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Women’s Health

Women’s Health
Therapies for women’s health conditions.

Women’s Health Medications

Please select a product from the list to view its approved indications as well as the link to its full prescribing information. The list is not an all-inclusive list of Pfizer medications in a therapeutic area and inclusion of a product within this list should not suggest it is approved for a broad therapeutic area. Please refer to each medication’s individual prescribing information for specific details.

DEPO-PROVERA® CI (medroxyprogesterone acetate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DEPO-PROVERA safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DEPO-PROVERA.

WARNING: LOSS OF BONE MINERAL DENSITY

Women who use Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection may lose significant bone mineral density. Bone loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible.

It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection during adolescence or early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion, will reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk for osteoporotic fracture in later life.

Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection should not be used as a long-term birth control method (i.e., longer than 2 years) unless other birth control methods are considered inadequate [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

The use of Depo-Provera CI is contraindicated in the following conditions:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Loss of Bone Mineral Density

Use of Depo-Provera CI reduces serum estrogen levels and is associated with significant loss of bone mineral density (BMD). This loss of BMD is of particular concern during adolescence and early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion. It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera CI by younger women will reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk for osteoporotic fracture in later life.

After discontinuing Depo-Provera CI in adolescents, mean BMD loss at total hip and femoral neck did not fully recover by 60 months (240 weeks) post-treatment [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. Similarly, in adults, there was only partial recovery of mean BMD at total hip, femoral neck and lumbar spine towards baseline by 24 months post-treatment. [See Clinical Studies (14.2).]

Depo-Provera CI should not be used as a long-term birth control method (i.e., longer than 2 years) unless other birth control methods are considered inadequate. BMD should be evaluated when a woman needs to continue to use Depo-Provera CI long-term. In adolescents, interpretation of BMD results should take into account patient age and skeletal maturity.

Other birth control methods should be considered in the risk/benefit analysis for the use of Depo-Provera CI in women with osteoporosis risk factors. Depo-Provera CI can pose an additional risk in patients with risk factors for osteoporosis (e.g., metabolic bone disease, chronic alcohol and/or tobacco use, anorexia nervosa, strong family history of osteoporosis or chronic use of drugs that can reduce bone mass such as anticonvulsants or corticosteroids). Although there are no studies addressing whether calcium and Vitamin-D may lessen BMD loss in women using Depo-Provera CI, all patients should have adequate calcium and Vitamin D intake.

5.2 Thromboembolic Disorders

There have been reports of serious thrombotic events in women using Depo-Provera CI (150 mg). However, Depo-Provera CI has not been causally associated with the induction of thrombotic or thromboembolic disorders. Any patient who develops thrombosis while undergoing therapy with Depo-Provera CI should discontinue treatment unless she has no other acceptable options for birth control.

Do not re-administer Depo-Provera CI pending examination if there is a sudden partial or complete loss of vision or if there is a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. Do not re-administer if examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions.

5.3 Cancer Risks

Breast Cancer

Women who have or have had a history of breast cancer should not use hormonal contraceptives, including Depo-Provera CI, because breast cancer may be hormonally sensitive [see Contraindications (4)]. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should be monitored with particular care.

The results of five large case-control studies1, 2, 3, 4, 5 assessing the association between depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) use and the risk of breast cancer are summarized in Figure 1. Three of the studies suggest a slightly increased risk of breast cancer in the overall population of users; these increased risks were statistically significant in one study. One recent US study1 evaluated the recency and duration of use and found a statistically significantly increased risk of breast cancer in recent users (defined as last use within the past five years) who used DMPA for 12 months or longer; this is consistent with results of a previous study4.

Figure 1 Risk estimates for breast cancer in DMPA users

Odds ratio estimates were adjusted for the following covariates:
Lee et al. (1987): age, parity, and socioeconomic status.
Paul et al. (1989): age, parity, ethnic group, and year of interview.
WHO (1991): age, center, and age at first live birth.
Shapiro et al. (2000): age, ethnic group, socioeconomic status, and any combined estrogen/progestogen oral contraceptive use.
Li et al. (2012): age, year, BMI, duration of OC use, number of full-term pregnancies, family history of breast cancer, and history of screening mammography.

Figure 1

Based on the published SEER-18 2011 incidence rate (age-adjusted to the 2000 US Standard Population ) of breast cancer for US women, all races, age 20 to 49 years6, a doubling of risk would increase the incidence of breast cancer in women who use Depo-Provera CI from about 72 to about 144 cases per 100,000 women.

Cervical Cancer

A statistically nonsignificant increase in RR estimates of invasive squamous-cell cervical cancer has been associated with the use of Depo-Provera CI in women who were first exposed before the age of 35 years (RR 1.22 to 1.28 and 95% CI 0.93 to 1.70). The overall, nonsignificant relative rate of invasive squamous-cell cervical cancer in women who ever used Depo-Provera CI was estimated to be 1.11 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.29). No trends in risk with duration of use or times since initial or most recent exposure were observed.

Other Cancers

Long-term case-controlled surveillance of users of Depo-Provera CI found no overall increased risk of ovarian or liver cancer.

5.4 Ectopic Pregnancy

Be alert to the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy among women using Depo-Provera CI who become pregnant or complain of severe abdominal pain.

5.5 Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactoid Reaction

Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reaction have been reported with the use of Depo-Provera CI. Institute emergency medical treatment if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.6 Injection Site Reactions

Injection site reactions have been reported with use of Depo-Provera CI [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Persistent injection site reactions may occur after administration of Depo-Provera CI due to inadvertent subcutaneous administration or release of the drug into the subcutaneous space while removing the needle [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

5.7 Liver Function

Discontinue Depo-Provera CI use if jaundice or acute or chronic disturbances of liver function develop. Do not resume use until markers of liver function return to normal and Depo-Provera CI causation has been excluded.

5.8 Convulsions

There have been a few reported cases of convulsions in patients who were treated with Depo-Provera CI. Association with drug use or pre-existing conditions is not clear.

5.9 Depression

Monitor patients who have a history of depression and do not readminister Depo-Provera CI if depression recurs.

5.10 Bleeding Irregularities

Most women using Depo-Provera CI experience disruption of menstrual bleeding patterns. Altered menstrual bleeding patterns include amenorrhea, irregular or unpredictable bleeding or spotting, prolonged spotting or bleeding, and heavy bleeding. Rule out the possibility of organic pathology if abnormal bleeding persists or is severe, and institute appropriate treatment.

As women continue using Depo-Provera CI, fewer experience irregular bleeding and more experience amenorrhea. In clinical studies of Depo-Provera CI, by month 12 amenorrhea was reported by 55% of women, and by month 24, amenorrhea was reported by 68% of women using Depo-Provera CI.

5.11 Weight Gain

Women tend to gain weight while on therapy with Depo-Provera CI. From an initial average body weight of 136 lb, women who completed 1 year of therapy with Depo-Provera CI gained an average of 5.4 lb. Women who completed 2 years of therapy gained an average of 8.1 lb. Women who completed 4 years gained an average of 13.8 lb. Women who completed 6 years gained an average of 16.5 lb. Two percent of women withdrew from a large-scale clinical trial because of excessive weight gain.

5.12 Carbohydrate Metabolism

A decrease in glucose tolerance has been observed in some patients on Depo-Provera CI treatment. Monitor diabetic patients carefully while receiving Depo-Provera CI.

5.13 Lactation

Detectable amounts of drug have been identified in the milk of mothers receiving Depo-Provera CI. In nursing mothers treated with Depo-Provera CI, milk composition, quality, and amount are not adversely affected. Neonates and infants exposed to medroxyprogesterone from breast milk have been studied for developmental and behavioral effects through puberty. No adverse effects have been noted.

5.14 Fluid Retention

Because progestational drugs including Depo-Provera CI may cause some degree of fluid retention, monitor patients with conditions that might be influenced by this condition, such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, and cardiac or renal dysfunction.

5.15 Return of Fertility

Return to ovulation and fertility is likely to be delayed after stopping Depo-Provera CI. In a large US study of women who discontinued use of Depo-Provera CI to become pregnant, data are available for 61% of them. Of the 188 women who discontinued the study to become pregnant, 114 became pregnant. Based on Life-Table analysis of these data, it is expected that 68% of women who do become pregnant may conceive within 12 months, 83% may conceive within 15 months, and 93% may conceive within 18 months from the last injection. The median time to conception for those who do conceive is 10 months following the last injection with a range of 4 to 31 months, and is unrelated to the duration of use. No data are available for 39% of the patients who discontinued Depo-Provera CI to become pregnant and who were lost to follow-up or changed their mind.

5.16 Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Patients should be counseled that Depo-Provera CI does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

5.17 Pregnancy

Although Depo-Provera CI should not be used during pregnancy, there appears to be little or no increased risk of birth defects in women who have inadvertently been exposed to medroxyprogesterone acetate injections in early pregnancy. Neonates exposed to medroxyprogesterone acetate in-utero and followed to adolescence showed no evidence of any adverse effects on their health including their physical, intellectual, sexual or social development.

5.18 Monitoring

A woman who is taking hormonal contraceptive should have a yearly visit with her healthcare provider for a blood pressure check and for other indicated healthcare.

5.19 Interference with Laboratory Tests

The use of Depo-Provera CI may change the results of some laboratory tests, such as coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, and binding proteins. [See Drug Interactions (7.2).]

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following important adverse reactions observed with the use of Depo-Provera CI are discussed in greater detail in the Warnings and Precautions section (5):

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In the two clinical trials with Depo-Provera CI, over 3,900 women, who were treated for up to 7 years, reported the following adverse reactions, which may or may not be related to the use of Depo-Provera CI. The population studied ranges in age from 15 to 51 years, of which 46% were White, 50% Non-White, and 4.9% Unknown race. The patients received 150 mg Depo-Provera CI every 3-months (90 days). The median study duration was 13 months with a range of 1–84 months. Fifty eight percent of patients remained in the study after 13 months and 34% after 24 months.

