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Estrogens (Conjugated/Equine) and Bazedoxifene

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 16, 2020.

Pronunciation

(ES troe jenz, KON joo gate ed/EE kwine & ba ze DOX i feen)

Index Terms

  • Bazedoxifene and Estrogens (Conjugated/Equine)
  • Bazedoxifene and Oestrogens
  • Estrogens (Conjugated/Equine) and Bazedoxifene Acetate
  • Oestrogens and Bazedoxifene

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Duavee: conjugated estrogens 0.45 mg and bazedoxifene acetate 20 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Duavee

Pharmacologic Category

  • Estrogen Derivative
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM)
  • Tissue-Selective Estrogen Complex (TSEC)

Pharmacology

Conjugated estrogens contain a mixture of estrone sulfate, equilin sulfate, 17 alpha-dihydroequilin, 17 alpha-estradiol and 17 beta-dihydroequilin. Bazedoxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Conjugated estrogens act as an estrogen agonist and bazedoxifene acts as an estrogen agonist/antagonist depending on the specific tissue. The combination of a SERM and estrogen [referred to as a tissue-selective estrogen complex (TSEC)] provides relief of vasomotor symptoms and maintenance of bone mineral density in postmenopausal females with a uterus, while reducing the risk of endometrial hyperplasia observed with estrogen use alone (Pickar 2009).

Absorption

Conjugated estrogens: Well-absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract

Distribution

Bazedoxifene: Vd: ~15 L/kg

Metabolism

Bazedoxifene: Metabolized via glucuronidation; forms metabolites; little or no CYP mediated metabolism; undergoes hepatic recirculation

Conjugated estrogens: Hepatic via CYP3A4; estradiol is converted to estrone and estriol; also undergoes enterohepatic recirculation; estrone sulfate is the main metabolite in postmenopausal females

Excretion

Conjugated estrogens: Urine (primarily estriol, also as estradiol, estrone, and conjugates)

Bazedoxifene: Biliary; feces (~85%); urine (<1%)

Onset of Action

Relief of vasomotor symptoms: A significant reduction in the number and severity of moderate/severe hot flashes was observed after 4 weeks of therapy (Pinkerton, 2009).

Osteoporosis: A significant increase in BMD measured at the lumbar spine and hip was observed at 12 months of therapy (Lindsay, 2009).

Time to Peak

Bazedoxifene: ~2.5 hours

Total estrone: ~6.5 hours

Half-Life Elimination

Bazedoxifene: ~30 hours

Total estrone: ~17 hours

Protein Binding

Bazedoxifene: 98% to 99%; does not bind to sex-hormone binding globulin

Conjugated estrogens: Binds to sex-hormone-binding globulin and albumin

Use: Labeled Indications

Osteoporosis, prevention: Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis in females with a uterus.

Limitations of use: For use only in women at significant risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis; consider use of nonestrogen medications.

Vasomotor symptoms: Treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause in females with a uterus.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to estrogens, bazedoxifene, or any component of the formulation; undiagnosed abnormal uterine bleeding; active or past history of venous thromboembolism (VTE) (eg, PE, DVT); active or history of arterial thromboembolic disease (eg, stroke, MI); carcinoma of the breast (known, suspected or history of); estrogen-dependent tumor (known or suspected); hepatic impairment or disease; known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency or other known thrombophilic disorders; pregnancy.

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Active thrombophlebitis; endometrial hyperplasia; partial or complete loss of vision due to ophthalmic vascular disease.

Dosing: Adult

General dosing guidelines: When treating symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy should be evaluated routinely for appropriate dose, duration, and route of administration for each individual patient based on treatment goals, risk factors, and overall health (NAMS 2017).

Osteoporosis, prevention (postmenopausal females): Oral: Conjugated estrogens 0.45 mg and bazedoxifene 20 mg once daily.

Vasomotor symptoms (moderate to severe) associated with menopause: Oral: Conjugated estrogens 0.45 mg and bazedoxifene 20 mg once daily.

