Health Guide
Drug Guide

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone (Oral route)

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Uses of This Medicine:

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone are estrogen and progestin hormones. Along with other effects, estrogens help females develop sexually at puberty and regulate the menstrual cycle. Progestin lowers the effect of estrogen on the uterus and keeps estrogen-related problems from developing.

Around the time of menopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen. Estrogens are given to:

There is no medical evidence to support the belief that the use of estrogens will keep the patient feeling young, keep the skin soft, or delay the appearance of wrinkles. Nor has it been proven that the use of estrogens during menopause will relieve emotional and nervous symptoms, unless these symptoms are related to the menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.

Progestins are not needed if the uterus has been removed by a surgical method called hysterectomy. In that case, it may be better to receive estrogens alone without the progestin.

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Older adults

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone may increase your chance of having a stroke, memory problems, or breast cancer that spreads to other parts of your body.

Pregnancy

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone are not recommended for use during pregnancy. Becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy is not likely to occur around the time of menopause. Tell your doctor right away if you suspect you are pregnant.

Breast-feeding

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone pass into the breast milk. This medicine is not recommended for use during breast-feeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking any of these medicines, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone usually come with patient directions. Read them carefully before taking this medicine.

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it and do not take it for a longer period of time than your doctor ordered. The length of time you take the medicine will depend on the medical problem for which you are taking conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone. Discuss with your doctor how long you will need to take these medicines.

If you are taking the estrogen or progestin hormones in a certain order (i.e., conjugated estrogens tablets followed by conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone tablets), be sure you know in which order you need to take the medicines. If you have questions about this, ask your health care professional.

Nausea may occur during the first few weeks after you start taking estrogens. This effect usually disappears with continued use. If the nausea is bothersome, it can usually be prevented or reduced by taking each dose with food or immediately after food.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine does not cause unwanted effects. Plan on going to see your doctor every year, but some doctors require visits more often.

Although the risk for developing breast problems or breast cancer is low, it is still important that you regularly check your breasts for any unusual lumps or discharge, and report any problems to your doctor. You should also have a mammogram (x-ray pictures of the breasts) and breast examination done by your doctor whenever your doctor recommends it.

If your menstrual periods have stopped, they may start again once you begin taking this medicine. This effect will continue for as long as the medicine is taken. However, if taking the continuous treatment (0.625 mg conjugated estrogens and 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone once a day), monthly bleeding usually stops within 10 months.

Also, vaginal bleeding between your regular menstrual periods may occur during the first 3 months of use. Do not stop taking your medicine. Check with your doctor if bleeding continues for an unusually long time, if your period has not started within 45 days of your last period, or if you think you are pregnant.

Tell the doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine before having any laboratory test, because some test results may be affected.

You may need to stop taking this medicine before having some kinds of surgery or while your doctor has ordered a long period of bedrest. Talk with your doctor about this.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Healthy women rarely have severe side effects from taking conjugated estrogens or medroxyprogesterone to replace estrogen.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Itching of the vagina or genital area
menstrual periods beginning again, including changing menstrual bleeding pattern for up to 6 months (spotting, breakthrough bleeding, prolonged or heavier vaginal bleeding, or vaginal bleeding completely stopping by 10 months)
pain during sexual intercourse
thick, white vaginal discharge
Less common
Blurred vision
breast lumps
chest pain
discharge from breast
dizziness
feeling faint, dizzy, or light-headed
feeling of warmth or heat
flushing or redness of skin, especially on face and neck
headache
heavy nonmenstrual vaginal bleeding
pounding in the ears
severe cramping of the uterus
slow or fast heartbeat
sweating
Rare
Change in vaginal discharge
pain or feeling of pressure in pelvis
pain or tenderness in stomach, side, or abdomen
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Abdominal bloating
acid or sour stomach
belching
backache
full or bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach
heartburn
indigestion
loss of appetite
pelvic pain
stomach discomfort, upset or pain
stomach pain
swelling of abdominal or stomach are

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Abdominal cramps
back pain
body aches or pain
breast pain or tenderness
congestion
chills
cough
crying
depersonalization
diarrhea
dryness or soreness of throat
dysphoria
enlarged breasts
euphoria
feeling faint, dizzy, or light-headedness
feeling of warmth or heat
fever
flushing or redness of skin, especially on face and neck
general feeling of discomfort or illness
headache, severe and throbbing
hoarseness
increase in amount of clear vaginal discharge
itching
joint pain
lack or loss of strength
mental depression
muscle aches and pains
nausea
pain
pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
painful menstrual periods
painful or difficult urination
paranoia
passing of gas
quick to react or overreact emotionally
rapidly changing moods
runny nose
shivering
shortness of breath or troubled breathing
sneezing
sore throat
stuffy nose
stomach discomfort following meals
tender, swollen glands in neck
tightness of chest or wheezing
trouble sleeping
trouble in swallowing
unusual tiredness
voice changes
vomiting
Less common
Acne
bloating or swelling of face, ankles, or feet
cervix disorder
crying
depersonalization
dysphoria
euphoria
increase in sexual desire
leg cramps
mental depression
paranoia
quick to react or overreact emotionally
rapidly changing moods
sleeplessness
tense muscles
trouble sleeping
unable to sleep
unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
Abdominal cramping
bloody or cloudy urine
bloody vaginal discharge
difficult, burning, or painful urination
frequent urge to urinate
light vaginal bleeding between periods and after intercourse

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 6/12/2013

Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M