Table 1 Adverse Reactions that Were Reported by More than 5% of Subjects
Body System* Adverse Reactions [Incidence (%)]
*
Body System represented from COSTART medical dictionary.
Body as a Whole Headache (16.5%)
Abdominal pain/discomfort (11.2%)
Metabolic/Nutritional Increased weight> 10lbs at 24 months (37.7%)
Nervous Nervousness (10.8%)
Dizziness (5.6%)
Libido decreased (5.5%)
Urogenital Menstrual irregularities:
(bleeding (57.3% at 12 months, 32.1% at 24 months)
amenorrhea (55% at 12 months, 68% at 24 months)
Table 2 Adverse Reactions that Were Reported by between 1 and 5% of Subjects
Body System* Adverse Reactions [Incidence (%)]
*
Body System represented from COSTART medical dictionary.
Body as a Whole Asthenia/fatigue (4.2%)
Backache (2.2%)
Dysmenorrhea (1.7%)
Hot flashes (1.0%)
Digestive Nausea (3.3%)
Bloating (2.3%)
Metabolic/Nutritional Edema (2.2%)
Musculoskeletal Leg cramps (3.7%)
Arthralgia (1.0%)
Nervous Depression (1.5%)
Insomnia (1.0%)
Skin and Appendages Acne (1.2%)
No hair growth/alopecia (1.1%)
Rash (1.1%)
Urogenital Leukorrhea (2.9%)
Breast pain (2.8%)
Vaginitis (1.2%)

Adverse reactions leading to study discontinuation in ≥ 2% of subjects: bleeding (8.2%), amenorrhea (2.1%), weight gain (2.0%)

6.2 Post-marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of Depo-Provera CI. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

There have been cases of osteoporosis including osteoporotic fractures reported post-marketing in patients taking Depo-Provera CI.

Table 3 Adverse Reactions Reported during Post-Marketing Experience
Body System* Adverse Reactions
*
Body System represented from COSTART medical dictionary.
Injection site abscess and injection site infections have been reported; therefore strict aseptic injection technique should be followed when administering Depo Provera CI in order to avoid injection site infections [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].
Body as a Whole Chest pain, Allergic reactions including angioedema, Fever, Injection site abscess, Injection site infection, Injection site nodule/lump, Injection site pain/tenderness, Injection site persistent atrophy/indentation/dimpling, Injection-site reaction, Lipodystrophy acquired, Chills, Axillary swelling
Cardiovascular Syncope, Tachycardia, Thrombophlebitis, Deep vein thrombosis, Pulmonary embolus, Varicose veins
Digestive Changes in appetite, Gastrointestinal disturbances, Jaundice, Excessive thirst, Rectal bleeding
Hematologic and Lymphatic Anemia, Blood dyscrasia
Musculoskeletal Osteoporosis
Neoplasms Cervical cancer, Breast cancer
Nervous Paralysis, Facial palsy, Paresthesia, Drowsiness
Respiratory Dyspnea and asthma, Hoarseness
Skin and Appendages Hirsutism, Excessive sweating and body odor, Dry skin, Scleroderma
Urogenital Lack of return to fertility, Unexpected pregnancy, Prevention of lactation, Changes in breast size, Breast lumps or nipple bleeding, Galactorrhea, Melasma, Chloasma, Increased libido, Uterine hyperplasia, Genitourinary infections, Vaginal cysts, Dyspareunia

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Depo-Provera CI is indicated only for the prevention of pregnancy. The loss of bone mineral density (BMD) in women of all ages and the impact on peak bone mass in adolescents should be considered, along with the decrease in BMD that occurs during pregnancy and/or lactation, in the risk/benefit assessment for women who use Depo-Provera CI long-term [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

DEPO-PROVERA® 400 (medroxyprogesterone acetate - DEPO-PROVERA 400)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DEPO-PROVERA 400 safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DEPO-PROVERA 400.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. Active thrombophlebitis, or current or past history of thromboembolic disorders, or cerebral vascular disease
  2. Known sensitivity to DEPO-PROVERA (medroxyprogesterone acetate or any of its other ingredients).

WARNINGS

1. Thromboembolic Disorders

The physician should be alert to the earliest manifestations of thrombotic disorder (thrombophlebitis, cerebrovascular disorder, pulmonary embolism, and retinal thrombosis). Should any of these occur or be suspected, the drug should be discontinued immediately.

2. Ocular Disorders

Medication should be discontinued pending examination if there is a sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or if there is a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, medication should be withdrawn.

3. Multi-dose Use

Multi-dose use of DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension from a single vial requires special care to avoid contamination. Although initially sterile, any multi-dose use of vials may lead to contamination unless strict aseptic technique is observed.


PRECAUTIONS

1. Physical Examination

It is good medical practice for all women to have annual history and physical examinations, including women using DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension. The physical examination, however, may be deferred until after initiation of DEPO-PROVERA if requested by the woman and judged appropriate by the clinician. The physical examination should include special reference to blood pressure, breasts, abdomen and pelvic organs, including cervical cytology and relevant laboratory tests. In case of undiagnosed, persistent or recurrent abnormal vaginal bleeding, appropriate measures should be conducted to rule out malignancy.

2. Breast Cancer

Women who have or have had a history of breast cancer should be advised against the use of DEPO-PROVERA, as breast cancer may be hormonally sensitive. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should be monitored with particular care.

3. Fluid Retention

Because progestational drugs may cause some degree of fluid retention, conditions which might be influenced by this condition, such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cardiac or renal dysfunction, require careful observation.

4.Vaginal Bleeding

In cases of breakthrough bleeding, as in all cases of irregular bleeding per vaginum, nonfunctional causes should be borne in mind and adequate diagnostic measures undertaken.

5. Depression

Patients who have a history of psychic depression should be carefully observed and the drug discontinued if the depression recurs to a serious degree.

6.Masking of Climacteric

The age of the patient constitutes no absolute limiting factor although treatment with progestin may mask the onset of the climacteric.

7. Use with Estrogen

Studies of the addition of a progestin product to an estrogen replacement regimen for seven or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia. Morphological and biochemical studies of endometrial suggest that 10–13 days of a progestin are needed to provide maximal maturation of the endometrium and to eliminate any hyperplastic changes. Whether this will provide protection from endometrial carcinoma has not been clearly established.

There are possible risks which may be associated with the inclusion of progestin in estrogen replacement regimen, including adverse effects on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. The dosage used may be important in minimizing these adverse effects.

A decrease in glucose tolerance has been observed in a small percentage of patients on estrogen-progestin combination treatment. The mechanism of this decrease is obscure. For this reason, diabetic patients should be carefully observed while receiving such therapy.

8. Hepatic Dysfunction

Monitor patients for hepatic dysfunction periodically and temporarily interrupt DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension use if the patient develops hepatic dysfunction. Do not resume use until markers of liver function return to normal.

9. Decrease in Bone Mineral Density

Studies in pre-menopausal women show that medroxyprogesterone acetate given as 150 mg intramuscularly every three months reduces serum estrogen levels and is associated with loss of bone mineral density (BMD). It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera during adolescence and early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion, will reduce peak bone mass. An evaluation of BMD may be appropriate in some patients who use higher doses of medroxyprogesterone acetate for long-term treatment of endometrial or renal carcinoma.

10. Effects on the Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

Some patients receiving medroxyprogesterone acetate may exhibit suppressed adrenal function. Medroxyprogesterone acetate may have cortisol-like glucocorticoid activity and provide negative feedback to the hypothalamus or pituitary. This may result in decreased plasma cortisol levels, decreased cortisol secretion, and low plasma ACTH levels.

The use of DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension may, due to its cortisol-like glucocorticoid activity, also produce Cushingoid symptoms such as weight gain, edema/fluid retention, and facial swelling.

11. Prolonged Use

The effect of prolonged use of DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension at the recommended doses on pituitary, ovarian, adrenal, hepatic, and uterine function is not known.

12. Interference with Laboratory Tests

The use of DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension may change the results of some laboratory tests, such as coagulation factors, lipids, glucose tolerance, and binding proteins. [See LABORATORY TEST INTERACTIONS].

13. Multi-dose Use

When multi-dose vials are used, special care to prevent contamination of the contents is essential. There is some evidence that benzalkonium chloride is not an adequate antiseptic for sterilizing DEPO-PROVERA Sterile Aqueous Suspension multi-dose vials. A povidone-iodine solution or similar product is recommended to cleanse the vial top prior to aspiration of contents. [See WARNINGS].

14. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term intramuscular administration of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) has been shown to produce mammary tumors in beagle dogs. There is no evidence of a carcinogenic effect associated with the oral administration of MPA to rats and mice. Medroxyprogesterone acetate was not mutagenic in a battery of in vitro or in vivo genetic toxicity assays.

Medroxyprogesterone acetate at high doses is an anti-fertility drug and return to ovulation and fertility may be delayed after stopping treatment.

15. Pregnancy

Teratogenic effects

It is not known whether medroxyprogesterone acetate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Medroxyprogesterone acetate should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

16. Nursing Mothers

Published studies report the presence of medroxyprogesterone acetate in human milk. Caution should be exercised when medroxyprogesterone acetate is administered to a nursing woman.

17. Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy of DEPO- PROVERA for endometrial and renal carcinoma have not been established in pediatric patients.

