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Triadene is an oral treatment for birth control, made by Bayer. It stops pregnancy by mimicking the function of naturally-occurring hormones.

Please note that this treatment has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available through our service. However, Microgynon 30 is a similar pill made by the same manufacturer, and is available to buy through our site. very similar ingredients, but in a slightly different dose. You can read more on our Microgynon page.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

10 March 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 10 March 2022
Product information

Triadene is a contraceptive pill manufactured and sold in the UK by Bayer, which consists of two active ingredients, called gestodene and ethinylestradiol. These are man-made versions of progesterone and oestrogen, and are intended to replace monthly dips in levels of these hormones, thereby preventing the onset of pregnancy. It is a triphasic pill, which means that the tablets contained within one course of a 21-day treatment are of different dosage levels.

  1. Simple-to-use pill
  2. Triphasic medicine
  3. Can lighten heavy periods

Hormones perform various functions in the body, but probably their most vital are those which prepare the reproductive system for pregnancy. For instance, ovulation, the process by which the ovary produces an egg which is ripe and ready to be fertilised by male sperm, is managed by oestrogen every month.

This hormone also plays a role in the shedding of the uterine wall lining, which is built up when oestrogen levels in the body are quite high. Essential in advancing an egg to the next stage of its development, when this lining is thick it provides a home for an egg to implant and begin its progression towards an embryonic state.

The functioning hormones in Triadene prevent these processes from taking place. By being present when hormone levels are supposed to be low, they effectively trick the body into thinking that ovulation has already happened; and also modify the quality of the uterine wall lining so that it is harder for a fertilised egg to settle there and grow.

In addition to this, these agents also increase the thickness of cervical mucus so that sperm cannot move around in the womb as freely. The result of these combined preventative measures is that pregnancy is much less likely to occur.

Bayer have discontinued this pill, so it is no longer available. However, an alternative made by the same manufacturer is available through our service. You can read more on our Microgynon page.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022


Apply this pill in the manner your doctor has instructed, and make sure you familiarise yourself with the guidelines set out in the patient information leaflet before you use it. This will enable you to get the best possible results out of your treatment while also limiting the risk of side effects.

  1. Take the pill, as advised by the arrows on the strip. This will be one each day for the first 21 days of your menstrual cycle.

  2. This will be one pill, as advised by the arrows on the strip, taken each day for the first 21 days of your menstrual cycle.

  3. Follow this with seven days where you do not take a pill.
  4. Begin the course again the following week, and repeat this process.
  5. Triadene is a triphasic pill. This means that there are three different doses of the pill in each monthly strip (the dose is different each week). It is important to take these in the correct order. Adhering to the days and arrows marked on your foil strip will help you to keep track of your treatment.
  6. You should take your first pill on the first day of your period, unless the patient information leaflet states otherwise.
  7. If you forget to take your pill, consult the instructions for guidance. Further information can be obtained by contacting your doctor or family planning nurse.
  8. Do not take more than the amount your doctor has instructed.

Please note that these directions are provided only as a guide. More detailed information can be found in the leaflet supplied.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022
Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Like most medicines, this product may cause side effects. It is important to be aware of what these look like, as the presence of certain types of side effects may necessitate medical attention.

Go to your nearest hospital immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, a blood clot, breast cancer or severe liver disease. Detailed information relating to what these look like can be found in the leaflet supplied with the product.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Fluid retention, upset stomach, headache, feeling or being sick, weight fluctuations, mood swings, or breast pain or tenderness.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Migraine, rash, or loss of libido.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Inability to tolerate contact lenses, increased libido, or vaginal or breast discharge.

This is not a complete index of the side effects this product may cause. You can find a more detailed account in the leaflet supplied.


Taking it with other medicines

Inform your doctor of any other treatments you are currently using, as these may affect your capacity to use this pill. The following may stop the pill from working properly or be impeded by its use: medicines for epilepsy; treatments for HIV and Hepatitis C Virus infections; griseofulvin; certain antibiotics; sedatives; or St. John’s Wort.

Conditions to look out for

Your prescriber needs to know during consultation if you have any conditions which may make this product unsuitable. It should not be used by those who have or have ever had the following conditions: a blood clot, or any condition which inhibits blood clotting such as protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, antithrombin-III deficiency, Factor V Leiden or antiphospholipid antibodies; a heart attack or stroke; angina pectoris; diabetes with blood vessel damage; very high blood pressure; transient ischaemic attack; high cholesterol or triglycerides; hyperhomocysteinaemia; migraine with aura; breast cancer; or severe liver disease.

It may also be unsuitable for those people who have a history of: haemolytic uraemic syndrome; sickle cell anaemia; pancreatitis; hypertriglyceridaemia; Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis; systemic lupus erythematosus; inflammation in the veins under the skin; varicose veins; diabetes; high blood pressure; porphyria; or migraines.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

This medication is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are breastfeeding and wish to use contraception, speak to your doctor or family planning nurse and they can suggest an alternative.

Driving and machinery

Triadene will not impede your ability to drive or operate machines.

Contraception and cancer risks

Please read the patient leaflet that comes with your medication. It contains important information on the pill and cancer risks.

Lactose intolerance

If your doctor has informed you that you have an intolerance to some sugars, speak to them before you take this product.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022

Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. The consumption of alcohol should not make this product any less effective.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes. Your ability to drive is not likely to be hindered. However, if you notice any side effects which could impair your judgment or motor skills, do not drive and seek immediate medical advice.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

No. It is not safe for those who are pregnant, or think they may be pregnant.

Triadene is not usually advised for use during breastfeeding. Let our doctor know if you are, as they may choose to suggest an alternative.

How should I store it?

Do not store above 30°C, and keep out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Do not use this product if you are allergic to any of the containing ingredients which include: lactose, maize starch, povidone 700 000, calcium disodium edetate, magnesium stearate (E572), sucrose, macrogol 6000, calcium carbonate (E170), talc, montan glycol wax, titanium dioxide (E171), ferric oxide pigment (brown and yellow) (E172), and glycerol (E422).

Is it available over-the-counter?

You can only buy Triadene in the UK if you have a prescription for it. Our online consultation service enables our doctor to draw up a prescription for you if your chosen medication is suitable.

Is it right for me?

It depends on a range of factors, which you will need to discuss with your GP. They will help you to choose the most suitable pill.

This pill is no longer available through our service, due to it being discontinued by the manufacturer. You can order an alternative made by the same manufacturer through our site. To read more, head over to our Microgynon page.

Page last reviewed:  10/03/2022
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