Important Safety Concerns With Alora

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Alora

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Alora include the following:
 
  • For women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy), taking Alora alone (without a progestin) increases the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). Women who still have a uterus should take Alora with a progestin medication.
     
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding (such as heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods) while taking Alora, as this may be a sign of precancerous or cancerous changes in the uterus. Your healthcare provider can perform the necessary tests to rule out cancer.
     
  • Estrogen drugs, used with or without a progestin, may increase the risk of breast cancer. Proper screening and monitoring as determined by your healthcare provider, such as yearly mammograms and monthly self breast exams, is recommended.
     
  • Estrogens should never be used to prevent heart disease (see Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Health), as they are not effective for this use.
     
  • Studies have shown that estrogen hormone replacement therapy (such as Alora) increases the risk of strokes and blood clots in the legs.
     
  • Your healthcare provider should make sure that you are appropriately treated for any risk factors for heart disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or smoking) or blood clots before you take Alora. When possible, the drug should be stopped four to six weeks before many surgeries in order to help prevent blood clots.
     
  • Estrogen drugs, used with or without a progestin, seem to increase the risk of dementia. In no case should Alora be used to prevent or treat dementia, as it is not effective for this use.
     
  • Alora may worsen epilepsy, porphyria, asthma, diabetes, migraine headaches, lupus, and hepatic hemangiomas.
     
  • Women who take estrogen (such as that in Alora) have an increased risk for gallbladder disease.
     
  • Let your healthcare provider know right away if you notice any vision changes. This can signal a blood clot in the retina, one of the possible Alora side effects.
     
  • Alora can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) or high triglycerides in some women. Your healthcare provider should monitor you for these problems while you are taking the drug.
     
  • If you have had jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin) due to estrogens or pregnancy, Alora could cause similar problems to recur. If this happens, your healthcare provider will probably advise you to stop taking the drug.
     
  • If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Alora may increase your body's requirement for thyroid hormones. Your healthcare provider should monitor you and adjust the dose of your thyroid medications as necessary.
     
  • Alora can cause fluid retention, which can cause problems for people with congestive heart failure (CHF) or kidney problems.
     
  • The medication should be used with caution in people who have low calcium levels in the blood (known medically as hypocalcemia).
     
  • It is not clear whether Alora increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Some studies have shown an increased risk, while others have not.
     
  • Alora can make endometriosis symptoms worse.
     
  • Alora can interact with a number of different medications (see Alora Drug Interactions).
     
  • The medication should not be used during pregnancy (see Alora and Pregnancy).
     
  • Alora does pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Alora and Breastfeeding).
     
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