Mircette is a type of birth control pill that is used for preventing pregnancy. This prescription oral contraceptive comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once a day. It is important to take your pill at the same time every day, as missing doses of Mircette increases your risk of pregnancy. Potential side effects include nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

What Is Mircette?

Mircette® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription oral contraceptive (commonly known as a birth control pill).
(Click Mircette Uses for more information on what Mircette is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Mircette?

Mircette is made by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a division of Barr Pharmaceuticals. Generic Mircette is also available and is sold under various names (see Generic Mircette for more information).

How Does It Work?

Mircette is a combined oral contraceptive, which means that it is a birth control pill that contains two different types of hormones. It contains both an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a progesterone (desogestrel). Most importantly, the hormones in Mircette prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also works to prevent pregnancy in two other, less important ways. Mircette changes the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, the medication alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Most traditional birth control pills have 21 days of active pills (that contain the hormones), followed by 7 days of inactive pills (with no active ingredients). This gives your body a break from the hormones, causing you to have a period. Mircette has only two inactive tablets (plus five tablets with ethinyl estradiol) for the last week of the pack. These extra days with ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) may decrease breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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