Dosing: Geriatric

Note: Females >65 years of age should be assessed for benefits and risks of treatment; possible adjustments to safer lower-dose and/or route of administration should be considered (ACOG 565 2013; NAMS 2017). The Beers Criteria recommends avoiding systemic estrogen therapy in patients ≥65 years of age (independent of diagnosis or condition) (Beers Criteria [AGS 2019]).

Refer to adult dosing. Use in females >75 years of age is not recommended (has not been studied).

Administration

Administer without regard to meals; swallow tablets whole.

Dietary Considerations

Ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake when used for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions are permitted between 15°C and 30°C (59°F and 86°F). Dispense in original package. Protect from moisture. After opening foil pouch, product must be used within 60 days.

Drug Interactions

Ajmaline: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ajmaline. Specifically, the risk for cholestasis may be increased. Monitor therapy

Anastrozole: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Anastrozole. Avoid combination

Anthrax Immune Globulin (Human): Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the thrombogenic effect of Anthrax Immune Globulin (Human). Monitor therapy

Anticoagulants: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the anticoagulant effect of Anticoagulants. More specifically, the potential prothrombotic effects of some estrogens and progestin-estrogen combinations may counteract anticoagulant effects. Management: Carefully weigh the prospective benefits of estrogens against the potential increased risk of procoagulant effects and thromboembolism. Use is considered contraindicated under some circumstances. Refer to related guidelines for specific recommendations. Consider therapy modification

Antidiabetic Agents: Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Ascorbic Acid: May increase the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives. Monitor therapy

C1 inhibitors: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the thrombogenic effect of C1 inhibitors. Monitor therapy

Chenodiol: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Chenodiol. Management: Monitor clinical response to chenodiol closely when used together with any estrogen derivative. Monitor therapy

CloZAPine: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of CloZAPine. Monitor therapy

Corticosteroids (Systemic): Estrogen Derivatives may increase the serum concentration of Corticosteroids (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Cosyntropin: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the diagnostic effect of Cosyntropin. Management: Discontinue estrogen containing drugs 4 to 6 weeks prior to cosyntropin (ACTH) testing. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May increase the metabolism of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Seek alternatives to concomitant therapy when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor for reduced clinical effects of the CYP3A4 substrate. Consider therapy modification

Dantrolene: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Dantrolene. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Dehydroepiandrosterone: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Estrogen Derivatives. Avoid combination

Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP3A4 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP3A4 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Erdafitinib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Exemestane: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Exemestane. Avoid combination

Fluoroestradiol F18: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators may diminish the diagnostic effect of Fluoroestradiol F18. Management: Image patients with fluoroestradiol F-18 prior to starting systemic endocrine therapies that block the estrogen receptor. Use of fluoroestradiol F-18 should not delay indicated treatment. Consider therapy modification

Growth Hormone Analogs: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Growth Hormone Analogs. Management: Initiate somapacitan at 2 mg once weekly in patients receiving oral estrogens. Monitor for reduced efficacy of growth hormone analogs; increased doses may be required. Consider therapy modification

Hemin: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hemin. Avoid combination

Herbs (Estrogenic Properties): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Estrogen Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Hyaluronidase: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Hyaluronidase. Monitor therapy

Hydrocortisone (Systemic): Estrogen Derivatives may increase the serum concentration of Hydrocortisone (Systemic). Estrogen Derivatives may decrease the serum concentration of Hydrocortisone (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Immune Globulin: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the thrombogenic effect of Immune Globulin. Monitor therapy

Indium 111 Capromab Pendetide: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the diagnostic effect of Indium 111 Capromab Pendetide. Avoid combination

Ivosidenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

LamoTRIgine: Estrogen Derivatives may decrease the serum concentration of LamoTRIgine. Monitor therapy

Lenalidomide: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the thrombogenic effect of Lenalidomide. Monitor therapy

Mitotane: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Doses of CYP3A4 substrates may need to be adjusted substantially when used in patients being treated with mitotane. Consider therapy modification