Studies in pre-menopausal women show that Depo-Provera is associated with loss of BMD. It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera during adolescence and early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion, will reduce peak bone mass. (See PRECAUTIONS: Decrease in Bone Mineral Density)

ADVERSE REACTIONS

See PRECAUTIONS for possible adverse effects on the fetus

Reproductive System and Breast Disorders

breakthrough bleeding
spotting
change in menstrual flow
amenorrhea
changes in cervical erosion and cervical secretions
breast tenderness and galactorrhea
erectile dysfunction

Nervous System Disorders

headache
dizziness
somnolence
convulsions

Psychiatric Disorders

nervousness
euphoria
mental depression
insomnia

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions

edema
pyrexia
fatigue
malaise
injection site reaction, injection site pain/tenderness, injection site persistent atrophy/indentation/dimpling, lipodystrophy acquired, injection site nodule/lump

In a few instances there have been undesirable sequelae at the site of injection, such as residual lump, change in color of skin, or sterile abscess.

Investigations

change in weight (increase or decrease)

Hepatobiliary Disorders

cholestatic jaundice, including neonatal jaundice

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders

skin sensitivity reactions consisting of urticaria, pruritus, edema and generalized rash
acne, alopecia and hirsutism
rash (allergic) with and without pruritis

Immune System Disorders

anaphylactoid reactions and anaphylaxis
angioedema

Gastrointestinal Disorders

nausea

Endocrine Disorders

corticoid-like effects (e.g., Cushingoid syndrome)

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders

hypercalcemia

A statistically significant association has been demonstrated between use of estrogen-pro-gestin combination drugs and pulmonary embolism and cerebral thrombosis and embolism. For this reason patients on progestin therapy should be carefully observed. There is also evidence suggestive of an association with neuro-ocular lesions, e.g. retinal thrombosis and optic neuritis.

The following adverse reactions have been observed in patients receiving estrogen-progestin combination drugs:

rise in blood pressure in susceptible individuals
premenstrual syndrome
changes in libido
changes in appetite
cystitis-like syndrome
headache
nervousness
fatigue
backache
hirsutism
loss of scalp hair
erythema multiforma
erythema nodosum
hemorrhagic eruption
itching
dizziness

The following laboratory results may be altered by the use of estrogen-progestin combination drugs:

increased sulfobromophthalein retention and other hepatic function tests
coagulation tests: increase in prothrombin factors VII, VIII, IX, and X
metyrapone test
pregnanediol determinations
thyroid function: increase in PBI, and butanol extractable protein bound iodine and decrease in T3 uptake values

INDICATIONS AND USES

Adjunctive therapy and palliative treatment of inoperable, recurrent, and metastatic endometrial or renal carcinoma.

DUAVEE® (conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DUAVEE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DUAVEE.

WARNING: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, AND PROBABLE DEMENTIA

  • Women taking DUAVEE should not take additional estrogens [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. DUAVEE has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
  • Estrogen therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.4)]
  • The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
  • The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age and older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of conjugated estrogens and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DUAVEE is contraindicated in women with any of the following conditions:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Known, suspected, or past history of breast cancer
  • Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Active deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or history of these conditions
  • Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example, stroke, myocardial infarction) or history of these conditions
  • Hypersensitivity (for example, anaphylaxis, angioedema) to estrogens, bazedoxifene, or any ingredients
  • Known hepatic impairment or disease
  • Known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency or other known thrombophilic disorders
  • Pregnancy, women who may become pregnant, and nursing mothers. DUAVEE may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Drugs Containing Progestins, Estrogens or Estrogen Agonist/Antagonists

DUAVEE contains conjugated estrogens and bazedoxifene, an estrogen agonist/antagonist. Women taking DUAVEE should not take progestins, additional estrogens or additional estrogen agonist/antagonists.

5.2 Cardiovascular Disorders

Estrogen agonist/antagonists (including bazedoxifene, a component of DUAVEE) and estrogens individually are known to increase the risk of VTE.

An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. Should any of these occur or be suspected, DUAVEE should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or VTE (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily conjugated estrogens (CE) (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).

Should a stroke occur or be suspected, DUAVEE should be discontinued immediately [see Contraindications (4)].

Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as nonfatal myocardial infarction, silent myocardial infarction, or CHD death) was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE [DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE)] was increased for women receiving daily conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg)-alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

If feasible, DUAVEE should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization. Because immobilization increases the risk for venous thromboembolic events independent of therapy, DUAVEE should be discontinued prior to and during prolonged immobilization (e.g., post-surgical recovery, prolonged bed rest) and DUAVEE therapy should be resumed only after the patient is fully ambulatory. In addition, women taking DUAVEE should be advised to move about periodically during travel involving prolonged immobilization.

5.3 Malignant Neoplasms

Endometrial Cancer

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in women with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more of treatment. This risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

DUAVEE contains an estrogen agonist/antagonist. This component reduces the risk of endometrial hyperplasia that can occur with the conjugated estrogens component. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Women taking DUAVEE should not take additional estrogens as this may increase the risk of endometrial hyperplasia.

Clinical surveillance of all women taking DUAVEE is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding.

Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical study providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily conjugated estrogens (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily conjugated estrogen (0.625 mg)-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer (relative risk [RR] 0.80).

The use of estrogen-alone has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation. The effect of treatment with DUAVEE on the risk of breast cancer is unknown.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Ovarian Cancer

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

The effect of treatment with DUAVEE on the risk of ovarian cancer is unknown.

5.4 Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

5.5 Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

5.6 Visual Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, DUAVEE should be permanently discontinued.

5.7 Elevated Blood Pressure

In a small number of case reports in women receiving estrogens, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, a generalized effect of estrogens on blood pressure was not seen.

5.8 Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, treatment with estrogens may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of DUAVEE if pancreatitis occurs.

5.9 Hepatic Impairment and Past History of Cholestatic Jaundice

DUAVEE has not been studied in women with impaired liver function or past history of cholestatic jaundice.

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in women with impaired liver function.

On average, women with hepatic impairment treated with bazedoxifene alone showed a 4.3-fold increase in overall exposures compared with controls [see Use in Specific Populations (8.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised; and in the case of recurrence, DUAVEE should be discontinued. Use of DUAVEE in patients with hepatic impairment is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4)].

5.10 Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

5.11 Fluid Retention

Estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention. Because of this, patients who have conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as cardiac dysfunction or renal impairment, warrant careful observation when estrogens are prescribed. Use of DUAVEE in patients with renal impairment is not recommended [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

5.12 Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in women with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

5.13 Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.

5.14 Exacerbation of Other Conditions

Estrogens may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine or porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

5.15 Premenopausal Women

There is no indication for premenopausal use of DUAVEE. The efficacy and safety of DUAVEE in premenopausal women have not been established, and its use is not recommended.

5.16 Laboratory Tests

Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms.

5.17 Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.

Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay), or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.

Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, for example, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).

Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations, increased triglyceride levels.

Impaired glucose tolerance.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The safety of conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene was evaluated in four Phase 3 clinical trials ranging from 12 weeks to 24 months in duration and enrolling 6,210 postmenopausal women age 40 to 75 years (mean age 55 years). A total of 1,224 patients were treated with DUAVEE and 1,069 patients received placebo. Women enrolled in Studies 1 and 2 received calcium (600–1200 mg) and vitamin D (200–400 IU) daily, while women in Studies 3 and 4 received no calcium and vitamin D supplementation as part of the protocol.

The incidence of all-cause mortality was 0.0% in the DUAVEE group and 0.2% in the placebo group. The incidence of serious adverse reactions was 3.5% in the DUAVEE group and 4.8% in the placebo group. The percentage of patients who withdrew from treatment due to adverse reactions was 7.5% in the DUAVEE group and 10.0% in the placebo group. The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were hot flush, abdominal pain upper, and nausea.

The most commonly observed adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 5%) more frequently reported in women treated with DUAVEE than placebo are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions (Incidence ≥ 5%) More Common in the DUAVEE Treatment Group in Placebo-controlled Trials
DUAVEE (N=1224)
n (%)
Placebo (N=1069)
n (%)
Gastrointestinal disorders
Nausea 100 (8) 58 (5)
Diarrhea 96 (8) 57 (5)
Dyspepsia 84 (7) 59 (6)
Abdominal pain upper 81 (7) 58 (5)
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Muscle spasms 110 (9) 63 (6)
Neck pain 62 (5) 46 (4)
Nervous system disorders
Dizziness 65 (5) 37 (3)
Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders
Oropharyngeal pain 80 (7) 61 (6)

Venous thromboembolism: In the clinical studies with DUAVEE, the reporting rates for venous thromboembolism (deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and retinal vein thrombosis) were low in all treatment groups. Adverse reactions of venous thromboembolism were reported in 0.0% of patients treated with DUAVEE and 0.1% of patients treated with placebo. Due to the low rate of events in both groups, it is not possible to conclude that the risk of venous thromboembolism with DUAVEE is different from that seen with other estrogen therapies [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DUAVEE is indicated in women with a uterus for:

1.1 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vasomotor Symptoms Associated with Menopause

1.2 Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

1.3 Important Limitations of Use

  • Use DUAVEE for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman. Postmenopausal women should be re-evaluated periodically as clinically appropriate to determine if treatment is still necessary.
  • When prescribing solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, therapy should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis and non-estrogen medication should be carefully considered.

ESTRING® (estradiol)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ESTRING safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ESTRING.

WARNINGS: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER AND PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed and random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding. (See WARNINGS, Malignant Neoplasms, Endometrial Cancer.)

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders, and Probable Dementia.)

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg]-alone, relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders.)

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS)estrogen-alone ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia.)

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders.)

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Malignant Neoplasms, Breast Cancer.)

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE plus MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

ESTRING is contraindicated in women with any of the following conditions:

  1. Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.
  2. Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer.
  3. Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia.
  4. Active DVT, PE, or a history of these conditions.
  5. Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example, stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions.
  6. Known anaphylactic reaction or angioedema or hypersensitivity to ESTRING.
  7. Known liver impairment or disease.
  8. Known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency, or other known thrombophilic disorders.
  9. Known or suspected pregnancy.

