|Trade names||Azalia, Cerazette, Marvelon, Mircette, Mercilon, Novynette, others|
|AHFS/Drugs.com||Micromedex Detailed Consumer Information|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||310.473 g/mol|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Desogestrel, sold under the brand names Azalia, Cerazette, Marvelon, Mircette, Mercilon, and Novynette among others, is a progestin that is used in hormonal contraceptives. Most combined oral contraceptive pills (COCPs, or simply OCs) on the market today contain both an estrogen (usually ethinylestradiol) plus a progestin (a synthetic progesterone-like agent) such as desogestrel. Desogestrel-containing birth control pills are sometimes referred to as "third generation" oral contraceptives. In contrast, birth control pills that are considered "second generation" (Tri-Levlen, for example) contain an estrogen and a progestin, but the progestin is different, such as levonorgestrel.
Third-generation oral contraceptives like those containing desogestrel are suitable for use in patients with diabetes or lipid disorders because they have minimal impact on blood glucose levels and the lipid profile. Their synthetic estrogen dosage is lower than second-generation oral contraceptives, reducing the likelihood of weight gain, breast tenderness and migraine.
Desogestrel, also known as 3-deketo-11-methylene-17α-ethynyl-18-methyl-19-nortestosterone or as 3-deketo-11-methylene-17α-ethynyl-18-methylestr-4-en-17β-ol-3-one, is a synthetic estrane steroid and a derivative of testosterone. It is more specifically a derivative of norethisterone (17α-ethynyl-19-nortestosterone) and is a member of the gonane (18-methylestrane) subgroup of the 19-nortestosterone family of progestins. Desogestrel is the C3 deketo and C11 methylene analogue of levonorgestrel.
Desogestrel was introduced in 1981.
Society and culture
Desogestrel is marketed under a variety of brand names throughout the world including Alenvona, Apri, Azalia, Azurette, Caziant, Cerazette, Cerelle, Cesia, Cyclessa, Denise, Desogen, Desirett, Diamilla, Emoquette, Feanolla, Gedarel, Gracial, Kariva, Laurina, Linessa, Marvelon, Mercilon, Mircette, Mirvala, Novynette, Ortho-Cept, Reclipsen, Regulon, Solia, Velivet, and Viorele among others.
In February 2007, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen released a petition requesting that the FDA ban oral contraceptives containing desogestrel, citing studies going as far back as 1995 that suggest the risk of dangerous blood clots is doubled for women on such pills in comparison to other oral contraceptives. In 2009, Public Citizen released a list of recommendations that included numerous alternative, second-generation birth control pills that women could take in place of oral contraceptives containing desogestrel. Most of those second-generation medications have been on the market longer and have been shown to be as effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, but with a lower risk of blood clots.
Drugs cited specifically in the petition include Apri-28, Cyclessa, Desogen, Kariva, Mircette, Ortho-Cept, Reclipsen, Velivet, and some generic pills.
Drugs containing desogestrel as the only active ingredient (as opposed to being used in conjunction with estrogen, like in combined oral contraceptives) do not show an increased thrombosis risk and are therefore safer than second-generation birth-control pills in regards to thrombosis.
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Progestogen only products conferred no increased risk of venous thromboembolism, whether taken as low dose norethisterone pills, as desogestrel only pills, or in the form of hormone releasing intrauterine devices.