1.20), compared to 1.6 for 30 micrograms levonorgestrel
(95% confidence interval 0.42 - 3.96).
The Pearl-Index for Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets are comparable to the one
historically found for combined oral contraceptives in the general oral contraceptivesusing population.
Treatment with Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets leads to decreased estradiol
levels, to a level corresponding to the early follicular phase. No clinically relevant
effects on carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism and haemostasis have been
No clinical data on efficacy and safety are available in adolescents below 18 years.
After oral dosing of desogestrel is rapidly absorbed and converted into etonogestrel.
Under steady-state conditions, peak serum levels are reached 1.8 hours after tabletintake and the absolute bioavailability of etonorgestrel is approximately 70%.
Etonorgestrel is 95.5-99% bound to serum proteins, predominantly to albumin and to
a lesser extent to sex hormone binding globuline.
Desogestrel is metabolised via hydroxylation and dehydrogenation to the active
metabolite etonorgestrel. Etonorgestrel is metabolised via sulphate and glucuronide
Etonorgestrel is eliminated with a mean half-life of approximately 30 hours, with no
difference between single and multiple dosing. Steady-state levels in plasma are
reached after 4-5 days. The serum clearance after i.v. administration of etonorgestrel
is approximately 10 l per hour. Excretion of etonorgestrel and its metabolites either as
free steroid or as conjugates, is with urine and faeces (ratio 1.5:1). In lactating
women, etonorgestrel is excreted in breast milk with a milk/serum ratio of 0.37-0.55.
Based on these data and an estimated milk intake of 150 ml/kg/day, 0.01 - 0.05
microgram etonorgestrel maybe ingested by the infant.
Preclinical safety data
Toxicological studies did not reveal any effects other than those, which can be
explained from the hormonal properties of desogestrel.
List of excipients
Silica colloidal anhydrous
Special precautions for storage
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
Nature and contents of container
A blister consists of 28 Tablets of Desogestrel 75 micrograms Tablets. The blister
consisting of PVC film coated with PVdC with counter-sealing foil made of
aluminium with heat sealing coating. One blister to be packed in a tri-laminated
pouch with or without silica gel bag.
Blister is presented as a calendar pack stating the week days on it.
Pack sizes: 1x28, 3x28, 6x28, 13x28 tablets.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Special precautions for disposal
No special requirements.
Any unused product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local
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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
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