Premarin

Generic Name: Conjugated Estrogens

  • What is Premarin?

    Premarin is a medicine that contains a mixture of estrogens. Premarin tablets are used to reduce moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, including feelings of warmth in the face, neck, and chest, and sudden intense episodes of heat and sweating known as "hot flashes." Premarin tablets are also used to treat moderate to severe menopausal changes such as dryness, itching, and burning in and around the vagina or painful intercourse caused by menopausal changes, and help reduce the chance of getting osteoporosis (thin, weak bones) after menopause. Premarin tablets are also used to treat certain conditions in women before menopause if their ovaries do not make enough estrogen naturally, and to ease symptoms of certain cancers that have spread through the body in both men and women.

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

    Estrogens increase your risk of developing endometrial (inner lining of the uterus) cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding immediately to your doctor while you are taking Premarin. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of endometrial cancer.

    Do not use estrogens with or without progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and blood clots. It may also increase your risk of dementia. Talk regularly with your doctor about whether you still need treatment with Premarin.

  • Who should not take Premarin?

    Do not take Premarin if you currently have a history of stroke or heart attack in the last year, blood clots, liver problems, unusual vaginal bleeding or other bleeding disorder, or certain cancers, including cancer of the breast or uterus. Do not take Premarin if you think you may be pregnant or are allergic to any of its ingredients.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Premarin. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are breastfeeding, have unusual vaginal bleeding, asthma (wheezing), seizures, migraine headaches, endometriosis (overgrowth of the uterine lining), lupus (disease that affects the immune system), problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys, or have high calcium levels in your blood. 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.

    Your doctor will start therapy with Premarin at a low dose and adjust the dosage according to your response. Your doctor will want to check you periodically at 3- to 6-month intervals to determine the need for continued therapy.

    Adults: The usual starting dosage is 0.3 milligrams (mg) daily. However, this may vary depending upon the condition being treated. Your doctor will prescribe the correct regimen for your treatment needs.

  • How should I take Premarin?

    Take one Premarin tablet at the same time each day, taken with or without food.

    Estrogens should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment only as long as needed. You and your doctor should talk regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Premarin.

  • What should I avoid while taking Premarin?

    Do not smoke while using this medication. Smoking can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack caused by conjugated estrogens.

    Avoid taking estrogen along with grapefruit juice.

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

    If Premarin tablets are 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 Premarin tablets with the following: barbiturates such as phenobarbital; blood thinners such as warfarin; carbamazepine; clarithromycin; drugs used for seizures; erythromycin; itraconazole; ketoconazole; major tranquilizers; oral diabetes drugs; rifampin; ritonavir; St. John's wort; steroid medications; thyroid preparations; tricyclic antidepressants; and vitamin C.

  • What are the possible side effects of Premarin?

    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: headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, stomach/abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, high blood pressure, liver problems, high blood sugar, fluid retention, enlargement of non-cancerous tumors of the uterus (fibroids), vaginal yeast infections

    Warning signs of serious side effects include: breast lumps, unusual vaginal bleeding, dizziness and faintness, changes in speech, severe headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, pains in your legs, changes in vision, vomiting

    Call your doctor right away if you get any of these warning signs or any other unusual symptom that concerns you.

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

    If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately. Premarin and conjugated estrogens should not be taken during pregnancy because of the possibility of harm to the unborn baby.

    If you are breastfeeding, the hormones in Premarin can pass into your breast milk. Your doctor may advise you not to breastfeed while you are taking Premarin.

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

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Premarin?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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