Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Conjugated oestrogens

Conjugated oestrogens are a mixture of natural oestrogens. It is used in low doses as hormone replacement after menopause when the body starts producing too little oestrogen.

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Conjugated oestrogens are the active ingredient of Premarin.

General Information

Conjugated oestrogens are a mixture of natural oestrogens. It is used in low doses as hormone replacement after menopause when the body starts producing too little oestrogen. It is prescribed to lessen the symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, sweating and vaginal discomfort. Conjugated oestrogens are also prescribed in some cases of breast and prostate cancer, hormone related osteoporosis, and in teenagers who are not maturing normally.

Oestrogen replacement therapy has been linked with some incidences of uterine/ovarian cancer and regular check-ups are advised.

How do conjugated oestrogens work?

Conjugated oestrogens are an oestrogen replacement treatment. It replaces low levels of oestrogens in the body.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 4

Available as: Conjugated oestrogens are available as tablets, injection and vaginal cream.

What does it do? It acts as oestrogen replacement therapy.

Overdose risk: Low

Dependence risk: Low

Are conjugated oestrogens available as a generic? No

Are conjugated oestrogens available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Dietary advice: Each daily dose can be taken with food to reduce stomach upset.

Stopping this medicine: This medication should not be stopped without discussing the matter with your doctor.

Prolonged use: Prolonged therapy has been linked with some incidences of cancer. Periodic medical examinations are advised.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have any hormone related cancer
  • You have a liver disease
  • You have a history of heart attack/stroke
  • You are a heavy smoker.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: No special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: No special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Abdominal discomfort/bloating

x

x

Loss of appetite

x

x

Breast tenderness

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Headache

x

x

Dry eyes

x

x

Changes in libido

x

x

Nausea/vomiting

x

x

Breast pain/enlargement

x

x

Weight gain/swelling

x

x

Chest pain

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Warfarin and other anticoagulants

The effect of these drugs may be decreased.

Corticosteroids

The effect of corticosteroids may be increased.

Phenylbutazone

Effect of oestrogen reduced.

Phenytoin

Effect of oestrogen reduced.

Rifampicin

Effect of oestrogen reduced.

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have any hormone related cancer, liver disease, or if you have a history of heart attack/stroke.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 0.3-1.25 mg once day in 3-weeks-on, 1-week-of cycles. In some cases doses as high as 7.5mg per day are prescribed.

 

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