Safety Concerns With Menest
Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using Menest include the following:
- For women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy), taking Menest 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 Menest with a progestin medication.
- 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 Menest. Studies have shown that estrogen hormone replacement therapy (such as Menest) increases the risk of strokes and blood clots in the legs.
- Menest 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.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding (such as very heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods) while taking Menest, 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, Menest should be stopped four to six weeks before many surgeries, in order to help prevent blood clots.
- Estrogen drugs (such as Menest) 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 breast self-exams, is recommended.
- Estrogen drugs (such as Menest) used with or without a progestin seem to increase the risk of dementia. In no case should Menest be used to prevent or treat dementia (it is not effective for this use).
- Women who take estrogen (such as Menest) 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 Menest.
- Menest 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 Menest will cause similar problems to recur. If this happens, your healthcare provider will probably advise you to stop taking Menest.
- If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Menest 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.
- Menest can cause fluid retention. This can cause problems for people with congestive heart failure (CHF) or kidney problems.
- Menest should be used with caution in people who have low calcium levels in the blood (known medically as hypocalcemia).
- It is not clear whether Menest increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Some studies have shown an increased risk, while others have not.
- Menest can make endometriosis symptoms worse.
- Menest can interact with a number of different medications (see Menest Drug Interactions for more information).
- Menest should not be used during pregnancy (see Menest and Pregnancy).
- Menest does 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 Menest and Breastfeeding).