Estrogens are one of the two main classes of female hormones. (Progestins are the second major class.) Primary use of estrogens is to treat the symptoms of menopause and conditions in which there is a lack of estrogen, for example, in women who have had their ovaries removed.
They also are taken as therapy when the organism fails to produce enough estrogen as a result of ovarian failure, castration, or underdevelopment of hormone-secreting organs (hypogonadism). Conjugated Estrogens can also help treating advanced breast and prostate breast cancer. Estrogens are also approved for treating osteoporosis, but other medication is usually prescribed for this purpose.
The lowest effective oral dose of Conjugated Estrogens is used to minimize side effects. The typical initial dose for treating symptoms associated with menopause and for averting postmenopausal osteoporosis is 0.3 mg/day. The increase of dose is required on the basis of the response of patients' symptoms.
Hypogonadism treatment consists of doses of 0.3 mg or 0.625 daily with three weeks' cyclic interval on treatment followed by one week off treatment. Women who have been castrated or have ovarian failure take 1.25 mg daily in a three weeks' cycle on treatment and one week off treatment. (Actually, since during the week off treatment, symptoms restore due to the lack of estrogen, most women take estrogens continuously.) The recommended dose for breast cancer treatment is 10 mg daily for three months.
Premarin estrogens consist of various different estrogens that are obtained from the urine of pregnant mares. The effects of estrogens on numerous tissues in the body are widespread. Estrogens induce growth and development of the female reproductive organs and are responsible for female sexual characteristics such as the shape of body contours and skeleton and the growth of underarm and pubic hair. Estrogens also increase growth of the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) and secretions from the cervix.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember then return to your routine dosing schedule. Avoid taking a double dose of the preparation unless you receive such direction from your doctor.
Keep Conjugated Estrogens at room temperature between 15-30 degrees C (59-77 degrees F).
Premarin Safety information
While taking Conjugated Estrogens, there are no limitations on food, drinks, or activity unless your doctor gives you any such recommendations. Pregnant women should not take estrogens because they can be harmful to the fetus. Estrogens penetrate into breast milk and their effects in the infant are unpredictable. Women who are breast-feeding should not take this medication.
Premarin Side effects
While taking Premarin you may experience such typical side effects as nausea, headache, joint pain, back pain and vaginal bleeding. Patients can also suffer from loss of periods or excessively prolonged periods, vaginal spotting, breast enlargement, breast pain and an increase or decrease in sexual arousal. Estrogen can cause such effects on the skin as rash, and melasma (tan or brown patches) that may develop on the cheeks, forehead, or temples and may continue even after you stop taking estrogens. Conjugated Estrogens may also cause such effects in the eyes as an increase in the curvature of the cornea, and patients with contact lenses can become intolerable to their lenses.
Men and women taking estrogens get an increased risk of cholesterol gallstones. Estrogens can restrain the flow of gall from the liver (cholestasis) and rarely lead to jaundice.
Treatment with Conjugated Estrogens can increase the risk of developing a condition (endometrial hyperplasia) that may cause cancer of the lining of the uterus. To lower the risk of developing this condition, combine progestins, another hormone drug, with Conjugated Estrogens. Thus, if your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may suggest that you take progestin together with the estrogen. Consult your doctor regularly and notify about any abnormal vaginal bleeding right away.
Treatment with Conjugated Estrogens can increase the risk of stroke, breast cancer, heart attack, and blood clots in the lungs or legs. Conjugated Estrogens should be prescribed at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest term necessary due to these risks.
If you suffer from of the following harsh side effects, cancel taking Conjugated Estrogens and immediately seek medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (closing of the throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of the tongue, lips, or face; or hives);
- pain, swelling, or tenderness in the abdomen;
- shortness or breath or pain in the chest;
- abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, faintness or changes in vision or speech;
- a painful or red leg;
- yellowing of the skin or eyes;
You may experience other, less serious side effects. Do not stop taking Conjugated Estrogens and consult with your doctor if you experience:
- decreased appetite, nausea, or vomiting;
- acne or skin color changes;
- tender breasts;
- migraine headaches or dizziness;
- decreased sexual arousal;
- problems with wearing contact lenses;
- water retention (swollen hands, feet, or ankles);
- changes in menstrual cycle or breakthrough bleeding.
Side effects of Premarin different from those listed above can also occur. Consult with your doctor about any side effect that seems strange or bothers you too much.