Prescription onlyClass: Women's health

Prefest

(Estradiol / Norgestimate)

Prescription onlyClass: Women's health
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Relieves menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis.

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Our bottom line

Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) is effective at treating symptoms related to menopause and bone loss. It has a difficult dosing schedule to follow, but doesn't affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels as much as other estrogen products.

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Upsides

  • Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness).
  • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy. Make sure you also get enough calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
  • Good for women with an intact uterus. The norgestimate (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus caused by estrogen treatment.
  • Doesn't affect your cholesterol levels as much as other estrogen treatments.

Downsides

  • More potential side effects since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norgestimate (a progestin).
  • Dosing schedule can be hard to follow with the 2 different kind of pills (estrogen-only and estrogen/progestin pills).
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
How it works

Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) is a combination oral medicine that works to balance hormone changes in your body during and after menopause. Estradiol (an estrogen) reduces hot flashes and night sweats and prevents bone loss, but can also harm cells in the uterus after menopause. Norgestimate (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.

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Side effect rates for Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate)

579 From clinical trials of Prefest / Postmenopausal hormone replacement
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory-tract infection
  • Breast pain
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flu-like symptomsa-like symptoms
  • Joint pain
  • Vaginal bleeding (all)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Sinus inflammation

Risks and Warnings for Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using estrogen for more than one year

    Vaginal bleeding after menopause can be a warning sign of uterus (endometrial) cancer, so let your doctor know if you notice any unusual bleeding. When estrogen is prescribed to women after menopause who still have a uterus, progestin should be used with it to lower the risk of cancer. Low-dose vaginal estrogen products are often a better choice than oral pills for women 65 years or older who have vaginal symptoms.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate)

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  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) is a mixture of estrogen and progestin. It could cause a higher risk of ovarian cancer, especially if you have a family history of it. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks versus the benefits of this medication.