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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Estradiol and Norethindrone
Estradiol and Norethindrone
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(es tra DYE ole & nor eth IN drone)

Brand Names
Activella™; CombiPatch™

Therapeutic Categories
Estrogen Derivative

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

  • Estrogens, when used in women after menopause, may increase the risk of cancer of the uterus. Progestins may decrease this risk. A warning sign for cancer of the uterus is unusual vaginal bleeding. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding to your healthcare provider. Do not take estrogens if you are pregnant. Estrogens may cause birth defects to your unborn child. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may be pregnant.


Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to estrogens, progesterone, estradiol, norethindrone, or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have any of the following conditions: Vaginal bleeding of an unknown cause, known or suspected breast cancer, a history of blood clots, stroke, a tumor where estrogen makes it grow.
  • If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to stop/reduce the symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes, vaginal dryness, itching, or burning.
  • It helps prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones; can lead to breaks) in women past menopause. This medicine works best when used with calcium/vitamin D supplements, weight-bearing exercises like walking, or physical therapy. It may also be used to lower high cholesterol in women who have gone through menopause.
  • Norethindrone is used to decrease the side effects of estrogens.


How does it work?

  • After menopause, when the body no longer produces estrogen, it is used as a simple replacement of estrogen.
  • The addition of a progestin, such as norethindrone, reduces endometrial changes (precancerous) and the risk of endometrial cancer.


How is it best taken?

  • Tablet:
    • Take with food at a similar time every day or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Skin patch:
    • Place skin patch (sticky side) on clean, dry area of the skin (butt, stomach, upper inner thigh or upper arm). Follow directions of prescription for how often it to replace. Rotate site.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.
  • Do not change dose or stop taking medicine without talking with healthcare provider.
  • Replace patch as soon as possible.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Limit alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, and liquor). May increase risk of breast cancer.
  • Use caution if you have a weakened heart or high blood pressure. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you have ever had any blood clots in your legs, arms, or lungs.
  • There may be a higher risk of breast cancer. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust during use of medicine and for 1 month after stopping it.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
  • Belly pain and cramps.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Breast enlargement/tenderness.
  • For women, vaginal bleeding (breakthrough bleeding, spotting) may occur.
  • Change in sexual ability or desire. This can return to normal after medicine is stopped. Talk with healthcare provider about other medicines without this side effect.


What should I monitor?

  • Periodic breast and gynecologic exams are important.
  • Follow diet plan (calcium supplementation) as recommended by healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe headache.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding. This includes lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Swelling/pain of a leg or arm, sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain.
  • A lump in the breast.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a dry place at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Read the package insert for more details (given with the medicine).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


Copyright © 1978-2001 Lexi-Comp Inc. All Rights Reserved

 
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