NIH Cautions on Short-Term Side Effects

by Luise Light on July 23, 2008

NIH Advice to Women

Hormone replacement therapy may cause various serious side effects. Tell your doctor if these symptoms appear, are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps or bloating
  • diarrhea
  • appetite and weight changes
  • changes in sex drive or ability
  • nervousness
  • brown or black skin patches
  • acne
  • swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs (fluid retention)
  • bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • changes in menstrual flow
  • breast tenderness, enlargement, or discharge
  • difficulty wearing contact lenses

The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • double vision
  • severe abdominal pain
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • severe mental depression
  • unusual bleeding
  • loss of appetite
  • rash
  • extreme tiredness, weakness, or lack of energy
  • fever
  • dark-colored urine
  • light-colored stool

Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer and gallbladder disease. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.

Hormone therapy may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at MedWatch or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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