Menopause Home > Prempro Side Effects

In most cases, women tolerate Prempro well and do not experience any serious side effects. Prempro, however, can cause problems, such as headaches, back pain, and joint pain. These side effects are typically mild and easily treated. However, you should notify your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any serious reactions, such as chest pain, vision changes, or heavy vaginal bleeding.

An Introduction to Prempro Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Prempro™ (conjugated estrogens/medroxyprogesterone). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most women tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Prempro. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Prempro side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects With Prempro

Prempro has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to those that occurred in another group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients).
As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common side effects of Prempro included:
  • Breast pain -- in up to 38 percent of women
  • Headaches -- up to 36 percent
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 21 percent
  • Back pain -- up to 14 percent
  • Joint pain -- up to 13 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 11 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 10 percent of people) included:
  • Accidental injury
  • Sinus infections
  • Gas
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • General weakness
  • Coughing
  • Yeast infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Leg cramps
  • Milky white vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding (bleeding and spotting are more common at first and become less common over time)
  • Dizziness
  • Breast enlargement.
Contrary to what you may read on the Internet, weight gain is not a typical Prempro side effect (see Prempro and Weight Gain).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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