WARNINGS

See BOXED WARNINGS

ESTRING is a vaginal administered product with low systemic absorption following continuous use for 3 months (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics, Absorption). However, the warnings, precautions, and adverse reactions associated with oral estrogen and/or progestin therapy should be considered in the absence of comparable data with other dosage forms of estrogens and/or progestins.

1. Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. An increased risk of stroke, DVT, PE, and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy. Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogens with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

a. Stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year one and persisted. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

b. Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on CHD events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI and CHD death) was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a statistically non-significant increased risk of CHD events reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years). An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average 66.7 years of age), in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study [HERS]), treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established CHD. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the combined continuous CE plus MPA treatment group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

c. Venous Thromboembolism

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE (DVT and PE) was increased for women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women receiving placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was observed during the first year and persisted. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

2. Malignant Neoplasms

a. Endometrial Cancer

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in a woman with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12-times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15 to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more. This risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women using estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding. There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

b. Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer (relative risk [RR] 0.80. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA.

In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)Consistent with the WHI clinical trial, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline in about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not generally found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation. All women should receive yearly breast exams by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

c. Ovarian Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77–3.24). The absolute risk for CE plus MPA was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

3. Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo. After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the CE-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE/MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE/MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19–2.60). Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

4. Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

5. Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

6. Visual abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be discontinued.

7. Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.


PRECAUTIONS

A. General

1. Addition of a progestin when a woman has not had a hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration, or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen alone regimens. These include a possible increased risk of breast cancer.

2. Elevated blood pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

3. Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

4. Hepatic impairment and/or past history of cholestatic jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

5. Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

6. Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in women with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

7. Fluid retention

Estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as a cardiac or renal impairment, warrant careful observation when estrogen-alone is prescribed.

8. Exacerbation of endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

9. Exacerbation of other conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

10. Location of ESTRING

Some women have experienced moving or gliding of ESTRING within the vagina. Instances of ESTRING being expelled from the vagina in connection with moving the bowels, strain, or constipation have been reported. If this occurs, ESTRING can be rinsed in lukewarm water and reinserted into the vagina by the patient.

11. Vaginal Irritation

ESTRING may not be suitable for women with narrow, short, or stenosed vaginas. Narrow vagina, vaginal stenosis, prolapse, and vaginal infections are conditions that make the vagina more susceptible to ESTRING-caused irritation or ulceration. Women with signs or symptoms of vaginal irritation should alert their physician.

12. Vaginal Infection

Vaginal infection is generally more common in postmenopausal women due to the lack of the normal flora of fertile women, especially lactobacillus, and the subsequent higher pH. Vaginal infections should be treated with appropriate antimicrobial therapy before initiation of ESTRING. If a vaginal infection develops during use of ESTRING, then ESTRING should be removed and reinserted only after the infection has been appropriately treated.

B. Patient Information

Physicians are advised to discuss the PATIENT INFORMATION leaflet with women for whom they prescribe ESTRING.

C. Laboratory Tests

Serum FSH and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.

D. Drug and Laboratory Test Interactions

  1. Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of anti-factor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.
  2. Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.
  3. Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, (i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin [CBG], sex hormone-binding globulin [SHBG]), leading to increased circulating corticosteroid and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).
  4. Increased plasma high-density (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density (LDL) cholesterol concentration, increased triglycerides levels.
  5. Impaired glucose tolerance.

E. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

Long-term, continuous administration of natural and synthetic estrogens in certain animal species increases the frequency of carcinomas of the breast, uterus, cervix, vagina, testes and liver.

F. Pregnancy

ESTRING should not be used during pregnancy. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS.)

There appears to be little or no increased risk of birth defects in children born to women who have used estrogens and progestins as an oral contraceptive inadvertently during early pregnancy.

G. Nursing Mothers

ESTRING should not be used during lactation. Estrogen administration to nursing women has been shown to decrease the quantity and quality of the breast milk. Detectable amounts of estrogens have been identified in the breast milk of mothers receiving estrogens. Caution should be exercised when ESTRING is administered to a nursing woman.

H. Pediatric Use

ESTRING is not indicated in children. Clinical studies have not been conducted in the pediatric population.

I. Geriatric Use

There have not been sufficient numbers of geriatric patients involved in studies utilizing ESTRING to determine whether those over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to ESTRING.

The Women's Health Initiative Study

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg]-alone versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of stroke in women greater than 65 years of age. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg] plus MPA [2.5 mg] versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of nonfatal stroke and invasive breast cancer in women greater than 65 years of age. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study

In the WHIMS ancillary studies of postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age, there was an increased risk of developing probable dementia in women receiving estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin when compared to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In the two ESTRING controlled studies, discontinuation of treatment due to an adverse event was required by 5.4 percent of patients receiving ESTRING and 3.9 percent of patients receiving conjugated estrogens vaginal cream. The most common reasons for withdrawal from ESTRING treatment due to an adverse event were vaginal discomfort and gastrointestinal symptoms.

The adverse events reported with a frequency of 3 percent or greater in the two pivotal controlled studies by patients receiving ESTRING or conjugated estrogens vaginal cream are listed in Table 4.

Table 4: Adverse Events Reported by 3 Percent or More of Patients Receiving Either ESTRING or Conjugated Estrogens Vaginal Cream in Two Pivotal Controlled Studies
ADVERSE EVENT ESTRING
(n = 257)
%
Conjugated Estrogens Vaginal Cream
(n = 129)
%
Musculoskeletal
  Back Pain 6 8
  Arthritis 4 2
  Arthralgia 3 5
  Skeletal Pain 2 4
CNS/Peripheral Nervous System
  Headache 13 16
Psychiatric
  Insomnia 4 0
Gastrointestinal
  Abdominal Pain 4 2
  Nausea 3 2
Respiratory
  Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 5 6
  Sinusitis 4 3
  Pharyngitis 1 3
Urinary
  Urinary Tract Infection 2 7
Female Reproductive
  Leukorrhea 7 3
  Vaginitis 5 2
  Vaginal Discomfort/Pain 5 5
  Vaginal Hemorrhage 4 5
  Asymptomatic Genital Bacterial Growth 4 6
  Breast Pain 1 7
Resistance Mechanisms
  Genital Moniliasis 6 7
Body as a Whole
  Flu-Like Symptoms 3 2
  Hot Flushes 2 3
  Allergy 1 4
Miscellaneous
  Family Stress 2 3

Postmarketing Experience

Cases of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) have been reported in women using vaginal rings. TSS is a rare, but serious disease that may cause death. Warning signs of TSS include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, dizziness, faintness, or a sunburn-rash on face and body.

Vaginal erosion, vaginal ulceration, adherence of the vaginal ring to the vaginal wall:

  • Cases of ring adherence to the vaginal wall, making ring removal difficult, have occurred. Some cases have required surgical removal of vaginal rings.
  • Cases of vaginal erosion and vaginal ulceration that may manifest as vaginal irritation, erythema. abrasion or spotting have occurred.

Vaginal wall ulceration or erosion should be carefully evaluated. If an ulceration or erosion has occurred, consideration should be given to leaving the ring out and not replacing it until healing is complete in order to prevent the ring from adhering to the healing tissue.

Cases of bowel obstruction and vaginal ring use have been reported. Persistent abdominal complaints consistent with obstruction should be carefully evaluated.

Cases of hypersensitivity have been reported.

The following additional adverse events were reported at least once by patients receiving ESTRING in the worldwide clinical program, which includes controlled and uncontrolled studies. A causal relationship with ESTRING has not been established.

Body as a Whole: allergic reaction

CNS/Peripheral Nervous System: dizziness

Gastrointestinal: enlarged abdomen, vomiting

Metabolic/Nutritional Disorders: weight decrease or increase

Musculoskeletal: arthropathy (including arthrosis)

Psychiatric: depression, decreased libido, nervousness

Reproductive: breast engorgement, breast enlargement, intermenstrual bleeding, genital edema, vulval disorder

Skin/Appendages: pruritus, pruritus ani

Urinary: micturition frequency, urethral disorder

Vascular: thrombophlebitis

Vision: abnormal vision

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

ESTRING is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause.

PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use PREMARIN safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for PREMARIN.

WARNING: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER AND PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3), and Clinical Studies (14.5, 14.6)].

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg]-alone, relative to placebo[see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Clinical Studies (14.5)].

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3), and Clinical Studies (14.5, 14.6)].

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Clinical Studies (14.5)].

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI, reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.5)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

PREMARIN therapy is contraindicated in individuals with any of the following conditions:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer except in appropriately selected patients being treated for metastatic disease
  • Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Active DVT, PE, or a history of these conditions
  • Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions
  • Known anaphylactic reaction or angioedema with Premarin
  • Known liver impairment or disease
  • Known protein C, protein S or antithrombin deficiency, or other known thrombophilic disorders.
  • Known or suspected pregnancy

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. An increased risk of PE, DVT, stroke and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy. Should any of these events occur or be suspected, estrogen with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).1

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years) [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted.1 Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, or CHD death) was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo2 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).1

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a statistically non-significant increased risk of CHD events reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years).1 An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average 66.7 years of age), in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study; HERS), treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established CHD. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE (DVT and PE), was increased for women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years3 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first year and persisted4 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

5.2 Malignant Neoplasms

Endometrial Cancer

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in a woman with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more, and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women using estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding. There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to postmenopausal estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [relative risk (RR) 0.80]5 [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo.6 Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare, with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors, such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].

Consistent with the WHI clinical trial, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms, requiring further evaluation.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Ovarian Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI 0.77–3.24). The absolute risk for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.7

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

5.3 Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years8[see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo. After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI 1.19–2.60). Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

5.4 Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

5.5 Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

5.6 Visual Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be permanently discontinued.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reaction and Angioedema

Cases of anaphylaxis, which developed within minutes to hours after taking PREMARIN and require emergency medical management, have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Skin (hives, pruritis, swollen lips-tongue-face) and either respiratory tract (respiratory compromise) or gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain, vomiting) involvement has been noted.

