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Side effects of Premarin & other Q's? Side effects of Premarin & other Q's?

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Unread 10-09-2009, 06:37 PM
Side effects of Premarin & other Q's?

Hello ladies,

I am 32 yrs, had TAH on 9/23 including both ovaries and have been taking oral Premarin 1.25 since 9/24. On my first post op check up with doc I voiced my concerns about the price of Premarin (still $50mo even with insurance) and he gave me a RX for Estratest and I thought great since it is on the $4 list at walmart. He warned me about the testosterone and that we would have to keep a close eye on lipids and also mentioned that some women need the added testosterone for change in libido, so I thought great maybe I can beat that one to the punch since change in libido was something I was concerned about. although I have seen no difference as of yet....I am impatiently waiting for clearance in that area.

Then after doing much research I decided I didnt want to start on the Estratest because I have no idea what my testosterone level is and I would hate to add too much and have side effects that may not be reversable all because I wanted a more affordable ERT not because I NEED the testosterone. Also, I have quite enjoyed my face clearing up, skin and hair being WAY less oily and less facial hair (on my chin), which had just started showing up in recent months. I felt like maybe I was producing TOO much of something and that has really leveled off so why chance getting all of that back with adding testosterone.

So, I researched mail order pharmacy's and found that I could in fact get Premarin for 1/2 the price of my ins copay and thought, well maybe I will just stick with this after all. In the meantime I have begun researching transdermal estrodiol and I am loving everything I hear about the Vivelle Dot and thought on my 2nd post op visit would ask for a RX for that. Since I will be doing this for possibly the next 18 yrs I like the idea of not taking something that has to pass through the liver and I also had concerns about oral forms not being continuously released like the patch land if that really had any effects on the hormone itself. So. I am still going back and forth on stick with Premarin or ask for the patch.

Then, I started writing down each thing that I felt...previously putting a lot of it off on the pain meds and just simply recovering. #1 is that I have had nausea and mild stomach cramping more days than not after surgery. I really spend most of the day with a stomach ache no matter what I eat. #2 I am not able to sleep, I have been up till all hours of the night and wake up mind just wont let me sleep although I am physically fatigued. #3 My mind is not clear, I can not count the times that I have been talking to my husband and can not think of the word I want to use or I am thinking one word and say a completely different word. I am usually pretty fast on my feet and I am seriously having to contemplate and think about answers to simple questions and I dont like that feeling at all. #4 As mentioned above, I am very tired...obviously from not sleeping but also physically just no energy and I am reading some ladies are walking miles a day at 2 wks post op....there is just no way I could be doing that.

As I said, I thought it was just the recovery process but something just doesnt feel right. I am not taking pain meds regularly any longer and I have also taken the same meds for other surgeries in the past and have not had any of these symptoms, I dont think it is the pain meds at all. The stomach ache is really getting frustrating and I am scared to eat sometimes because I really am just feeling so generally "bad". I have even had some cramping that feels like menstral cramps which is impossible and that is really strange.

I guess I am just throwing all of this out there, could these be side effects of the Premarin? It may help me determine if I will really push going with the patch or if I should try it another month before changing. Would these be sings of too much or too little estrogen...maybe I just need a different dose?

Also, one last unrelated question. Should we "expect" vaginal atrophy? Is it something that is bound to happen or does taking ERT solve that issue? I am asking because I have not noticed a change at all and I am wondering if it will happen in time or is it possible that I may not be affected in that area? It seems in all that I read it is a side effect that can not be avoided, so I just thought I would get some feedback on if is immediate or should I be ready for later?

Thank so much for any suggestions or experiences that you can share....I really value this place, I am so glad I found it before my surgery!
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Unread 10-09-2009, 09:08 PM
Re: Side effects of Premarin & other Q's?


You are asking some very good questions. I will try to answer the ones I can and maybe someone else can answer the ones I don't. Just for your benefit though, in the future you might want to ask just one question at a time, making sure you get each question in the right forum. Thay way, you will get the best support you can for all of your questions

Concerning the estratest: I think you are wise to want to be tested before beginning to supplement with testosterone. While most symptoms of "too much" are reversable if discontinued as soon as symptoms develop, why put yourself through that at all? The test is a simple blood test.

Concerning the type of estrogen you use: The reason there are so many choices, is because we are all so different, with different needs, that there is no one perfect choice for all of us. It takes trying one, giving it time for your body to adjust, and seeing how you feel. It can take up to 6 weeks for you to feel the full impact of any dose or type of estrogen. If you change either method or dose, it will confuse because you won't know if the symptoms are from the one you just left, or the new one you are trying.

Having said that, you are still very new post op, and your body may still be using reserved estrogen that was stored in your body tissues. During this time, it is very unlikely to find a hormone balance no matter which method you try. I would recommend chosing one estrogen, and sticking with it for at least a couple of months. Give it a chance to work.

The brain fog and fatigue, and insomnia are common during recovery. You may want to check out the post op forum to see how others who are recovering are handling those symptoms.

Patience will be your best friend this year. Concentrate right now on healing well. Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest. Most important, don't overdo. While there are some women who seem to be able to walk miles and take on the world at 2 weeks, it is not common. At two weeks, I was just walking down the block, not even around it, and I was doing that very slowly. Do what your body says it is ready for, not what others say they are doing or have done.

I wish you the best for your recovery,

Unread 10-14-2009, 01:00 PM
Re: Side effects of Premarin & other Q's?

Hi, there.

First I would say to you, please don't compare yourself to others. I thought I was going to jump up and go and spend 4 weeks of the 6 I took off from work to go down south or something...not on your life.

I had a terrible hematoma because she had trouble with the left ovary and then became anemic because all my blood was in my stomach. not only did i not feel like vacationing, I ended up out 8 weeks instead.

So, that being said, I agree about the estratest (is that in the dr handbook or something?) mine did the exact same thing and i just went ahead and took it. I actually liked it except there wasn't enough estrogen in it. It just goes to show that doctors do not understand/care about this stuff if they think they are interchangeable...they're not.

Premarin has many things in it. It jacks me up and makes me feel great! However, it also affects my ability to go to sleep and I get too much in my system very easily.

Estratest took away my fibromyalgia pain...all of it. It was wonderful, but I became very aggressive and it didn't help with the low estrogen symptoms at all.

Every thing I've taken has a side effect. I've yet to find aything that doesn't and I'm almost three years out and I feel like I've just started this road trip.

The forgetfulness is a sign of not enough hormones for me. I found when I take a once a day dose of oral estrogen, no matter which kind, that by late afternoon/early evening I can barely remember my name.

Once you find something you like, just stick with it a while and figure things out that way.

PS...the only tiem I have had a libido problem is when i"ve had too much estrogen. Never had dryness there either.

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