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What should I watch for?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You should have a complete check-up every 6 months. You will need a regular breast and pelvic exam. You should also discuss the need for regular mammograms with your health care professional, and follow his or her guidelines.
This medicine can make your body retain fluid, making your fingers, hands, or ankles swell. Your blood pressure can go up. Contact your doctor or health care professional if you feel you are retaining fluid.
If you have any reason to think you are pregnant; stop taking this medicine at once and contact your doctor or health care professional.
Tobacco smoking increases the risk of getting a blood clot or having a stroke, especially if you are more than 35 years old. You are strongly advised not to smoke.
If you wear contact lenses and notice visual changes, or if the lenses begin to feel uncomfortable, consult your eye care specialist.
If you are going to have elective surgery, you may need to stop taking this medicine beforehand. Consult your health care professional for advice prior to scheduling the surgery.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Women rarely have severe side effects from taking estrogens to replace estrogen. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor:
The prolonged use of estrogens has been reported to increase the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) in women after menopause. This risk seems to increase as the dose and the length of use increase. When estrogens are used in low doses for less than 1 year, there is less risk. The risk is also reduced if a progestin (another female hormone) is added to, or replaces part of, your estrogen dose. If the uterus has been removed by surgery (total hysterectomy), there is no risk of endometrial cancer, and no need to take an estrogen and progestin combination.
It is not yet known whether the use of estrogens increases the risk of breast cancer in women. Although some large studies show an increased risk, most studies and information gathered to date do not support this idea.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Breast pain or tenderness
dizziness or light-headedness
rapid weight gain
swelling of feet and lower legs
change in vaginal discharge
discharge from nipple
pains in chest, groin, or leg, especially calf
pains in stomach, side, or abdomen
pain or feeling of pressure in pelvis
severe or sudden headache
sudden and unexplained shortness of breath
sudden loss of coordination
sudden slurred speech
sudden vision changes
weakness or numbness in arm or leg
yellow eyes or skin
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:
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.