Generic name: ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (HRT) [ ETH-in-ill-ESS-tra-DYE-ole-and-nor-ETH-in-drone ]
Drug classes: Contraceptives, Sex hormone combinations
What is femhrt?
femhrt contains a combination of ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone. Ethinyl estradiol is a form of estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone necessary for many processes in the body. Norethindrone is a form of progesterone. Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation.
femhrt is used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation.
femhrt is also used to prevent osteoporosis after menopause.
You should not use femhrt if you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a bleeding disorder, if you will have major surgery, or if you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, a blood clot, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.
femhrt can cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, or if you miss two menstrual periods in a row.
This medicine may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries.
femhrt should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Long-term use may also increase your risk of breast cancer or blood clot.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use femhrt if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone, or if you have:
unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
a bleeding disorder;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; or
a history of hormone-related cancer, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.
Do not use femhrt if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are overweight, or if you smoke.
femhrt should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.
To make sure femhrt is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
liver problems, or jaundice caused by pregnancy or taking hormones;
hereditary angioedema (an immune system disorder);
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
endometriosis or uterine fibroid tumors;
a thyroid disorder; or
high or low levels of calcium in your blood.
Using femhrt may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
This medicine can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How should I take femhrt?
Take femhrt exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Try to take this medicine at the same time each day.
femhrt may increase your risk of developing a condition that can lead to uterine cancer. To help lower this risk, your doctor may also want you to take a progestin. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis, and have regular mammograms.
If you need major surgery or will be on long-term bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using femhrt.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, or vaginal bleeding.
What to avoid
Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while using femhrt.
Grapefruit may interact with ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.
femhrt side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to femhrt: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
increased blood pressure - severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed;
signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
signs of a blood clot - sudden vision loss, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood, pain or warmth in one or both legs;
swelling or tenderness in your stomach;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain;
a breast lump;
memory problems, confusion, unusual behavior; or
high levels of calcium in your blood - nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, lack of energy.
Common femhrt side effects may include:
bloating, swelling, weight gain;
light vaginal bleeding or spotting;
thinning scalp hair; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect femhrt?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Other drugs may interact with ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone , including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use femhrt only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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