conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate, Prempro, Premphase (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical Editor:

PREGNANCY: Prempro and Premphase should not be given to pregnant women due to the risk of harm to the fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: Estrogens are secreted in breast milk and cause unpredictable effects in the infant. They should not be taken by women who are breastfeeding.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of Prempro and Premphase are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tenderness, bloating, and fluid accumulation (edema). Headaches, breakthrough bleeding, and spotting also occur.

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.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 5/2/2012

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