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  • Generic Name: (esterified estrogens)
    Other Brands: Menest
  • Last Revised: 07/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Menest is a medicine that contains estrogen hormones. Menest is used after menopause to reduce hot flashes and to treat menopausal changes in and around the vagina. Menest is also used to treat certain conditions in women if their ovaries do not make enough estrogen naturally, and to ease symptoms of breast cancer in women and men and prostate cancer in men that have spread throughout the body.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Menopausal women have lower levels of the hormone estrogen in their bodies, resulting in symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal changes. Menest provides estrogen to help relieve those symptoms.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?


      Hot Flashes: Menest may reduce the number of hot flashes a woman experiences.

      Vaginal Changes: Menest may improve vaginal symptoms due to menopause.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Menest exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start taking Menest. Your healthcare provider may also ask you questions from time to time to assess how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Using estrogen-only medicines such as Menest may increase your chance of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are taking Menest. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of endometrial cancer.

      Do not take Menest alone to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia (an illness involving confusion, loss of memory, and impaired judgment). Taking Menest alone may increase your chance of a stroke, blood clots, or dementia.

      Do not take Menest in combination with progestin to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Taking Menest in combination with progestin may increase your chance of a heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or dementia. Taking Menest in combination with progestin may also increase your chance of developing breast cancer.

      More common side effects may include: headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, abdominal (stomach area) cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Vision problems, with symptoms such as double vision, bulging eyes, or sudden new severe headaches.

      Menest may also cause gallbladder problems, increased blood calcium levels, increased blood pressure, or increased triglyceride (type of fat in the blood) levels.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Menest if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Menest if you have unusual vaginal bleeding.

      Do not take Menest if you currently have or have had certain cancers (including breast cancer), blood clots, or liver problems.

      Do not take Menest if you had a recent stroke or a heart attack.

      Do not take Menest if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Menest. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma; seizures; diabetes; migraines; endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain); lupus (a disease that affects the immune system); heart, liver, thyroid, or kidney problems; high blood calcium levels; porphyria (a blood disorder); if you are scheduled for surgery; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Hot Flashes

      Women: The recommended dose is 1.25 milligrams (mg) once a day. Depending on when you had your last period, your healthcare provider will instruct you when to start your first dose of Menest.

      Vaginal Changes

      Women: The usual dose is 0.3 to 1.25 mg once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      Low Estrogen Levels

      Women: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your condition.

      Relieve Symptoms of Breast Cancer

      Adults: The recommended dose is 10 mg three times a day for at least 3 months.

      Relieve Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

      Men: The recommended dose is 1.25 to 2.5 mg three times a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as need, until the desired effect is achieved.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Menest exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Menest without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Estrogens should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment only as long as needed. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Menest.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become pregnant while you are taking Menest.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Menest is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Menest with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not become pregnant while you are taking Menest. The ingredients in Menest may be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Menest, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
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