Angioedema involving the tongue, larynx, face, hands, and feet requiring medical intervention has occurred postmarketing in patients taking PREMARIN. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis, or larynx, airway obstruction may occur. Patients who develop an anaphylactic reaction with or without angioedema after treatment with PREMARIN should not receive PREMARIN again.

5.8 Addition of a Progestin When a Woman Has Not Had a Hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include an increased risk of breast cancer.

5.9 Elevated Blood Pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

5.10 Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

5.11 Hepatic Impairment and/or Past History of Cholestatic Jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised, and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

5.12 Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

5.13 Fluid Retention

Estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogen alone is prescribed.

5.14 Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in individuals with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

5.15 Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.

5.16 Exacerbation of Endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

5.17 Exacerbation of Other Conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

5.18 Laboratory Tests

Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms and moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.

Laboratory parameters may be useful in guiding dosage for the treatment of hypoestrogenism due to hypogonadism, castration and primary ovarian failure.

5.19 Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.

Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.

Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, for example, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).

Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations, increased triglyceride levels.

Impaired glucose tolerance.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in labeling:

6.1 Clinical Study Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

During the first year of a 2-year clinical trial with 2,333 postmenopausal women with a uterus between 40 and 65 years of age (88 percent Caucasian), 1,012 women were treated with conjugated estrogens, and 332 were treated with placebo.

Table 1 summarizes treatment-related adverse reactions that occurred at a rate of ≥ 1 percent in any treatment group.

Table 1: TREATMENT RELATED ADVERSE REACTIONS AT A FREQUENCY ≥ 1 PERCENT
PREMARIN
0.625 mg
(n=348)
PREMARIN
0.45 mg (n=338)
PREMARIN
0.3 mg
(n=326)
Placebo
(n=332)
Body as a whole
  Abdominal pain 38 (11) 28 (8) 30 (9) 21 (6)
  Asthenia 16 (5) 8 (2) 14 (4) 3 (1)
  Back pain 18 (5) 11 (3) 13 (4) 4 (1)
  Chest pain 2 (1) 3 (1) 4 (1) 2 (1)
  Generalized edema 7 (2) 6 (2) 4 (1) 8 (2)
  Headache 45 (13) 47 (14) 44 (13) 46 (14)
  Moniliasis 5 (1) 4 (1) 4 (1) 1 (0)
  Pain 17 (5) 10 (3) 12 (4) 14 (4)
  Pelvic pain 10 (3) 9 (3) 8 (2) 4 (1)
Cardiovascular system
  Hypertension 4 (1) 4 (1) 7 (2) 5 (2)
  Migraine 7 (2) 1 (0) 0 3 (1)
  Palpitation 3 (1) 3 (1) 3 (1) 4 (1)
  Vasodilatation 2 (1) 2 (1) 3 (1) 5 (2)
Digestive system
  Constipation 7 (2) 6 (2) 4 (1) 3 (1)
  Diarrhea 4 (1) 5 (1) 5 (2) 8 (2)
  Dyspepsia 7 (2) 5 (1) 6 (2) 14 (4)
  Eructation 1 (0) 1 (0) 4 (1) 1 (0)
  Flatulence 22 (6) 18 (5) 13 (4) 8 (2)
  Increased appetite 4 (1) 1 (0) 1 (0) 2 (1)
  Nausea 16 (5) 10 (3) 15 (5) 16 (5)
Metabolic and nutritional
  Hyperlipidemia 2 (1) 4 (1) 3 (1) 2 (1)
  Peripheral edema 5 (1) 2 (1) 4 (1) 3 (1)
  Weight gain 11 (3) 10 (3) 8 (2) 14 (4)
Musculoskeletal system
  Arthralgia 6 (2) 3 (1) 2 (1) 5 (2)
  Leg cramps 10 (3) 5 (1) 9 (3) 4 (1)
  Myalgia 2 (1) 1 (0) 4 (1) 1 (0)
Nervous system
  Anxiety 6 (2) 4 (1) 2 (1) 4 (1)
  Depression 17 (5) 15 (4) 10 (3) 17 (5)
  Dizziness 9 (3) 7 (2) 4 (1) 5 (2)
  Emotional lability 3 (1) 4 (1) 5 (2) 8 (2)
  Hypertonia 1 (0) 1 (0) 5 (2) 3 (1)
  Insomnia 16 (5) 10 (3) 13 (4) 14 (4)
  Nervousness 9 (3) 12 (4) 2 (1) 6 (2)
Skin and appendages
  Acne 3 (1) 1 (0) 8 (2) 3 (1)
  Alopecia 6 (2) 6 (2) 5 (2) 2 (1)
  Hirsutism 4 (1) 2 (1) 1 (0) 0
  Pruritus 11 (3) 11 (3) 10 (3) 3 (1)
  Rash 6 (2) 3 (1) 1 (0) 2 (1)
  Skin discoloration 4 (1) 2 (1) 0 1 (0)
  Sweating 4 (1) 1 (0) 3 (1) 4 (1)
Urogenital system
  Breast disorder 6 (2) 3 (1) 3 (1) 6 (2)
  Breast enlargement 3 (1) 4 (1) 7 (2) 3 (1)
  Breast neoplasm 4 (1) 4 (1) 7 (2) 7 (2)
  Breast pain 37 (11) 39 (12) 24 (7) 26 (8)
  Cervix disorder 8 (2) 4 (1) 5 (2) 0
  Dysmenorrhea 12 (3) 10 (3) 4 (1) 2 (1)
  Endometrial disorder 4 (1) 2 (1) 2 (1) 0
  Endometrial hyperplasia 16 (5) 8 (2) 1 (0) 0
  Leukorrhea 17 (5) 17 (5) 12 (4) 6 (2)
  Metrorrhagia 11 (3) 4 (1) 3 (1) 1 (0)
  Urinary tract infection 1 (0) 2 (1) 1 (0) 4 (1)
  Uterine fibroids enlarged 6 (2) 1 (0) 2 (1) 2 (1)
  Uterine spasm 11 (3) 5 (1) 3 (1) 2 (1)
  Vaginal dryness 1 (0) 2 (1) 1 (0) 6 (2)
  Vaginal hemorrhage 46 (13) 13 (4) 6 (2) 0
  Vaginal moniliasis 14 (4) 10 (3) 12 (4) 5 (2)
  Vaginitis 18 (5) 7 (2) 9 (3) 1 (0)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following additional adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of PREMARIN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible always to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Genitourinary system

Abnormal uterine bleeding; dysmenorrheal or pelvic pain, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata, vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis, change in cervical secretion, ovarian cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, leukorrhea.

Breasts

Tenderness, enlargement, pain, discharge, galactorrhea, fibrocystic breast changes, breast cancer, gynecomastia in males.

Cardiovascular

Deep and superficial venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, thrombophlebitis, myocardial infarction, stroke, increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, cholestatic jaundice, increased incidence of gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, enlargement of hepatic hemangiomas, ischemic colitis.

Skin

Chloasma or melasma that may persist when drug is discontinued, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, loss of scalp hair, hirsutism, pruritus, rash.

Eyes

Retinal vascular thrombosis, intolerance to contact lenses.

Central nervous system

Headache, migraine, dizziness , mental depression, nervousness, mood disturbances, irritability, exacerbation of epilepsy, dementia, possible growth potentiation of benign meningioma.

Miscellaneous

Increase or decrease in weight, glucose intolerance, aggravation of porphyria, edema, arthralgias, leg cramps, changes in libido, urticaria, exacerbation of asthma, increased triglycerides, hypersensitivity.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vasomotor Symptoms due to Menopause

1.2 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Symptoms of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy due to Menopause

Limitation of Use

When prescribing solely for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause, topical vaginal products should be considered.

1.3 Treatment of Hypoestrogenism due to Hypogonadism, Castration or Primary Ovarian Failure

1.4 Treatment of Breast Cancer (for Palliation Only) in Appropriately Selected Women and Men with Metastatic Disease

1.5 Treatment of Advanced Androgen-Dependent Carcinoma of the Prostate (for Palliation Only)

1.6 Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Limitation of Use

When prescribing solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, therapy should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis and non-estrogen medication should be carefully considered

PREMARIN® INTRAVENOUS (conjugated estrogens)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use PREMARIN INTRAVENOUS safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for PREMARIN INTRAVENOUS.

WARNING: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER and PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding. (See WARNINGS, Malignant Neoplasms, Endometrial cancer.)

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia.)

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg]-alone, relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Probable Dementia.)

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Malignant Neoplasms, Breast cancer.)

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Premarin Intravenous therapy should not be used in individuals with any of the following conditions:

  1. Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.
  2. Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer.
  3. Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia.
  4. Active DVT, PE or a history of these conditions.
  5. Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example, stroke and MI) or a history of these conditions.
  6. Known anaphylactic reaction and angioedema to Premarin Intravenous therapy.
  7. Known liver dysfunction or disease.
  8. Known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency or other known thrombophilic disorders.
  9. Known or suspected pregnancy.

WARNINGS

See BOXED WARNINGS.

Premarin Intravenous for injection is indicated for short-term use. However, warnings, precautions and adverse reactions associated with oral Premarin treatment should be taken into account.

1. Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy.

An increased risk of PE, DVT, stroke, and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy.

Should any of these events occur or be suspected, estrogen with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

a. Stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years). (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

b. Coronary heart disease

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on CHD events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, or CHD death) was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a non-statistically significant increased risk of CHD events reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years). An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5.