Mivacurium: Estrogen Derivatives may increase the serum concentration of Mivacurium. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (COX-2 Selective): May enhance the thrombogenic effect of Estrogen Derivatives. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (COX-2 Selective) may increase the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Ospemifene: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ospemifene. Ospemifene may also enhance adverse/toxic effects of other Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators may diminish the therapeutic effect of Ospemifene. Ospemifene may also diminish the therapeutic effects of other Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators. Avoid combination

Ospemifene: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ospemifene. Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Ospemifene. Avoid combination

Pomalidomide: May enhance the thrombogenic effect of Estrogen Derivatives. Management: Canadian pomalidomide labeling recommends caution with use of hormone replacement therapy and states that hormonal contraceptives are not recommended. US pomalidomide labeling does not contain these specific recommendations. Consider therapy modification

ROPINIRole: Estrogen Derivatives may increase the serum concentration of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Sarilumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Siltuximab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Succinylcholine: Estrogen Derivatives may increase the serum concentration of Succinylcholine. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the thrombogenic effect of Thalidomide. Monitor therapy

Theophylline Derivatives: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Theophylline Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Thyroid Products: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Thyroid Products. Monitor therapy

Tipranavir: Estrogen Derivatives may enhance the dermatologic adverse effect of Tipranavir. The combination of tipranavir/ritonavir and ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone was associated with a high incidence of skin rash. Tipranavir may decrease the serum concentration of Estrogen Derivatives. Management: Consider alternative, non-hormonal forms of contraception. If used as hormone replacement therapy, monitor for estrogen deficiency. Monitor all patients using tipranavir/ritonavir and ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone for dermatologic adverse effects. Consider therapy modification

TiZANidine: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of TiZANidine. Management: Avoid these combinations when possible. If combined use is necessary, initiate tizanidine at an adult dose of 2 mg and increase in 2 to 4 mg increments based on patient response. Monitor for increased effects of tizanidine, including adverse reactions. Consider therapy modification

Tocilizumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Ursodiol: Estrogen Derivatives may diminish the therapeutic effect of Ursodiol. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

Percentages as reported with combination product.

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Dizziness (5%)

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (8%), nausea (8%), dyspepsia (7%), upper abdominal pain (7%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Muscle spasm (9%), neck pain (5%)

Respiratory: Oropharyngeal pain (7%)

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Endometrial cancer:

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Perform adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding.

Cardiovascular disease:

Do not use estrogen therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg) alone, relative to placebo.

Dementia:

Do not use estrogen therapy for the prevention of dementia. The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years and older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg) alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women.

Risk vs benefit:

Women taking conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene should not take additional estrogens. In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of conjugated estrogens and other dosage forms of estrogens. Estrogens should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Breast cancer: Based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies, an increased risk of invasive breast cancer was observed in postmenopausal females using conjugated estrogens (CE) in combination with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). Observational studies noted this risk declines once therapy is discontinued. The WHI study did not observe an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in females with a hysterectomy using CE alone. The risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal patients on hormone therapy may depend upon type of estrogen and/or progestin, dose, timing of therapy initiation, duration of therapy, route of administration, and individual patient characteristics (AACE/ACE [Cobin 2017]; NAMS 2017). Hormone therapy may be associated with increased breast density (NAMS 2017); an increase in abnormal mammogram findings requiring further evaluation has been reported with estrogen alone or in combination with progestin therapy. Estrogen use may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases; discontinue estrogen if hypercalcemia occurs.

• Dementia: [US Boxed Warning]: In the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), an increased incidence of probable dementia was observed in women ≥65 years of age taking CE alone. It is not known if this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. Estrogens should not be used for the prevention of dementia. Because the WHI memory studies were conducted in females ≥65 years of age, it is unknown if these findings apply to younger postmenopausal females. However, hormone therapy is not recommended at any age to prevent or treat cognitive decline or dementia (AACE [Goodman 2011]; NAMS 2017).

