conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate, Prempro, Premphase

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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PRESCRIBED FOR: Prempro and Premphase are prescribed for women with a uterus who are experiencing hot flashes, vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, uterine bleeding and other symptoms associated with menopause. They also are approved for treating osteoporosis; however, other drugs usually are prescribed for this purpose.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of Prempro and Premphase are:

Other important side effects include:

  • Headaches,
  • breakthrough bleeding, and
  • spotting.

The Women's Health Initiative found that postmenopausal women (50-79 years old) taking conjugated estrogens, 0.625 mg daily, in combination with medroxyprogesterone, 2.5 mg daily, for five years, had an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots, while postmenopausal women taking conjugated estrogens without progesterone experienced only increased strokes but not increased blood clots, heart disease, or breast cancer. There was an increased risk of impaired cognition and/or dementia among women over age 65 treated with either estrogens or estrogens and medroxyprogesterone.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/24/2014

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