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average 66.7 years of age), in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study; HERS), treatment with daily CE 0.625 mg/MPA 2.5 mg demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year one, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open-label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE plus MPA group and the placebo group in the HERS, the HERS II, and overall.

c. Venous thromboembolism

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE (DVT and PE), was increased for women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first year and persisted. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.) Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

2. Malignant Neoplasms

a. Endometrial cancer

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in women with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

b. Breast cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer (relative risk [RR] 0.80). (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo, respectively. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare, with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors, such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

Consistent with the WHI clinical trial, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

c. Ovarian cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77 – 3.24). The absolute risk for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

3. Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19–2.60). Since both substudies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

4. Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving postmenopausal estrogens has been reported.

5. Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

6. Visual Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be permanently discontinued.

7. Anaphylactic Reaction and Angioedema

Cases of anaphylaxis, which developed within minutes to hours after using PREMARIN Intravenous and require emergency medical management, have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Skin (hives, pruritis, swollen lips-tongue-face) and either respiratory tract (respiratory compromise) or gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain, vomiting) involvement has been noted.

Angioedema involving the tongue, larynx, face, hands, and feet requiring medical intervention has occurred postmarketing in patients using PREMARIN Intravenous. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis, or larynx, airway obstruction may occur. Patients who develop an anaphylactic reaction with or without angioedema after treatment with PREMARIN Intravenous should not receive PREMARIN Intravenous again.

8. Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may induce or exacerbate symptoms of angioedema, particularly in women with hereditary angioedema.


PRECAUTIONS

A. General

Premarin Intravenous for injection is indicated for short-term use. However, warnings, precautions and adverse reactions associated with oral Premarin treatment should be taken into account.

1. Addition of a progestin when a woman has not had a hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

There are, however, possible risks which may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include an increased risk of breast cancer.

2. Elevated blood pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

3. Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

4. Hepatic impairment and/or past history of cholestatic jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in women with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised, and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

5. Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

6. Fluid retention

Estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as a cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogens are prescribed.

7. Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in individuals with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

8. Exacerbation of endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

9. Exacerbation of other conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

B. Patient Information

Physicians are advised to discuss the contents of the PATIENT INFORMATION leaflet with patients who are being treated with Premarin Intravenous.

C. Laboratory Tests

Estrogen administration should be guided by clinical response at the lowest dose, rather than laboratory monitoring.

D. Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

  1. Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of anti-factor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.
  2. Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Patients on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.
  3. Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), SHBG, leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).
  4. Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration, increased triglyceride levels.
  5. Impaired glucose tolerance.

E. Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

(See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.)

Long-term continuous administration of natural and synthetic estrogens in certain animal species increases the frequency of carcinomas of the breast, uterus, cervix, vagina, testis, and liver.

F. Pregnancy

Premarin Intravenous should not be used during pregnancy. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS.)

G. Nursing Mothers

Premarin Intravenous should not be used during lactation. Estrogen administration to nursing women has been shown to decrease the quantity and quality of the breast milk. Detectable amounts of estrogens have been identified in the breast milk of women receiving estrogens. Caution should be exercised when Premarin Intravenous is administered to a nursing woman.

H. Pediatric Use

Estrogen therapy has been used for the induction of puberty in adolescents with some forms of pubertal delay. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not otherwise been established.

Large and repeated doses of estrogen over an extended time period have been shown to accelerate epiphyseal closure, which could result in short adult stature if treatment is initiated before the completion of physiologic puberty in normally developing children. If estrogen is administered to patients whose bone growth is not complete, periodic monitoring of bone maturation and effects on epiphyseal centers is recommended during estrogen administration.

Estrogen treatment of prepubertal girls also induces premature breast development and vaginal cornification, and may induce vaginal bleeding. In boys, estrogen treatment may modify the normal pubertal process and induce gynecomastia.

I. Geriatric Use

There have not been sufficient numbers of geriatric patients involved in studies utilizing Premarin to determine whether those over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to Premarin.

The Women's Health Initiative Studies

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg]-alone versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of stroke in women greater than 65 years of age. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg] plus MPA [2.5 mg] versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of nonfatal stroke and invasive breast cancer in women greater than 65 years of age. (See CLINICAL STUDIES.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study

In the WHIMS ancillary studies of postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age, there was an increased risk of developing probable dementia in women receiving estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin when compared to placebo. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia.)

Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL STUDIES and WARNINGS, Probable Dementia.)

ADVERSE REACTIONS

See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.

Premarin Intravenous for injection is indicated for short-term use. However, the warnings, precautions and adverse reactions associated with oral Premarin treatment should be taken into account.

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of oral or intravenous Premarin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Genitourinary system

 
Abnormal uterine bleeding/spotting.
 
Dysmenorrhea or pelvic pain.
 
Increase in size of uterine leiomyomata.
 
Vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis.
 
Change in amount of cervical secretion.
 
Change in cervical ectropion.
 
Ovarian cancer.
 
Endometrial hyperplasia.
 
Endometrial cancer.

Breasts

 
Tenderness, enlargement, pain, discharge, galactorrhea.
 
Fibrocystic breast changes.
 
Breast cancer.

Cardiovascular

 
Deep and superficial venous thrombosis.
 
Pulmonary embolism.
 
Thrombophlebitis.
 
Myocardial infarction.
 
Stroke.
 
Increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

 
Nausea, vomiting.
 
Abdominal cramps, bloating.
 
Cholestatic jaundice.
 
Increased incidence of gallbladder disease.
 
Pancreatitis.
 
Enlargement of hepatic hemangiomas.
 
Ischemic colitis.

Skin

 
Chloasma or melasma that may persist when drug is discontinued.
 
Erythema multiforme.
 
Erythema nodosum.
 
Hemorrhagic eruption.
 
Loss of scalp hair.
 
Hirsutism.
 
Pruritis.
 
Rash.

Eyes

 
Retinal vascular thrombosis.
 
Intolerance to contact lenses.

Central Nervous System

 
Headache.
 
Migraine.
 
Dizziness.
 
Mental depression.
 
Exacerbation of chorea.
 
Nervousness.
 
Exacerbation of epilepsy.
 
Dementia.
 
Possible growth potentiation of benign meningioma.

Miscellaneous

 
Increase or decrease in weight.
 
Glucose intolerance.
 
Aggravation of porphyria.
 
Edema.
 
Arthralgia.
 
Leg cramps.
 
Changes in libido.
 
Urticaria.
 
Hypocalcemia (preexisting condition).
 
Injection site pain.
 
Injection site edema.
 
Phlebitis (injection site).
 
Exacerbation of asthma.
 
Increased triglycerides.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Premarin Intravenous (conjugated estrogens, USP) for injection is indicated in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance in the absence of organic pathology.

Premarin Intravenous is indicated for short-term use only, to provide a rapid and temporary increase in estrogen levels.

PREMARIN® VAGINAL CREAM (conjugated estrogens)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use PREMARIN VAGINAL CREAM safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for PREMARIN VAGINAL CREAM.

WARNING: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER and PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.4), and Clinical Studies (14.2, 14.3)].

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg]-alone, relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.4), and Clinical Studies (14.2, 14.3)].

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

PREMARIN Vaginal Cream therapy should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer
  • Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Active DVT, PE, or a history of these conditions
  • Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example, stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions
  • Known anaphylactic reaction or angioedema to PREMARIN Vaginal Cream
  • Known liver dysfunction or disease
  • Known protein C, protein S or antithrombin deficiency or other known thrombophilic disorders
  • Known or suspected pregnancy

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Risks from Systemic Absorption

Systemic absorption occurs with the use of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream. The warnings, precautions, and adverse reactions associated with oral PREMARIN treatment should be taken into account.

5.2 Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. An increased risk of PE, DVT, stroke and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy. Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogen with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg) -alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).1

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years) [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted.1 Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, or CHD death) was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo2 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).1

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a statistically non-significant increased risk of CHD events reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years).1 An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763), average 66.7 years of age, in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study [HERS]), treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during subsequent years. Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE plus MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

Venous Thromboembolism

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE (DVT and PE) was increased for women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years3 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was observed during the first year and persisted4 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

5.3 Malignant Neoplasms

Endometrial Cancer

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in a woman with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears to be associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more, and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women using estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding.

There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to postmenopausal estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

In a 52-week clinical trial using PREMARIN Vaginal Cream alone (0.5 g inserted twice weekly or daily for 21 days, then off for 7 days), there was no evidence of endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial carcinoma.

Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [relative risk (RR) 0.80]5 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare, with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors, such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups6 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Consistent with the WHI clinical trial, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not generally found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin therapy has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms, requiring further evaluation.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Ovarian Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77–3.24). The absolute risk for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.7

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

5.4 Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8. 5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8. 5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19–2.60). Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

5.5 Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

5.6 Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in women with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

5.7 Visual Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be permanently discontinued.

5.8 Addition of a Progestin When a Woman Has Not Had a Hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration, or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include an increased risk of breast cancer.

5.9 Elevated Blood Pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

5.10 Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

5.11 Hepatic Impairment and/or Past History of Cholestatic Jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in women with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised, and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

5.12 Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

5.13 Fluid Retention

Estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogen-alone is prescribed.

5.14 Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in women with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

5.15 Exacerbation of Endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

5.16 Anaphylactic Reaction and Angioedema

Cases of anaphylaxis, which develop within minutes to hours after taking orally-administered PREMARIN and require emergency management, have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Skin (hives, pruritus, swollen lips-tongue-face) and either respiratory tract (respiratory compromise) or gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain, vomiting) involvement has been noted.

Angioedema involving the tongue, larynx, face, and feet requiring medical intervention has occurred postmarketing in patients taking orally-administered PREMARIN. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis, or larynx, airway obstruction may occur. Patients who develop an anaphylactic reaction with or without angioedema after treatment with oral PREMARIN should not receive oral PREMARIN again.

5.17 Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.

