Clairette is a hormone-based treatment. It is used to treat oily skin, acne, and excessive hair growth in women. The hormones contained within it also protect against pregnancy. It is only usually prescribed for women with acne or excessive hair growth who also want to prevent a pregnancy, and is not usually prescribed for acne alone.
- Clairette contains two different hormones
- The hormones protect against pregnancy, but also help with acne and excessive hair growth
- The excessive hair growth treated in women is called hirsutism, and the hair usually grows in unwanted places such as the face and chest
- Clairette contains ethinylestradiol and cyproterone
- The generic name for Clairette is Co-cyprindiol
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Clairette Work?
Clairette contains two hormones to prevent a pregnancy and manage the symptoms of acne and hirsutism (excess hair growth).
The first hormone is ethinylestradiol, a type of oestrogen or female sex hormone. The second hormone is an anti-androgen called cyproterone. When androgens are produced in excess, it can lead to blocked skin glands and acne. Anti-androgen medications help to reduce the amount of androgen you produce, reducing acne and hair growth for clearer skin.
Combining the two hormones helps to treat these skin conditions in women who also want to avoid becoming pregnant.
Clairette is only usually prescribed when other non-hormonal treatments, such as antibiotics, for acne or hirsutism have not worked.
How is Clairette Taken?
One tablet of Clairette should be swallowed with some water. It is best to take the medication at the same time each day to make it easier to remember. Missing a dose or taking a tablet late may mean you are no longer protected against pregnancy.
Dosage of Clairette
Each tablet of Clairette contains 2000mg of cyproterone acetate and 25 micrograms of ethinylestradiol.
One tablet is taken each day for 21 days, followed by a 7 day pill free period. During this time, menstruation should occur. If menstruation does not occur, speak to a doctor or pharmacist as the possibility of pregnancy should be ruled out prior to starting the next packet of tablets.
The pill packets are clearly marked with the days of the week to help ensure you take one pill every day for 21 days.
If you forget to take a dose, you must take it as soon as you remember. This is the case even if it means taking a double dose. If you are late taking the pill by more than 12 hours, its contraceptive benefit may be affected. You should therefore use an additional form of contraception, such as condoms, or abstain from sexual activity, for the next 7 days.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like all medications, Clairette can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness
- Increased weight
- Mood changes.
These side effects may settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Clairette may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your doctor if you:
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding
- Have ever had a blood clot or blood vessel problems
- Have a breast lump or have ever had breast cancer
- Have liver disease
- Have gallstones
- Have abnormal vaginal bleeding (irregular bleeding or bleeding after sex)
- Have high lipid levels on blood testing
- Have high prolactin levels on blood testing
- Have, or have ever had, depression
- Have heart disease
- Have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus)
- Have migraine
- Have porphyria
- Have sickle cell disease
- Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Have ever had a stroke or mini stroke (TIA)
- Have ever had haemolytic uraemic syndrome
- Have ever had any illnesses or problems during a previous pregnancy.
Some medications can interact with Clairette. You may be advised that Clairette will not suit you if you already take:
- Medications for HIV and AIDS
- Medications to treat seizures or epilepsy
- Certain antibiotics
- Herbal remedies including St John’s Wort.
Because Clairette may not suit everyone, we will complete a Consultation with you including a health questionnaire. This will ensure that the medication will be suitable for you.
A qualified prescriber will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that Clairette will not interact with them.
Once prescribed, Clairette will be ordered on your behalf via electronic prescription, allowing you to pick the medication up at your convenience.