Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Menest (estrogens) is a form of a female sex hormone used to treat symptoms of menopause; deficiency in ovary function (including underdevelopment of female sexual characteristics and some types of infertility); some types of breast cancer in men and in postmenopausal women; degeneration of the vagina; and urethra and prostate cancer. Menest is also used to prevent osteoporosis. Common side effects of Menest include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, headache or migraines, weight changes, acne or skin color changes, decreased sex drive, dizziness, water retention (swollen hands, feet, or ankles), problems with wearing contact lenses, depression, changes in your menstrual cycle, or breakthrough bleeding. Seek medical attention if you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction including difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips/tongue/face/throat, itching, or hives.
Usual dose of Menest ranges from 0.3 mg to 7.5 mg daily, depending on the condition being treated. Menest may interact with blood thinners, thyroid medications, insulin or an oral diabetes medicines, tamoxifen, didanosine, phenytoin, ethotoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, primidone, or rifampin. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Menest must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. This medication passes into breast milk. It may reduce the quality and amount of breast milk produced. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Menest (estrogens) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking esterified estrogens and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- a blood clot (pain, redness, and swelling in an arm or leg, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, blurred vision, or confusion);
- a lump in a breast; or
- liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take esterified estrogens and talk to your doctor if you experience
- decreased appetite, nausea, or vomiting;
- swollen or tender breasts;
- acne or skin color changes;
- decreased sex drive;
- migraine headaches or dizziness;
- water retention (swollen hands, feet, or ankles);
- problems with wearing contact lenses;
- depression; or
- changes in your menstrual cycle or breakthrough bleeding.
Esterified estrogens increase the risk of developing a condition (endometrial hyperplasia) that may lead to cancer of the lining of the uterus. Taking progestins, another hormone drug, with esterified estrogens lowers the risk of developing this condition. Therefore, if your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take together with the estrogen. Visit your doctor regularly and report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
It is unclear to what extent estrogen treatments may affect the risk of breast cancer.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Menest (Estrogens)
The following additional adverse reactions have been reported with estrogens and/or progestin therapy.
Changes in vaginal bleeding pattern and abnormal withdrawal bleeding or flow; breakthrough bleeding; spotting; dysmenorrhea, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata; vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis; change in amount of cervical secretion; changes in cervical ectropion; ovarian cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; endometrial cancer; premenstrual like syndrome, amenorrhea during and after treatment; cystitis like syndrome.
Retinal vascular thrombosis; steepening of corneal curvature; intolerance to contact lenses.
Central nervous system
Increase or decrease in weight; reduced carbohydrate tolerance; aggravation of porphyria; edema; arthalgias; leg cramps; changes in libido; urticaria, angioedema, anaphylactoid/ana-phylactic reactions; hypocalcemia; exacerbation of asthma; increased triglycerides.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Menest (Estrogens)