• Endometrial cancer: [US Boxed Warning]: The use of unopposed estrogen in women with an intact uterus is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Estrogens (conjugated/equine) in combination with bazedoxifene has been shown to decrease the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling if indicated, should be performed to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding. Women taking this combination should not take additional estrogen (may increase the risk of endometrial hyperplasia).

• Lipid effects: Estrogen compounds are generally associated with lipid effects such as increased HDL-cholesterol and decreased LDL-cholesterol. Triglycerides may also be increased; discontinue if pancreatitis occurs.

• Ovarian cancer: Available information related to the use of menopausal estrogen or estrogen/progestin therapy and risk of ovarian cancer is inconsistent. If an association is present, the absolute risk is likely rare and may be influenced by duration of therapy (AACE [Goodman 2011]; ES [Stuenkel 2015]; NAMS 2017).

• Retinal vascular thrombosis: Estrogens may cause retinal vascular thrombosis; discontinue pending examination if migraine, loss of vision, proptosis, diplopia, or other visual disturbances occur; discontinue permanently if papilledema or retinal vascular lesions are observed on examination.

Disease-related concerns:

• Asthma: Use caution in patients with asthma; may exacerbate disease.

• Carbohydrate intolerance: May impair glucose tolerance; use caution in patients with diabetes. Prior to therapy, consider age, cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in patients previously diagnosed with diabetes (AACE/ACE [Cobin 2017]).

• Cardiovascular disease: [US Boxed Warning]: Estrogens should not be used to prevent cardiovascular disease. Using data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies, an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and stroke has been reported with CE in postmenopausal women 50 to 79 years of age. Estrogens and bazedoxifene are known to increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Additional risk factors include diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, SLE, obesity, tobacco use, and/or history of VTE. Risk factors should be managed appropriately; discontinue use immediately if adverse cardiovascular events occur or are suspected. Due to possible lower risk of thrombotic events, transdermal administration may be preferred for treating vasomotor symptoms of menopause in patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (AACE/ACE [Cobin 2017]; ACOG 556 2013; ES [Stuenkel 2015]). Use is contraindicated in females with active DVT, PE, arterial thromboembolic disease (stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions.

• Diseases exacerbated by fluid retention: Use with caution in patients with diseases which may be exacerbated by fluid retention, including cardiac or renal dysfunction.

• Epilepsy: Use caution with epilepsy; may exacerbate disease.

• Gallbladder disease: Use of postmenopausal estrogen may be associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery.

• Hepatic dysfunction: Estrogens are poorly metabolized in patients with hepatic dysfunction. Use caution with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with prior estrogen use or pregnancy. Discontinue if jaundice develops or if acute or chronic hepatic disturbances occur. Use is contraindicated with hepatic disease.

• Hepatic hemangiomas: Use with caution in patients with hepatic hemangiomas; may exacerbate disease.

• Hereditary angioedema: Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate angioedema symptoms in females with hereditary angioedema.

• Hypoparathyroidism: Use caution in patients with hypoparathyroidism; estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

• Migraine: Use caution with migraine; may exacerbate disease.

• Porphyria: Use with caution in patients with porphyria; may exacerbate disease.

• SLE: Use with caution in patients with SLE; may exacerbate disease.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Thyroid replacement therapy: Estrogens may increase thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels. Females on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone while receiving estrogens.

Special populations:

• Overweight/Obese: Bazedoxifene exposure is decreased in females with a BMI >27 kg/m2 which may be associated with an increased risk of endometrial hyperplasia. Females with a BMI >34 kg/m2 or >32.2 kg/m2 were excluded from some initial vasomotor or osteoporosis studies, respectively (Lindsay 2009; Pinkerton 2009). Regardless of BMI, monitoring should be done to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal females with undiagnosed persistent or recurrent abnormal genital bleeding.

• Surgical patients: Whenever possible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to elective surgery associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Duration of use: Extended use of menopausal hormone therapy may be considered for persistent vasomotor symptoms, issues related to quality of life, or for osteoporosis prevention in females at increased risk of fracture. Menopausal hormonal therapy does not need to be routinely discontinued in women >60 years of age and may continue in females >65 years of age after clinical evaluation and discussion of benefits and risks of treatment. Annual exams should be performed with a review of comorbidities; possible adjustments to safer lower-dose and/or route of administration should be discussed (ACOG 565 2013; NAMS 2017).

