What is Prempak-C?
Prempak-C tablets are an HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) medication. They are prescribed for women whose menopause symptoms are so bad that their daily lives are affected.
If you are at an increased risk of fractures from fragile bones and other medications aren’t suitable for you, Prempak-C can also be prescribed to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
You should not take Prempak-C if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have or have ever had breast cancer
- You have cancer which is sensitive to oestrogens, such as cancer of the lining of the womb (endometrium)
- You have ever had a blood clot in a vein (thrombosis)
- You have a blood clotting disorder
- You have recently had a disease caused by blood clots in the arteries, such as a heart attack, stroke or angina
- You have a rare blood problem called “porphyria” which is passed down through families
- You have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- You have excessive thickening of the womb lining (endometrial hyperplasia) that is not being treated
- You have or have previously had liver disease
How does Prempak-C work?
Women produce less oestrogen and progesterone as they age. The decrease in hormones is what causes menopause and brings about menopause symptoms such as night sweats, hot flushes and mood swings.
Prempak-C contains two female hormones as the active ingredients: conjugated estrogens and norgestrel. These help to make menopause more manageable.
You will probably have a period or withdrawal bleed once a month when taking this HRT medication, although some women don’t have a monthly bleed. Either way, this is completely normal. If you bleed more than once a month or you bleed very heavily, you should see your doctor.
How do you take Prempak-C?
You should make sure you take your Prempak-C HRT medication exactly how your doctor prescribed.
The usual dose is one estrogen tablet every day until day 16. Then from days 17-28 you should take one estrogen tablet every day plus one norgestrel tablet as marked on the pack.
If you take your HRT tablet at the same time each day, you will be less likely to forget to take it. It’s not a problem if you take it late one day, but it’s important that you don’t ever take a double dose if you accidentally forget your tablet altogether.
You can start taking Prempak-C at any time that is convenient to you. If you are still having periods, however, you should start on the first day of your next period.
How effective is Prempak-C?
Providing they are taken exactly as prescribed, Prempak-C tablets are effective at treating symptoms of menopause.
You should make sure you go for check-ups with your doctor, at least annually but more frequently if you feel you need to. Your doctor will want to check that Prempak-C is still working effectively for you at the dose being prescribed and that the benefits still outweigh the risks.
Some lifestyle changes you can make to help your HRT treatment work as effectively as possible include eating well, cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods, exercising, and aiming to reduce your levels of stress. You might also choose to use a vaginal lubricant.
What are the main side effects of Prempak-C?
Like any other medication, Prempak-C can cause side effects. Not everyone will experience side effects, however, and they’re usually temporary with HRT.
The following conditions are reported more commonly amongst women who are taking HRT than those who aren’t:
- breast cancer
- endometrial hyperplasia / cancer (abnormal growth / cancer of the womb lining)
- ovarian cancer
- blood clots in the veins of the legs or lungs (venous thromboembolism)
- heart disease
- probable memory loss if HRT is started over the age of 65
If you have any concerns about side effects you may be experiencing, you should see your doctor.
Three of the most common side effects for Prempak-C are:
- Breast pain, tenderness or swelling
- Light breakthrough bleeding or spotting
Unlike with HRT patches or gels, taking HRT in the form of tablets can increase your risk of a blood clot. Your doctor will discuss this with you, but be certain you understand the risks associated with HRT before you start a course of treatment.
For a full list of Prempak-C side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.