Prefest

Generic Name: Norgestimate

  • What is Prefest?

    Prefest is a medicine containing the hormones, estrogen and progestin. It is used in women who have a uterus, to treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and dryness, itching, and burning in or around your vagina. Also, Prefest is used to reduce your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Prefest?

    Estrogens increase your risk of developing cancer of the uterus. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are taking Prefest.

    Do not take Prefest to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Taking Prefest can increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.

    Prefest can also increase your risk of dementia, gallbladder disease, ovarian cancer, visual abnormalities, high blood pressure, pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas), or thyroid problems. Talk regularly with your doctor about whether you still need treatment with Prefest.

    You can lower your chances of serious side effects with Prefest by having a breast exam and mammogram (breast x-ray) every year, unless directed by your doctor to have it more often. See your doctor immediately if you get vaginal bleeding while you are taking Prefest. Also, ask your doctor for ways to lower your chances of getting heart disease, especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, if you are overweight, or if you use tobacco.

  • Who should not take Prefest?

    Do not take Prefest if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

    Do not take Prefest if you have a history of stroke or heart attack, blood clots, liver problems, unusual vaginal bleeding, or certain cancers, including cancer of your breast or uterus.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Prefest?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Prefest. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have any unusual vaginal bleeding, asthma, seizures, diabetes, migraine headaches, endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain), lupus (disease that affects the immune system), high blood calcium levels, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys. Also, tell your doctor if you are going to have surgery or will be on bedrest.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1 peach (estrogen) tablet for 3 days, followed by 1 white (estrogen and progestin) tablet for 3 days. Repeat this continuously during treatment.

  • How should I take Prefest?

    Take Prefest exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor regularly (every 3-6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Prefest.

    Start with the first tablet in the first row, and place the weekday schedule sticker which starts with the weekday of the first tablet intake in the appropriate space. After all tablets from the blister card have been used, the first tablet from a new blister card should be taken on the following day.

  • What should I avoid while taking Prefest?

    Do not take Prefest for conditions for which it was not prescribed.

    Grapefruit juice can increase your risk of side effects with Prefest. Talk to your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking Prefest.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Prefest?

    If Prefest is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Prefest with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Prefest?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, back pain, bloating, breast pain, dizziness, "flu-like" symptoms, hair loss, headache, infections, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, joint or muscle pain, nausea, pain, sore throat, tiredness, vomiting

    If you experience symptoms of breast lumps, changes in your speech, changes in your vision, chest pain, dizziness and faintness, pain in your legs, severe headaches, shortness of breath, unusual vaginal bleeding, or vomiting, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Can I receive Prefest if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not take Prefest if you are pregnant. The hormones in Prefest can be found in your breast milk if you take it while you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Prefest?

    If you miss a dose of Prefest, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Prefest?

    Store at room temperature.