Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Microval Discontinued

Wyeth has decided to discontinue Microval, a progestogen-only contraceptive pill containing levonorgestrel 30 micrograms. This decision follows a period of supply difficulties and the withdrawal will allow Wyeth to rationalise their current hormone-based portfolio.

The withdrawal should not cause a great deal of disruption because an identical product is available from Schering Health. Norgeston contains levonorgestrel 30 micrograms per tablet and the pack size is the same as Microval (35 tablets).

Action: Clinicians will need to identify any patient who is currently using Microval and ensure that future prescriptions are for Norgeston if this choice of contraceptive is still appropriate.

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25 Comments to “Microval Discontinued”

  1. Can I take ovral while breastfeeding?

    Comment by Thapza — September 6, 2015 #

    1. @Thapza

      Ovral isn't available in the UK, however it seems to be a combined oral contraceptive so it would not be advised to take this while breast feeding because it might affect milk production.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 7, 2015 #

  2. Microval is still being prescribed and available in France, expiry on current packet 2016.
    Can't comment on what it was like before withdrawal or whether they have changed anything but now constant bleeding 3/4 time, ? fibroids, definite weight gain, tearfullness etc. Came across this page as on the net now to make a decision about whether to stop and let my body refind its own normal.

    Comment by Sara — May 18, 2014 #

  3. I have an 8 week old baby, which I'm breastfeeding, and my gynae prescribed Microval as a form of contraception. What concerns me is that one of the contra-indications on the package insert states it should be avoided while breast-feeding... Any comments?
    Also, as I'm breastfeeding, I'm not menstruating, so do I start taking it any day I choose?
    (By the way, the expiry date on my pack is 10/2012.)

    Comment by Angela — December 30, 2011 #

    1. @Angela,

      Microval was a progestogen only contraceptive and is therefore fine for use in breast feeding. It is combined oral contraceptives that should not be used while breast feeding.

      You can start it at anytime but since you are more than 21 days past your babies birth you should use another form of contraception for the first 2 days.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — December 30, 2011 #

  4. I recently was changed from Cerazette to Norgeston (due to no supply in UK). I had been perfectly fine on Cerazette but I am now in month three of Norgeston and have experienced weight gain, painful breasts and abdominal bloating. Is this something others have experienced as well?

    Comment by Annette — January 19, 2011 #

    1. @Annette,

      Weight changes and breast tenderness are certainly known side effects of all progestogen only contraceptives. Stomach problems such as nausea, vomiting and changes in appetite are also known so it's not a great leap to bloating.

      Cerazette is supposed to be back in stock now though so check if your usual pharmacy can obtain them and if they can get a script to switch back from your surgery.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — January 20, 2011 #

  5. I am on Microval. It was prescribed to me as I am breastofeeding. So I gues they must have decided to remake them.

    Comment by Zama — October 26, 2010 #

    1. @Zama,

      I think Microval is still available globally in some countries but I'm not aware of it being available where I work (United Kingdom). Things may be different where you live.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 27, 2010 #

  6. Does this mean that they are remaking this pill this comment was posted in 2010?

    Comment by F Coops — October 21, 2010 #

    1. @F Coops,

      I'm not aware of any product launch or remaking of this pill.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 21, 2010 #

  7. Verona,

    Go back and speak to your GP. He or she has full details of you and your medical history so only they can sensibly advise you about your health and medication. There may be a very good reason why they made this recommendation to you.

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 8, 2010 #

  8. my gp advised me to take microval although I just finished my period despite advice on a leaflet that it must be taken the first day of bleeding. any other advice please?

    Comment by Verona — June 8, 2010 #

  9. Zelda,

    It depends on your previous method of contraception. If you are changing the method you use you should always seek medical advice in advance of the transition.

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — July 31, 2008 #

  10. Is it always advised that one use a condom if they are taking microval for the first time, even if they were on another pill? Or you can continue with microval without a condom for the first 14 days and not fall pregnant.

    Comment by Zelda — July 29, 2008 #

  11. Felicity,
    The chances of Microval making a return are virtually nil. I can't think of any medicine that has been withdrawn for commercial reasons that subsequently made a return to the market.

    Weight gain is unusual with this type of contraceptive although not unknown. You should notice your weight stabilise though if you continue.

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — February 6, 2008 #

  12. Thanks for that. I have been to my doctors who have presecribed me Micronor which I seem to have gained weight on although I eat very healthly and take regular exercise. Will Microval ever be reproduced at all? Thanks

    Comment by Felicity Ellis — February 6, 2008 #

  13. Felicity,

    Alternative mini pills are: Cerazette, Femulen, Micronor and Noriday.

    There is also the possibility of Depo-Provera (a 12 weekly injection) or Implanon (an implant that can last up to 3 years)

    All of these are progestogen only contraceptives, but there are other options like coils for example. As I said above, go and speak to your practice about ALL of the available options and then try the one that seems the best for you.

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 16, 2007 #

  14. I have tried lots of other mini pills before finding microval which suited me, they all caused me the same probems as norgeston, I cannot take the combined pill as it sends me mad either! Can you possibly suggest a brand which you think may suit me so I can mention it to my GP to see what they think? thanks

    Comment by Felicity Ellis — October 16, 2007 #

  15. Felicity,

    It's getting on for 2 years since this product was discontinued. I don't think there will be any stock remaining in UK supply chain. Obtaining supplies from abroad would be problematic and potentially risky.

    I'd suggest you return to your GP or practice nurse and explore the alternatives that are available to you.

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 16, 2007 #

  16. Microval was perfect for me no problems whatsoever and they have put me on Norgeston and I have been having periods every two weeks, weight gain, mood swings there anywhere that I could obtain Microval? thanks

    Comment by Felicity Ellis — October 16, 2007 #

  17. According to the information I can find the ingredients are identical apart from the coating on the tablet. Based on your symptoms it would be worthwhile checking with your local pharmacist about the ingredients and perhaps re-visiting your GP for a discussion about all of the options available to you.

    Comment by Administrator — June 19, 2007 #

  18. pls advise if there are any other ingredients in Norgeston that were not in Microval? I took microval successfully for a number of years before it was withdrawn, was switched to Norgeston last October and it has been an absolute nightmare, constant bleeding, severe abdominal pains, massive weight gain, bloating, very, very tender breasts, which combined has caused me to be very miserable! any advice is greatly appreciated as despite two returns to my gp, their only advice is to give it more time, it has now been a consistent nightmare for 9 months.

    Comment by Terry — June 19, 2007 #

  19. This product is discontinued but there are likely to be stocks remaining in the supply chain for some time. Provided the stock you receive is in date there should be no problems.

    However, if you are experiencing abnormal bleeding it would be worthwhile visiting your doctor.

    Comment by Administrator — February 22, 2007 #

  20. Is this product back on the market? My doctor prescribed it to me. I got it at the phamarcy and the lot number on the packet is 083, EXP 11 2007.

    I have taken 5 of them so far and I began to bleed 2 days ago.

    Any assitance will be appreciated.

    Jacqueline Trim

    Comment by Jacqueline Trim — February 22, 2007 #

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