What should I watch for?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need a regular breast and pelvic exam and Pap smear while on this medicine. You should also discuss the need for regular mammograms with your health care professional, and follow his or her guidelines for these tests. Also, periodically discuss the need to continue taking this medicine. Taking this medicine for long periods of time may increase your risk for serious side effects.
This medicine can increase the risk of developing a condition (endometrial hyperplasia) that may lead to cancer of the lining of the uterus. Taking progestins, another hormone drug, with this medicine lowers the risk of developing this condition. Therefore, if your uterus has not been removed (by a hysterectomy), your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take together with your estrogen. You should know, however, that taking estrogens with progestins may have additional health risks. You should discuss the use of estrogens and progestins with your health care professional to determine the benefits and risks for you.
This medicine can rarely cause blood clots. You should avoid long periods of bed rest while taking this medicine. If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine. This medicine should be stopped at least 4-6 weeks before surgery. After surgery, it should be restarted only after you are walking again. It should not be restarted while you still need long periods of bed rest.
You should not smoke while taking this medicine. Smoking may also increase your risk of blood clots. Smoking can also decrease the effects of this medicine.
If you have any reason to think you are pregnant; stop taking this medicine at once and contact your doctor or health care professional.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
difficulty with speaking
dizziness or lightheadedness
inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
inability to speak
pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Feeling of warmth
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
white or brownish vaginal discharge
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.