• Laboratory changes: The use of estrogens and/or progestins may change the results of some laboratory tests (eg, coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, binding proteins). The dose, route, and the specific estrogen/progestin influences these changes.

• Osteoporosis use: In females with premature menopause, hormone therapy to prevent bone loss may be used unless otherwise contraindicated; therapy should be reassessed when the average age of menopause is reached. It is also an appropriate bone-active therapy for females with vasomotor symptoms who are <60 years of age or within 10 years of menopause onset. Use may be considered for females at high risk of fractures who are not candidates for other osteoporosis therapies (NAMS 2017).

• Risks vs benefits: When used for the relief of menopausal symptoms or increased risk of bone fracture/loss, the benefit-risk of hormone therapy is most favorable if started in patients who have no contraindications to therapy, are <60 years of age, within 10 years of menopause onset, have a favorable lipid profile, and do not have the factor V Leiden genotype or metabolic syndrome. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease should also be considered when evaluating therapy and route of administration (AACE/ACE [Cobin 2017]; NAMS 2017). [US Boxed Warning]: Women taking estrogens (conjugated/equine) in combination with bazedoxifene should not take additional estrogen. Estrogens should be used for the shortest duration possible at the lowest effective dose consistent with treatment goals. Females taking this combination should also not take progestins or additional estrogen agonists/antagonists. Patients should be reevaluated as clinically appropriate to determine if treatment is still necessary. Available data related to treatment risks are from Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) studies, which evaluated oral CE 0.625 mg relative to placebo in postmenopausal females. Other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens were not studied; outcomes should be assumed to be similar for other doses and other dosage forms of estrogens until comparable data becomes available.

Monitoring Parameters

Prior to therapy, baseline risk for breast cancer and CVD. During therapy, age appropriate breast and pelvic exams; blood pressure; unscheduled bleeding lasting >6 months for endometrial pathology (sooner in patients who are obese, diabetic, or have a history of endometrial cancer); serum triglycerides (2 weeks after starting therapy in patients with baseline level >200 mg/dL); TSH (6 to 12 weeks after starting oral therapy in patients taking thyroid replacement) (ES [Stuenkel 2015]).

Osteoporosis, prevention: Bone density measurement

Vasomotor symptoms: Efficacy beginning 1 to 3 months after starting therapy, then every 6 to 12 months as appropriate. Duration of treatment should be evaluated at least annually (ES [Stuenkel 2015]).

Note: Monitoring of FSH and serum estradiol is not useful when managing vasomotor symptoms of menopause

Pregnancy Considerations

This combination product is approved for use in postmenopausal women only. Use is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat symptoms of low estrogen levels in women who have been through menopause (change of life).

• It is used to treat soft, brittle bones (osteoporosis) in women who have been through menopause (change of life).

• It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Muscle spasms

• Nausea

• Abdominal pain

• Diarrhea

• Throat pain

• Neck pain

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight

• Blood clots like numbness or weakness on one side of the body; pain, redness, tenderness, warmth, or swelling in the arms or legs; change in color of an arm or leg; chest pain; shortness of breath; fast heartbeat; or coughing up blood

• Liver problems like dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or yellow skin or eyes

• Gallstones like pain in the upper right abdominal area, right shoulder area, or between the shoulder blades; yellow skin or eyes; or fever with chills

• Severe loss of strength and energy

• Severe headache

• Severe dizziness

• Passing out

• Swelling

• Weight gain

• Trouble breathing

• Vaginal pain, itching, and discharge

• Abnormal vaginal bleeding

• Bulging eyes

• Contact lens discomfort

• Vision changes

• Blindness

• Lump in breast

• Breast soreness or pain

• Nipple discharge

• Depression

• Mood changes

• Trouble with memory

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine’s uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.