5.18 Exacerbation of Other Conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

5.19 Effects on Barrier Contraception

PREMARIN Vaginal Cream exposure has been reported to weaken latex condoms. The potential for PREMARIN Vaginal Cream to weaken and contribute to the failure of condoms, diaphragms, or cervical caps made of latex or rubber should be considered.

5.20 Laboratory Tests

Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.

5.21 Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.

Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.

Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, for example, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).

Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations, increased triglyceride levels.

Impaired glucose tolerance.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trial of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream (PVC), a total of 423 postmenopausal women received at least 1 dose of study medication and were included in all safety analyses: 143 women in the PVC-21/7 treatment group (0.5 g PVC daily for 21 days, then 7 days off), 72 women in the matching placebo treatment group; 140 women in the PVC-2×/wk treatment group (0.5 g PVC twice weekly), 68 women in the matching placebo treatment group. A 40-week, open-label extension followed, in which a total of 394 women received treatment with PVC, including those subjects randomized at baseline to placebo. In this study, the most common adverse reactions ≥ 1 percent in the double blind phase are shown below (Table 1) [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

Table 1: Number (%) of Patients Reporting Treatment Emergent Adverse Reactions ≥ 1 Percent Only
Treatment
Body System*/Adverse Reaction PVC 21/7

N=143
Placebo 21/7

N=72
PVC 2×/week

N=140
Placebo 2×/week
N=68
Number (%) of Patients with Adverse Reaction
*
Body system totals are not necessarily the sum of individual adverse events, since a patient may report two or more different adverse reactions in the same body system.
Body As A Whole
Abdominal Pain 1 (0.7) 1 (1.4) 0 1 (1.5)
Headache 5 (3.5) 1 (1.4) 3 (2.1) 1 (1.5)
Moniliasis 2 (1.4) 1 (1.4) 1 (0.7) 0
Pain 2 (1.4) 0 1 (0.7) 0
Pelvic Pain 4 (2.8) 2 (2.8) 4 (2.9) 0
Cardiovascular System
Migraine 0 0 0 1 (1.5)
Vasodilation 3 (2.1) 2 (2.8) 2 (1.4) 0
Musculoskeletal System
Muscle Cramp 2 (1.4) 0 0 0
Nervous System
Dizziness 1 (0.7) 0 0 1 (1.5)
Skin and Appendages
Acne 0 0 2 (1.4) 0
Erythema 0 1 (1.4) 0 0
Pruritus 2 (1.4) 1 (1.4) 1 (0.7) 0
Urogenital System
Breast Enlargement 1 (0.7) 1 (1.4) 0 0
Breast Pain 7 (4.9) 0 3 (2.1) 0
Dysuria 2 (1.4) 0 0 0
Leukorrhea 3 (2.1) 1 (1.4) 4 (2.9) 5 (7.4)
Metrorrhagia 0 0 0 2 (2.9)
Urinary Frequency 0 1 (1.4) 0 0
Urinary Tract Infection 0 1 (1.4) 0 0
Urinary Urgency 1 (0.7) 1 (1.4) 0 0
Vaginal Hemorrhage 2 (1.4) 0 1 (0.7) 1 (1.5)
Vaginal Moniliasis 2 (1.4) 0 0 0
Vaginitis 2 (1.4) 1 (1.4) 3 (2.1) 3 (4.4)
Vulvovaginal Disorder 4 (2.8) 0 3 (2.1) 2 (2.9)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of PREMARIN Vaginal Cream. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Genitourinary System

Abnormal uterine bleeding or spotting, dysmenorrhea or pelvic pain, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata, vaginitis (including vaginal candidiasis), change in cervical secretion, cystitis-like syndrome, application site reactions of vulvovaginal discomfort, (including burning, irritation, and genital pruritus), endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, precocious puberty, leukorrhea.

Breasts

Tenderness, enlargement, pain, discharge, fibrocystic breast changes, breast cancer, gynecomastia in males.

Cardiovascular

Deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, stroke, increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased incidence of gallbladder disease.

Skin

Chloasma that may persist when drug is discontinued, loss of scalp hair, hirsutism, rash.

Eyes

Retinal vascular thrombosis, intolerance to contact lenses.

Central Nervous System

Headache, migraine, dizziness, mental depression, nervousness, mood disturbances, irritability, dementia.

Miscellaneous

Increase or decrease in weight, glucose intolerance, edema, arthralgias, leg cramps, changes in libido, urticaria, exacerbation of asthma, increased triglycerides, hypersensitivity.

Additional postmarketing adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving other forms of hormone therapy.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Atrophic Vaginitis and Kraurosis Vulvae

1.2 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Dyspareunia, a Symptom of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy, due to Menopause

PREMPRO® AND PREMPHASE® (conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use PREMPRO AND PREMPHASE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for PREMPRO AND PREMPHASE.

WARNING: CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER, ENDOMETRIAL CANCER and PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3), and Clinical Studies (14.6, 14.7)].

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogen (CE) [0.625 mg] combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.7)].

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3), and Clinical Studies (14.6, 14.7)].

The WHI estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and DVT in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Clinical Studies (14.6)].

The WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.7)].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

PREMPRO or PREMPHASE therapy should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer
  • Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Active DVT, PE, or a history of these conditions
  • Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example, stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions
  • Known anaphylactic reaction or angioedema to PREMPRO/PREMPHASE
  • Known liver dysfunction or disease
  • Known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency, or other known thrombophilic disorders
  • Known or suspected pregnancy

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of PE, DVT, stroke and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy. An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogen with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Stroke

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years) [see Clinical Studies (14.6)]. The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted.1 Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted [see Clinical Studies (14.6)]. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).1

Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a statistically non-significant increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, or CHD death) reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years).1 An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on CHD events was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo2 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).1

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763), average 66.7 years of age, in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study [HERS]), treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during subsequent years. Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE plus MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

Venous Thromboembolism

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE (DVT and PE) was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first year and persisted3 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE was increased for women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years4 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)]. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

5.2 Malignant Neoplasms

Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare, with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors, such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups5 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [relative risk (RR) 0.80]6 [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

Consistent with the WHI clinical trials, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial hyperplasia (a possible precursor of endometrial cancer) has been reported to occur at a rate of approximately 1 percent or less with PREMPRO or PREMPHASE.

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in a woman with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears to be associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more, and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women using estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding.

There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77–3.24). The absolute risk for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.7

A meta-analysis of 17 prospective and 35 retrospective epidemiology studies found that women who used hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms had an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The primary analysis, using case-control comparisons, included 12,110 cancer cases from the 17 prospective studies. The relative risks associated with current use of hormonal therapy was 1.41 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32 to 1.50); there was no difference in the risk estimates by duration of the exposure (less than 5 years [median of 3 years] vs. greater than 5 years [median of 10 years] of use before the cancer diagnosis). The relative risk associated with combined current and recent use (discontinued use within 5 years before cancer diagnosis) was 1.37 (95% CI 1.27–1.48), and the elevated risk was significant for both estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin products. The exact duration of hormone therapy use associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, however, is unknown.

5.3 Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.7)].

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.7)].

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19–2.60). Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women8 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.7)].

5.4 Gallbladder Disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

5.5 Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in women with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

5.6 Visual Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in women receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be permanently discontinued.

5.7 Addition of a Progestin When a Woman Has Not Had a Hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include an increased risk of breast cancer.

5.8 Elevated Blood Pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

5.9 Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

5.10 Hepatic Impairment and/or Past History of Cholestatic Jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in women with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised, and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

5.11 Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

5.12 Fluid Retention

Estrogens plus progestins may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogens plus progestins are prescribed.

5.13 Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in women with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

5.14 Exacerbation of Endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

5.15 Anaphylactic Reaction and Angioedema

Cases of anaphylaxis, which developed within minutes to hours after taking PREMPRO or PREMPHASE and require emergency medical management, have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Skin (hives, pruritis, swollen lips-tongue-face) and either respiratory tract (respiratory compromise) or gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain, vomiting) involvement has been noted.

Angioedema involving the tongue, larynx, face, hands, and feet requiring medical intervention has occurred postmarketing in patients taking PREMPRO or PREMPHASE. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis, or larynx, airway obstruction may occur. Patients who develop an anaphylactic reaction with or without angioedema after treatment with PREMPRO or PREMPHASE should not receive PREMPRO or PREMPHASE again.

5.16 Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.

5.17 Exacerbation of Other Conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

5.18 Laboratory Tests

Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms and moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.

5.19 Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.

Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone, as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay), or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.

Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, for example, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-1-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).

Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentrations, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations, increased triglyceride levels.

Impaired glucose tolerance.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trial of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In a 1-year clinical trial that included 678 postmenopausal women treated with PREMPRO and 351 postmenopausal women treated with PREMPHASE, the following adverse reactions occurred at a rate ≥ 1 percent, see Table 1.

