Specific Safety Issues With Ogen
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Ogen include the following:
- Ogen should never be used to prevent heart disease (see Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Health for more information), as it is not effective for this use.
- For women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy), taking Ogen 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 Ogen 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 Ogen, 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.
- Studies have shown that estrogen hormone replacement therapy 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 or blood clots before you take Ogen. Possible risk factors include:
- When possible, Ogen should be stopped four to six weeks before many surgeries in order to help prevent blood clots.
- Estrogen drugs, 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.
- Estrogen drugs, with or without a progestin, seem to increase the risk of dementia. In no case should Ogen be used to prevent or treat dementia, as it is not effective for this use.
- Ogen may worsen epilepsy, porphyria, asthma, diabetes, migraine headaches, lupus, and hepatic hemangiomas.
- Women who take estrogen have an increased risk for gallbladder disease.
- Let your healthcare provider know right away if you notice any vision changes while taking the drug. This can signal a blood clot in the retina, a possible side effect of Ogen.
- Ogen 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 in the past, Ogen could cause similar problems to recur. If this happens, your healthcare provider will probably advise you to stop taking it.
- If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Ogen 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.
- Ogen can cause fluid retention. This 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 if Ogen increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Some studies have shown an increased risk, while others have not.
- The medication can make endometriosis symptoms worse.
- Ogen can interact with a number of different medications (see Ogen Drug Interactions).
- Ogen should not be used during pregnancy (see Ogen and Pregnancy).
- Ogen 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 Ogen and Breastfeeding).