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Quick Overview

Premarin (Estrogens, Conjugated)

Premarin (Estrogens, Conjugated)

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What is Premarin?

Premarin is a prescription medication that provides hormone replacement therapy. It's most commonly administered in oral tablet form and also exists in cream and intravenous form.

Premarin is comprised of conjugated estrogens, which means it contains a mixture of different types (as opposed to a single type) of estrogen hormones. Estrogen hormones are one of two primary classes of female hormones; the other class is progestins.

Conjugated estrogens tablets may be prescribed to people dealing with menopausal symptoms, low levels of estrogen stemming from a cause other than menopause (such as undergoing a hysterectomy), and/or to help prevent osteoporosis that may result from declining levels of estrogen.

Premarin tablets work by supplying estrogens that the body may not produce in adequate quantities on its own. After oral consumption, the estrogens are released gradually over the course of several hours. These estrogens help maintain healthy function of the endocrine system, offer relief from menopausal symptoms, and strengthen the bones, thereby helping to protect against osteoporosis.

Conditions treated by Premarin

One of the most common Premarin uses involves the management of menopausal symptoms that result from the ovaries' natural decline in estrogen production. These symptoms might include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and/or vaginal itching or dryness.

Premarin may also be prescribed to people who have low estrogen levels for reasons other than menopause. For instance, it may be prescribed to people who have had a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of a person's ovaries. When a person's ovaries are removed, their estrogen levels drop, and they may deal with the same symptoms associated with menopause.

Additionally, Premarin may be used to help prevent osteoporosis, an issue often tied to estrogen decline. When estrogen levels drop, bones may become thinner and weaker and therefore more susceptible to osteoporosis. Supplementing with estrogen may prevent these issues.

In rare cases, Premarin may be used in the palliative management of breast or prostate cancer.

What to know before using Premarin

Prior to using Premarin, keep the following in mind.

  • Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have or any medications or supplements you take. This will help ensure that Premarin doesn't adversely interact with these conditions or medications.
  • Be aware that estrogen tablets are not recommended for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Make sure to take Premarin exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and follow their instructions carefully.
  • While taking Premarin, make sure to conduct regular self-exams of your breasts and see your doctor regularly for physical exams.
  • If at all possible, avoid smoking cigarettes while using Premarin, as smoking can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke while using this medication.
  • If you miss a dose and it's not near the time for your next dose, take the dose as soon as you remember. If it's near the time for your next dose, take the missed dose as soon as you can, but skip it if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
  • Be aware that grapefruit and products containing grapefruit juice may interact with Premarin and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Premarin is derived from the urine of pregnant mares, and the ethics of these practices are a matter of debate. Some people may wish to research this topic prior to using Premarin.
  • If you have scheduled a surgery, make sure to inform your medical team that you use Premarin. You may need to temporarily discontinue use before and after surgery.

Possible Premarin side effects

Side effects of Premarin may range from mild to severe. Some of the possible side effects that may occur include (but are not limited to):

  • Abdominal, back, or pelvic pain
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anxiety
  • Breast discharge
  • Depression
  • Exacerbation of asthma and other pre-existing conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention
  • Headaches
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Jaundice
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Rash
  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weight gain

If you experience these or any other side effects while taking Premarin, consult your doctor immediately. In addition, be aware that taking Premarin may increase the risk of developing serious health conditions including:

  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer
  • Dementia
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Uterine cancer