Why is this drug prescribed?
Premarin is the female hormone estrogen given to reduce menopausal symptoms that occur with drying of the vaginal lining or mucosa. This condition is called atrophic vaginitis and is associated with difficulty with urination, painful urination or urinary incontinence.
How should you take this medication?
The medication can be taken by mouth or applied in cream form to the vaginal area. The usual dosage is one-half to one applicator of the cream on a daily basis.
How do I use the applicator?
Contraindications to the use of Premarin cream
Do not take Premarin if you have undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding, breast cancer or any other "estrogen dependent" cancer. Do not take Premarin if you have had any heart or circulation problems, including a tendency for abnormal blood clotting.
Special warning about Premarin
The risk of cancer of the uterus increases when estrogen is used for a long time or taken in large doses. There may be increased risk of breast cancer in women who take estrogen for a long time. Women who take Premarin after menopause are more likely to develop gallbladder disease. Premarin also increases the risk of blood clots. These blood clots can cause stroke, heart attack or other serious disorders. Contact your physician if you notice any of the following: abdominal pain, breast lumps, coughing up blood, pain in your chest or calves, severe headache, dizziness, sudden shortness of breath, vision changes or yellowing of the skin.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication
If Premarin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects could be increased, decreased or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Premarin with the following: barbiturates such as Phenobarbital; blood thinners such as Coumadin; drugs used for epilepsy, such as Dilantin; and tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil and Tofranil.
For atrophic vaginitis the usual recommended dosage is 0.3 to 1.25 milligrams of the oral medication, or two to four grams of the vaginal cream. The drug is taken cyclically (three weeks on and one week off).