Generic Name: conjugated estrogens (oral) (KON joo gay ted ES troe jenz)Brand Names: Cenestin, Enjuvia, Premarin
Estrogen is a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen is necessary for many processes in the body.
Conjugated estrogens are a mixture of estrogen hormones used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation. Other uses include prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and replacement of estrogen in women with ovarian failure or other conditions that cause a lack of natural estrogen in the body. Conjugated estrogens are sometimes used as part of cancer treatment in women and men.Conjugated estrogens should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medication may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.
Conjugated estrogens may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Long-term treatment with conjugated estrogens may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using conjugated estrogens long term, especially if you smoke or are overweight. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.
Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using conjugated estrogens.Conjugated estrogens should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medication may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking conjugated estrogens?Do not use conjugated estrogens if you have:
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot (especially in your lung or your lower body);
abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked;
liver disease; or
any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer.
Before using conjugated estrogens, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
high blood pressure, heart disease, or circulation problems;
a personal or family history of stroke;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
high cholesterol or triglycerides;
high or low levels of calcium in your blood;
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE);
gallbladder disease; or
if you have had your uterus removed (hysterectomy).
Conjugated estrogens increase your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using conjugated estrogens may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using conjugated estrogens.
Long-term conjugated estrogens treatment may increase your risk of stroke or blood clots. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using conjugated estrogens long term, especially if you smoke or are overweight. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use conjugated estrogens if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Conjugated estrogens can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Conjugated estrogens are sometimes taken on a daily basis. For certain conditions, the medication is given in a cycle, such as 3 weeks on followed by 1 week off. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take this medication with a full glass of water.
You may take conjugated estrogens with or without food. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.
Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using conjugated estrogens.
It is important to take conjugated estrogens regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your thyroid function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking conjugated estrogens. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
This medication can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using conjugated estrogens.Store conjugated estrogens at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medicine container tightly closed.
Take the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
pain or swelling in your lower leg;
abnormal vaginal bleeding;
pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;
confusion, problems with memory or concentration;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; or
a breast lump.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
freckles or darkening of facial skin;
increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
changes in weight or appetite;
problems with contact lenses;
vaginal itching or discharge;
changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before taking conjugated estrogens, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
a thyroid medication such as levothyroxine (Synthroid);
insulin or diabetes medicine taken by mouth;
rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);
ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox);
seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or primidone (Mysoline);
a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with conjugated estrogens. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.