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Clinical studies on Prempro and weight gain have suggested that this medication probably does not cause weight gain. Although women often gain weight while taking medications such as Prempro, this is likely due to factors such as a poor diet and inactivity. If you are taking Prempro and weight gain becomes a problem, try limiting your alcohol intake and eating a heart-healthy diet.

Does Prempro Cause Weight Gain?

Prempro™ (conjugated estrogens/medroxyprogesterone) is a prescription hormone replacement medication. Contrary to popular belief, Prempro probably does not cause weight gain for most women.

Prempro, Weight Gain, and Clinical Studies

Clinical studies have indicated that Prempro likely does not cause weight gain, especially when used at the lower dosages that are currently recommended. Although women who are taking the drug sometimes gain weight, this weight gain is probably not caused by the medication. In several studies, there were no significant differences in weight gain between women who took Prempro (or similar medications) and those who did not. While it may be easy to blame weight gain on Prempro, the real causes are probably poor diet, inactivity, and other factors.
It should be noted that hormones can occasionally cause water retention. Because weight gain (especially rapid weight gain) is a sign of fluid retention, it is possible that Prempro could cause water weight gain. While this is not usually dangerous, it can cause problems in some people, such as those with congestive heart failure, or CHF.

Prempro and Weight Gain: Suggestions

If you are noticing weight gain while taking Prempro, there are some things you can do to get your weight back under control. Some suggestions include:
  • Limit your intake of alcohol or other "empty" calories (such as full-sugar soda, candy, and desserts).
  • Participate in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include:
    • Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
    • Limited amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. 
Also, if you are noticing weight gain with Prempro, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for dealing with this. Your healthcare provider may also look for other causes of weight gain, such as certain types of medical conditions. If the weight gain continues, your healthcare provider may also suggest other lifestyle changes or recommend another menopause treatment.
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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