How to take Qlaira
You’ll get immediate protection from pregnancy if you start taking Qlaira on the first day of your period.
Take one pill every day for 26 days, at the same time each day, and then take the two inactive white pills on days 27 and 28 of your cycle. You can take the pills with or without food, and with water if you’d prefer.
To make it easier for you to stay on top of which pills to take and when, there are seven weekday sticker strips marked with the seven days of the week. Select the weekday sticker strip according to the day you start taking your first pill. So if you start your strip on a Wednesday, use the weekday sticker strip that starts with ‘WED’.
Stick the weekday sticker strip along the top of the Qlaira wallet where it says, ‘Place weekday sticker strip here’, so that the first day is above the pill marked ‘1’. You should follow the direction of the arrow on the strip until you’ve taken all 28 pills.
You tend to get a withdrawal bleed when you are taking the second dark red pill or the white pills, and you may still be bleeding by the time you’re ready to start a new strip, or even having already started your next strip. This is normal and nothing to worry about. You should start a new strip immediately after the previous one, without leaving any gaps. If you follow this routine, you are protected from pregnancy even when you take the two inactive pills at the end of a strip.
If I miss a pill, what should I do?
If you miss more than one coloured pill, or if you don’t start a new strip immediately after the previous one, you should let us know straight away.
If you’ve missed one pill and are more than 12 hours late in taking it on days one to nine of your cycle, what you do next depends on whether you’ve had sex during the week before forgetting to take your pill. If you have had sex during the week before, you should get in touch with a doctor immediately. If you haven’t had sex during the week before, take the missed pill and take any pills that follow as usual, even if it means taking two pills on the same day. You should also use additional contraception, such as a condom, for the next nine days.
If you miss one pill and are more than 12 hours late in taking it on days 10-17 of your cycle, take the missed pill as soon as you remember and any further pills as you would normally, which may mean taking two pills in one day. Use a barrier method such as a condom for the following 9 days.
If you miss one pill and are over 12 hours late in taking it on days 18-24 of your cycle, don’t take the missed pill. Start a new strip immediately and use extra contraception, like a condom, for the next nine days.
If you miss one pill and are more than 12 hours late on days 25-26 of your cycle, take the pill you missed and any subsequent pills as normal, even if it means taking two on the same day. You don’t need to use any further contraception.
If you miss one pill and are over 12 hours late in taking it on days 27-28 of your cycle, skip the pill you have missed and take any pills that follow as you would usually. No additional contraception is required.
How effective is Qlaira?
Very very. So long as you take it as you should.
If you take it at the same time each day, and don’t miss any pills, it’s over 99% effective. So if 100 women take it this way over 12 months, only one will fall pregnant.
But if you miss pills from time to time (it’s easy to do) or if you don’t take it as instructed, your risk of pregnancy increases slightly. Its effectiveness drops to about 91%. So around nine women in every 100 will get pregnant every year.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.