Safety Concerns With CombiPatch
Specific Precautions and Warnings for CombiPatch
Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using CombiPatch include the following:
- Estrogen/progestin drugs (like CombiPatch) may increase the risk of breast cancer. Proper screening and monitoring (as determined by your healthcare provider), such as yearly mammograms and monthly breast self-exams, is recommended.
- Studies have also shown that estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy (such as CombiPatch) increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the legs and lungs. In no case should CombiPatch be used to prevent heart disease (see Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Health for more information), as it is not effective for this use.
- Your healthcare provider should make sure that you are appropriately treated for any risk factors for heart disease, strokes, or blood clots (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, lupus, or smoking) before you use CombiPatch.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding (such as very heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods) while using CombiPatch, 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.
- When possible, CombiPatch should be stopped four to six weeks before many surgeries, in order to help prevent blood clots.
- Estrogen-containing drugs (such as CombiPatch) seem to increase the risk of dementia. In no case should CombiPatch be used to prevent or treat dementia (it is not effective for this use).
- CombiPatch should be used with caution in people who have low calcium levels in the blood (known medically as hypocalcemia).
- Women who take estrogen-containing medications like CombiPatch 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, a possible side effect of CombiPatch.
- CombiPatch can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) or high triglycerides in some women. Your healthcare provider should monitor you for these problems.
- If you have had jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin) due to estrogens or pregnancy in the past, it is possible that CombiPatch will cause similar problems to recur. If this happens, your healthcare provider will probably advise you to stop using CombiPatch.
- If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), CombiPatch 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.
- CombiPatch may worsen epilepsy, porphyria, asthma, diabetes, migraine headaches, lupus, and hepatic hemangiomas.
- CombiPatch can cause fluid retention. This can cause problems for people with congestive heart failure (CHF) or kidney problems.
- It is not clear whether CombiPatch increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Some studies have shown an increased risk, while others have not.
- CombiPatch can make endometriosis symptoms worse.
- CombiPatch can interact with a number of different medications (see CombiPatch Drug Interactions for more information).
- CombiPatch should not be used during pregnancy (see CombiPatch and Pregnancy).
- The hormones in CombiPatch pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see CombiPatch and Breastfeeding).