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What is Angeliq&Reg;?

Article Details
  • Written By: C. K. Lanz
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Angeliq® is a combination medicine of two kinds of hormones, estrogen and progestin, that is used to treat moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. These symptoms include night sweats, vaginal atrophy, and hot flashes. The progestins and estrogens in Angeliq® are drospirenone and estradiol. Both are produced by the body and are necessary for the regulation of a women’s menstrual cycle and for normal sexual development. This medication is available as a tablet that should be swallowed whole once daily.

After menopause, the ovaries start to make less estrogen. This process normally begins in women who are between 45 and 55 years old. As the level of estrogen drops, some women can develop uncomfortable symptoms. If these symptoms are severe enough, a doctor may prescribe estrogen.

The estrogen or estradiol in this medication can help make up for the decrease in the amount of the hormone in postmenopausal women who still have a uterus. Estrogen is known to relieve some menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, chills, and dizziness as well as vaginal atrophy, a genital skin condition. Drospirenone is a progestin included in Angeliq® to help regulate the effects of the estradiol.

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Women who have had a hysterectomy should not take Angeliq® because they do not need a progestin. This medication is also not appropriate for women who have had cancer, a stroke, or heart attack or who could be pregnant. Women who are breastfeeding can pass Angeliq® in their milk. A history of blood clots; drug allergies; and kidney, liver, or adrenal gland disease should also be discussed with a doctor prior to taking this medication.

Common side effects include breast pain, heavy nonmenstrual vaginal bleeding, and abdominal swelling and pressure. Other possible side effects are bloating in the face or extremities, fast weight gain, or loss and a change in vaginal discharge. Angeliq® can also affect the results of certain blood tests.

Angeliq® is not meant to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes. Taking this drug may also increase the risk of developing dementia. This drug should therefore be taken only as long as needed. Postmenopausal women taking Angeliq® should talk to their doctors every three to six months about whether continued treatment with this medication is necessary. Most doctors recommend stopping hormone treatment after one to two years.

Postmenopausal hormone treatment is known to increase the risk of breast cancer and of dying from this disease. This increase in risk is not well understood but may be related to delays in diagnosis caused by increased breast density. Hormone treatment can increase breast density, making tumors harder to see on mammograms. Women taking Angeliq® should examine their breasts regularly and tell their doctors about any unusual lumps or abnormal discharge.

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