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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
See BOXED WARNINGS.
Estrogen-plus-progestin therapy has been associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction as well as stroke, venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Estrogen-alone therapy has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Should any of these events occur or be suspected, estrogens should be discontinued immediately.
Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (e.g., personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.
In the estrogen-plus-progestin substudy of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women receiving CE/MPA 0.625 mg/2.5 mg daily compared to woman receiving placebo (31 vs. 24 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted (see CLINICAL STUDIES).
In the estrogen-alone substudy of the WHI, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women receiving CE 0.625 mg daily compared to women receiving placebo (44 vs. 32 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year one and persisted.
In the estrogen-plus progestin substudy of WHI, no statistically significant increase in CHD events (defined as non-fatal, MI, silent MI, or death, due to CHD) was reported in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (39 vs. 33 per 10,000 women-years). An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year one, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5 (see CLINICAL STUDIES).
In the estrogen-alone substudy of WHI, no overall effect on coronary disease (CHD) events was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo (see CLINICAL STUDIES).
In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average age 66.7 years), a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS)) treatment with CE/MPA (0.625 mg/2.5 mg per day) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE/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/MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Participation in an open-label extension of the original HERS trial (HERS II) was agreed to by 2,321 women. 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/MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.
Large doses of estrogen (5 mg conjugated estrogens per day), comparable to those used to treat cancer of the prostate and breast, have been shown in a large prospective clinical trial in men to increase the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and thrombophlebitis.
In the estrogen-plus-progestin substudy of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a statistically significant 2 fold greater rate of VTE (DVT and pulmonary embolism [PE]) was reported in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (35 vs. 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 vs. 13 per 10,000 women- years) and PE (18 vs. 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). In the estrogen-alone substudy of WHI, the risk of VTE was reported to be increased for women taking conjugated estrogens (30 vs. 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 vs. 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first two years.
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.
In some studies, the use of estrogens and progestins by postmenopausal women has been reported to increase the risk of breast cancer. The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about this issue is the CE/MPA substudy of the WHI study (see CLINICAL STUDIES). The results from observational studies are generally consistent with those of the WHI clinical trial.
Observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen-plus-progestin combination therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. For both findings, the excess risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about five years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). In these studies, the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen-plus-progestin combination therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogens or among different estrogen-plus-progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.
In the estrogen-plus-progestin substudy, after a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the WHI substudy reported an increased risk of breast cancer. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen-plus-progestin combination hormone therapy was reported by 26% of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24 (95% nCI 1.01 to 1.54), and the absolute risk was 41 vs. 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for estrogen-plus-progestin 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 vs. 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for estrogen-plus-progestin 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 vs. 36 cases per 10,000 women-years of estrogen-plus-progestin compared with placebo. In the WHI trial, invasive breast cancers were larger and diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the estrogen-plus-progestin 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.
In the estrogen-alone substudy of WHI, after an average of 7.1 years of follow-up, CE (0.625 mg daily) was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer (RR 0.80, 95% nCI 0.62 to 1.04).
In a one-year trial among 1,176 women who received either unopposed 1 mg estradiol or a combination of 1 mg estradiol plus one of three different doses of NETA (0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg), seven new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed, two of which occurred among the group of 295 women treated with Mimvey 1 mg/0.5 mg and two of which occurred among the group of 294 women treated with 1 mg estradiol/0.1 mg NETA.
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.
The use of unopposed estrogens in women with intact uteri has been associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 fold greater than in nonusers, 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 one year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with an increased risk of 15 to 24 fold for five to ten 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 taking estrogen/progestin combinations is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of 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.
Endometrial hyperplasia (a possible precursor of endometrial cancer) has been reported to occur in approximately 1% or less with estradiol and norethindrone acetate in one large clinical trial.
In the estrogen-plus-progestin Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women aged 65 to 79 years was randomized to CE/MPA (0.625 mg/2.5 mg daily) or placebo. In the estrogen-alone WHIMS substudy, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women, aged 65 to 79 years, was randomized to CE (0.625 mg daily) or placebo.
In the estrogen-plus-progestin substudy, after an average follow-up of four years, 40 women in the estrogen-plus-progestin group and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for estrogen-plus-progestin vs. placebo was 2.05 (95% CI 1.21 to 3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE/MPA vs. placebo was 45 vs. 22 cases per 10,000 women-years.
In the estrogen-alone substudy, 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 vs. placebo was 1.49 (95% CI 0.83 to 2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE alone vs. placebo was 37 vs. 25 cases per 10,000 women-years.
When data from the two populations were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk of probable dementia was 1.76 (95% CI 1.19 to 2.60). Since both substudies were conducted in women ages 65 to 79, it is unknown whether these finding apply to younger postmenopausal women (see BOXED WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use).
A two- to four-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.
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.
Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is a 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.
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Mimvey (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets USP) 1 mg/0.5 mg and Mimvey Lo (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets USP) 0.5 mg/0.1 mg are indicated in women who have a uterus for the:
1. Treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause.
2. Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. When prescribing solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, therapy should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis and non-estrogen medications should be carefully considered.
The mainstays for decreasing the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis are weight bearing exercise, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and when indicated, pharmacologic therapy. Postmenopausal women require an average of 1500 mg/day of elemental calcium. Therefore, when not contraindicated, calcium supplementation may be helpful for women with suboptimal dietary intake. Vitamin D supplementation of 400 to 800 IU/day may also be required to ensure adequate daily intake in postmenopausal women.
Mimvey (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets USP) 1 mg/0.5 mg is also indicated in women who have a uterus for the:
3. Treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy associated with menopause. When used solely for the treatment of symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.
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MimveyTM (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets USP) 1 mg/0.5 mg is a single tablet for oral administration containing 1 mg of estradiol, USP and 0.5 mg of norethindrone acetate, USP and the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch, copovidone, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, and titanium dioxide.
Mimvey LoTM (estradiol and norethindrone acetate tablets USP) 0.5 mg/0.1 mg is a single tablet for oral administration containing 0.5 mg of estradiol, USP and 0.1 mg of norethindrone acetate, USP and the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, copovidone, corn starch, lactose monohydrate, and magnesium stearate.
Estradiol (E2) is a white or almost white crystalline powder. Its chemical name is estra-1, 3, 5 (10)-triene-3, 17β-diol hemihydrate. The structural formula of E2 is as follows:
Estradiol C18H24O2, ½ H2O M.W. 281.4
Norethindrone acetate (NETA) is a white or yellowish-white crystalline powder. Its chemical name is 17β-acetoxy-19-nor-17α-pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one. The structural formula of NETA is as follows:
Norethindrone Acetate C22H28O3 M.W. 340.5