TABLE 1: ALL TREATMENT RELATED ADVERSE REACTIONS AT A FREQUENCY ≥ 1 PERCENT
Body System PREMPRO
0.625 mg/2.5 mg
continuous
PREMPRO
0.625 mg/5 mg
continuous
PREMPHASE
0.625 mg/5 mg
sequential
  Adverse event (n = 340) (n = 338) (n = 351)
Body As A Whole
  Abdominal pain 35 (10%) 51 (15%) 58 (17%)
  Asthenia 13 (4%) 18 (5%) 21 (6%)
  Back pain 19 (6%) 16 (5%) 23 (7%)
  Chest pain 5 (1%) 4 (1%) 4 (1%)
  Flu syndrome 1 (<1%) 1 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Generalized edema 12 (4%) 12 (4%) 8 (2%)
  Headache 64 (19%) 52 (15%) 66 (19%)
  Infection 2 (<1%) 4 (1)% 0
  Moniliasis 4 (1%) 3 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Pain 12 (4%) 14 (4%) 15 (4%)
  Pelvic pain 11 (3%) 13 (4%) 16 (5%)
Cardiovascular System
  Hypertension 7 (2%) 7 (2%) 6 (2%)
  Migraine 6 (2%) 8 (2%) 7 (2%)
  Palpitation 2 (<1%) 3 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Vasodilatation 2 (<1%) 7 (2%) 2 (<1%)
Digestive System
  Diarrhea 4 (1%) 3 (<1%) 7 (2%)
  Dyspepsia 5 (1%) 5 (1%) 7 (2%)
  Eructation 0 2 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Flatulence 25 (7%) 27 (8%) 24 (7%)
  Increased appetite 1 (<1%) 5 (1%) 5 (1%)
  Nausea 26 (8%) 19 (6%) 26 (7%)
Metabolic and Nutritional
  Edema 5 (1%) 6 (2%) 3 (<1%)
  Glucose tolerance
  decreased
2 (<1%) 5 (1%) 4 (1%)
  Peripheral edema 11 (3%) 10 (3%) 11 (3%)
    Weight gain 9 (3%) 10 (3%) 11 (3%)
Musculoskeletal System
  Arthralgia 6 (2%) 2 (<1%) 7 (2%)
  Leg cramps 8 (2%) 11 (3%) 12 (3%)
Nervous System
  Depression 14 (4%) 26 (8%) 29 (8%)
  Dizziness 9 (3%) 8 (2%) 7 (2%)
  Emotional lability 5 (1%) 5 (1%) 6 (2%)
  Hypertonia 4 (1%) 4 (1%) 7 (2%)
  Insomnia 7 (2%) 6 (2%) 4 (1%)
  Nervousness 4 (1%) 9 (3%) 6 (2%)
Skin and Appendages
  Acne 1 (<1%) 5 (1%) 4 (1%)
  Alopecia 3 (<1%) 4 (1%) 0
  Dry skin 2 (<1%) 3 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Pruritus 20 (6%) 18 (5%) 13 (4%)
  Rash 8 (2%) 6 (2%) 7 (2%)
  Sweating 2 (<1%) 4 (1%) 2 (<1%)
Urogenital System
  Breast engorgement 5 (1%) 5 (1%) 0
  Breast enlargement 14 (4%) 14 (4%) 14 (4%)
  Breast neoplasm 2 (<1%) 2 (<1%) 4 (1%)
  Breast pain 110 (32%) 123 (36%) 109 (31%)
  Cervix disorder 10 (3%) 6 (2%) 10 (3%)
  Dysmenorrhea 26 (8%) 18 (5%) 44 (13%)
  Leukorrhea 19 (6%) 13 (4%) 29 (8%)
  Menstrual disorder 7 (2%) 1 (<1%) 5 (1%)
  Menorrhagia 0 1 (<1%) 5 (1%)
  Metrorrhagia 13 (4%) 5 (1%) 7 (1%)
  Papanicolaou smear
  suspicious
5 (1%) 0 8 (2%)
  Urinary incontinence 4 (1%) 2 (<1%) 1 (<1%)
  Uterine spasm 7 (2%) 4 (1%) 7 (2%)
  Vaginal hemorrhage 5 (1%) 3 (<1%) 8 (2%)
  Vaginal moniliasis 5 (1%) 6 (2%) 7 (2%)
  Vaginitis 13 (4%) 13 (4%) 10 (3%)

In addition, phargyngitis and sinusitis were reported as two of the more frequent adverse events (>5 percent) in the PREMPRO clinical study. For pharyngitis, of the 121 events, six events were considered by the investigator causally related to study drug. For sinusitis, of the 73 events, one event was considered as casually related to study drug.

During the first year of a 2-year clinical trial with postmenopausal women between 40 and 65 years of age (88 percent Caucasian), 989 postmenopausal women received continuous regimens of PREMPRO, and 332 received placebo tablets. Table 2 summarizes adverse reactions that occurred at a rate ≥ 1 percent in at least 1 treatment group.

TABLE 2: ALL TREATMENT RELATED ADVERSE REACTIONS AT A FREQUENCY OF ≥ 1 PERCENT


Body System
Adverse event
PREMPRO
0.625/2.5
continuous
(N=331)
PREMPRO
0.45/1.5
continuous
(N=331)
PREMPRO
0.3/1.5
continuous
(N=327)

PLACEBO
daily
(N=332)
Any adverse event 214 (65) 208 (63) 188 (57) 164 (49)
Body as a Whole
  Abdominal pain 38 (11) 33 (10) 24 (7) 21 (6)
  Asthenia 11 (3) 11 (3) 12 (4) 3 (1)
  Back pain 12 (4) 12 (4) 8 (2) 4 (1)
  Chest pain 4 (1) 2 (1) 1 (0) 2 (1)
  Generalized edema 7 (2) 5 (2) 6 (2) 8 (2)
  Headache 45 (14) 45 (14) 57 (17) 46 (14)
  Moniliasis 3 (1) 6 (2) 4 (1) 1 (0)
  Pain 9 (3) 10 (3) 17 (5) 14 (4)
  Pelvic pain 9 (3) 7 (2) 5 (2) 4 (1)
Cardiovascular System
  Hypertension 2 (1) 3 (1) 1 (0) 5 (2)
  Migraine 11 (3) 8 (2) 5 (2) 3 (1)
  Palpitation 1 (0) 1 (0) 2 (1) 4 (1)
  Vasodilatation 0 3 (1) 1 (0) 5 (2)
Digestive System
  Constipation 5 (2) 7 (2) 6 (2) 3 (1)
  Diarrhea 5 (2) 2 (1) 6 (2) 8 (2)
  Dyspepsia 10 (3) 9 (3) 6 (2) 14 (4)
  Flatulence 16 (5) 18 (5) 13 (4) 8 (2)
  Increased appetite 6 (2) 2 (1) 0 2 (1)
  Nausea 13 (4) 13 (4) 16 (5) 16 (5)
Metabolic and nutritional
  Peripheral edema 7 (2) 8 (2) 4 (1) 3 (1)
  Weight gain 9 (3) 8 (2) 6 (2) 14 (4)
Musculoskeletal System
  Arthralgia 2 (1) 3 (1) 3 (1) 5 (2)
  Leg cramps 13 (4) 7 (2) 10 (3) 4 (1)
Nervous System
  Anxiety 5 (2) 4 (1) 1 (0) 4 (1)
  Depression 23 (7) 11 (3) 11 (3) 17 (5)
  Dizziness 3 (1) 8 (2) 6 (2) 5 (2)
  Emotional lability 10 (3) 10 (3) 9 (3) 8 (2)
  Insomnia 8 (2) 7 (2) 9 (3) 14 (4)
  Nervousness 6 (2) 3 (1) 4 (1) 6 (2)
Skin and Appendages
  Acne 7 (2) 3 (1) 0 3 (1)
  Alopecia 1 (0) 6 (2) 4 (1) 2 (1)
  Pruritus 8 (2) 10 (3) 9 (3) 3 (1)
  Rash 0 6 (2) 4 (1) 2 (1)
  Skin discoloration 5 (2) 1 (0) 3 (1) 1 (0)
  Sweating 3 (1) 1 (0) 0 4 (1)
Urogenital System
  Breast disorder 7 (2) 6 (2) 5 (2) 6 (2)
  Breast enlargement 18 (5) 9 (3) 5 (2) 3 (1)
  Breast neoplasm 8 (2) 7 (2) 5 (2) 7 (2)
  Breast pain 87 (26) 66 (20) 41 (13) 26 (8)
  Cervix disorder 7 (2) 2 (1) 2 (1) 0
  Dysmenorrhea 14 (4) 18 (5) 9 (3) 2 (1)
  Hematuria 4 (1) 3 (1) 1 (0) 2 (1)
  Leukorrhea 7 (2) 14 (4) 9 (3) 6 (2)
  Metrorrhagia 7 (2) 14 (4) 4 (1) 1 (0)
  Urinary tract infection 0 1 (0) 1 (0) 4 (1)
  Uterine spasm 13 (4) 11 (3) 7 (2) 2 (1)
  Vaginal dryness 2 (1) 1 (0) 0 6 (2)
  Vaginal hemorrhage 18 (5) 14 (4) 7 (2) 0
  Vaginal moniliasis 13 (4) 11 (3) 8 (2) 5 (2)
  Vaginitis 6 (2) 8 (2) 7 (2) 1 (0)

In addition, the following events were considered as related to the study drug with an incidence less than 1 percent, including accidental injury, infection, myalgia, cough increased, rhinitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory infection.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of PREMPRO or PREMPHASE. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Genitourinary System

Abnormal uterine bleeding, dysmenorrhea or pelvic pain, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata, vaginitis, vaginal candidiasis, amenorrhea, changes in cervical secretion, ovarian cancer, endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer.

Breasts

Tenderness, enlargement, pain, nipple discharge, galactorrhea, fibrocystic breast changes, breast cancer.

Cardiovascular

Deep and superficial venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, superficial thrombophlebitis, myocardial infarction, stroke, increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, cholestatic jaundice, increased incidence of gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, changes in appetite, ischemic colitis.

Skin

Chloasma or melasma that may persist when drug is discontinued, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, loss of scalp hair, hirsutism, pruritus, urticaria, rash, acne.

Eyes

Retinal vascular thrombosis, intolerance of contact lenses.

Central Nervous System

Headache, migraine, dizziness, mental depression, exacerbation of chorea, mood disturbances, anxiety, irritability, exacerbation of epilepsy, dementia, growth potentiation of benign meningioma.

Miscellaneous

Increase or decrease in weight, arthralgia, glucose intolerance, edema, changes in libido, exacerbation of asthma, increased triglycerides, hypersensitivity.

Additional postmarketing adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving other forms of hormone therapy.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vasomotor Symptoms due to Menopause

1.2 Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy due to Menopause

1.3 Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

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