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Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a)

Pronunciation

Generic Name: conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) (CON-ju-gate-ed ESS-tro-jenz)
Brand Name: Cenestin

Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) increases the chances of getting cancer of the uterus. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while using conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb). Your health care provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause.

Do not use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) with or without progestins (eg, medroxyprogesterone) 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. Using estrogens, with or without progestins, may increase your risk of dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older. You and your health care provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).


Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) is used for:

Treating a variety of symptoms due to menopause (hot flashes, vaginal itching, burning, dryness). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) is a mixture of estrogen hormones. It works by replacing natural estrogens in a woman who can no longer produce enough estrogen.

Do NOT use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in conjugated estrogens (synthetic a)
  • you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant
  • you have known, suspected, or a history of breast cancer (unless directed by your doctor) or other cancers that are estrogen-dependent
  • you have abnormal vaginal bleeding of unknown cause
  • you have impaired liver function or liver disease, or the blood disease porphyria
  • you have recently (within the last year) had a stroke or heart attack
  • you have blood clots or circulation disorders

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using conjugated estrogens (synthetic a):

Some medical conditions may interact with conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an abnormal mammogram
  • if you have asthma (wheezing), a benign breast nodule, bone cancer, depression, diabetes, endometriosis or endometrial (uterine) cancer, epilepsy (seizures), gallbladder disease, heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems or a history of yellowing of the skin or eyes, lupus, migraines, obesity, pancreatitis, uterine fibroids, thyroid problems or have high calcium levels in your blood
  • if you use tobacco, you are going to have surgery, or you will be on bed rest
  • if you have a family history of high cholesterol, lipid, calcium, or triglyceride levels; or breast cancer

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) and rifampin because they may decrease conjugated estrogens (synthetic a)'s effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a):

Use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) by mouth with food or immediately after a meal to prevent stomach upset.
  • Take conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) at the same time each day.
  • Discuss with your doctor stopping conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) 4 to 6 weeks before surgery.
  • If you miss a dose of conjugated estrogens (synthetic a), take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).

Important safety information:

  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Smoking while taking conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may increase your risk of blood clots (especially in women older than 35 years of age).
  • Before using conjugated estrogens (synthetic a), you will need to have a complete medical and family history exam, which will include blood pressure, breast, stomach, and pelvic organ exams and a Pap smear.
  • You should have periodic mammograms as determined by your doctor. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your own breasts, and report any lumps immediately.
  • Your doctor should reevaluate you every 3 to 6 months to determine whether or not you need to continue taking conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).
  • If you are only being treated for vaginal menopause symptoms, products applied locally such as vaginal creams, tablets, or rings should be considered before products taken by mouth or absorbed through the skin. If you have other medical conditions and are prescribed estrogens for more than one condition, consult your doctor about your treatment plan and its options.
  • Non-drug therapy to help prevent bone loss includes a weight-bearing exercise plan, as well as adequate daily calcium and vitamin D intake. Consult your doctor of pharmacist for more details.
  • Diabetes patients - Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may cause dark skin patches on your face (melasma). Exposure to the sun may make these patches darker, and you may need to avoid prolonged sun exposure and sunlamps. Consult your doctor regarding the use of sunscreens and protective clothing.
  • If you wear contact lenses and you develop problems with them, contact your doctor.
  • If you will be having surgery or will be confined to a chair or bed for a long period of time (eg, a long plane flight), notify your doctor beforehand. Special precautions may need to be taken in these circumstances while you are taking conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).
  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).
  • Lab tests, including a lipid profile, may be performed while you use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) may affect growth in CHILDREN. They may need regular growth checks while they use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) if you are pregnant. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use conjugated estrogens (synthetic a), check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby..

Possible side effects of conjugated estrogens (synthetic a):

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; bloating; breast pain; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; flu syndrome; gas; hair loss; headache; increased cough; increased/decreased interest in sex; indigestion; infection; irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting; itching; joint pain; lightheadedness; leg cramps; muscle aches; nausea; nervousness; pain; runny nose; sinus inflammation; sleeplessness; sore throat; stomach pain; upper respiratory tract infection; vaginal inflammation; weakness; weight changes.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal bleeding from the vagina; breast lumps; changes in vision or speech; chest pain; dizziness; fainting; mental/mood changes; pain or tenderness in the upper abdomen; pain in the calves; severe headache; sudden shortness of breath; swelling of the hands or feet; unusual vaginal discharge/itching/odor; vomiting; weakness or numbness of an arm or leg; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include excessive vaginal bleeding 2 to 7 days following overdose; nausea and vomiting.

Proper storage of conjugated estrogens (synthetic a):

Store conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about conjugated estrogens (synthetic a), please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take conjugated estrogens (synthetic a) or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to conjugated estrogens (synthetic a). This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using conjugated estrogens (synthetic a).

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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