Utrogestan is a type of progesterone-based medication that is otherwise known as a micronized progesterone. This means that the active ingredient in the substance is derived from certain plants. However, the product is identical to the structural of the hormone progesterone that is naturally produced in the human body. When women take Utrogestan, it is usually for hormone replacement therapy. In women who still have their womb, and therefore have not had a hysterectomy, HRT with estrogen can sometimes stimulate the growth of the lining of the womb, which leads to an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The progestogen in Utrogestan can help to oppose the estrogen effect on the womb lining. Utrogestan causes the lining to be shed in a way that is very similar to a typical period. Usually, women using this medication will take the medication every day as part of a consistent treatment.
Utrogestan is a capsule-based prescription-only medication that contains the ingredient progesterone. This substance is a naturally occurring hormone in the female body, which can play an important part in managing the menstrual cycle of woman, and their fertility levels. This substance is typically used for the treatment of menopause conditions.
What is Utrogestan?
Utrogestan is a type of progesterone-based medication that is otherwise known as a micronized progesterone. This means that the active ingredient in the substance is derived from certain plants. However, the product is identical to the structural of the hormone progesterone that is naturally produced in the human body.
When women take Utrogestan, it is usually for hormone replacement therapy. In women who still have their womb, and therefore have not had a hysterectomy, HRT with estrogen can sometimes stimulate the growth of the lining of the womb, which leads to an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The progestogen in Utrogestan can help to oppose the estrogen effect on the womb lining.
Utrogestan causes the lining to be shed in a way that is very similar to a typical period. Usually, women using this medication will take the medication every day as part of a consistent treatment.
When is Utrogestan used?
Utrogestan is used in hormone replacement therapy treatments alongside oestrogen for the management of menopause symptoms in women. You will usually be given Utrogestan if you are using a HRT treatment with oestrogen in it and you still have your womb. This is known as taking a combination HRT treatment.
Utrogestan capsules do not work the same way as a contraceptive pill, although you can get progesterone-only pills for contraception too. Utrogestan is also just a brand name for a type of progesterone. It may be possible to get the generic or unbranded version of this medication from some locations if the brand option is not available.
Utrogestan and other similar treatments will need to be monitored by a medical professional when taken over the long-term, as they can sometimes cause negative side effects. Doctors will need to review your requirement to continue taking HRT every year.
How do you use Utrogestan?
There are different ways that you can take Utrogestan. However, you will usually take this medication on a consistent basis, until a doctor or consultant tells you otherwise. This medication can sometimes be taken on a daily basis. If you still have your periods or have had a period in the last six months, then your dose is likely to be higher than if you have not had a period for over a year.
If you still have your period, your doctor may ask you to take two tablets each night, for two out of every four weeks in the month. On the other hand, if you have not had a period for more than twelve months, the recommended dose and how to take Utrogestan will change. You will be taking this medication constantly, without a break if you do not have periods.
When you are given a new medication like Utrogestan, it is important that you make sure that you know how to use it safely. Ask your consultants about any uncertainties that you have when using this medication, and make sure that you read through the patient leaflet that is provided when you receive your treatment. These capsules will need to be swallowed whole with a drink of water, and it is best to take your medication on an empty stomach, when you have not eaten any food.
Utrogestan needs to be taken regularly for you to see the benefits of the medication. Because of this, if you forget to take a dose, you should take it when you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, leave the forgotten dose and simply take the next capsule when it is due. If you miss more than one tablet, speak to a doctor.
What dosages are there?
Utrogestan comes in the form of a 100mg capsule. However, the amount of this medication that you take, and how regularly you take it will depend on your condition and the treatment you need.
200mg daily at bedtime on days 15—26 of cycle or 100mg at bedtime on days 1—25 of cycle.
What are the side effects of Utrogestan?
Utrogestan and similar HRT treatments can be very useful when dealing with the symptoms and discomfort of the menopause. However, all medications can cause side effects, as different people respond to medications in different ways. You may find that you’re more likely to experience side effects with Utrogestan when you first begin taking it, as it will take time for your body to get used to the new substance.
The most common side effects of Utrogestan include changes in the bleeding pattern that you have if you are still getting your period. You might notice spotting or bleeding between your periods. You could also suffer from things like:
- Breast tenderness;
- Lower abdominal pain;
- Abdominal bloating;
Some women find that their mood changes when they take Utrogestan. This side effect is less common today than it used to be, but it still occurs in some women. You may also feel dizzy or sleepy after taking this medication, or you may feel sick. In some cases, women taking Utrogestan might experience diarrhea and constipation. Rarely, you may also suffer from side effects like:
- Unexplained itching;
- Acne or increased presence of pimples;
- Jaundice, or yellowing in the eyes or skin;
- Irregular brown patches on the skin;
- Increased sensitivity to UV light;
- Depression or mood swings.
In some cases, Utrogestan and other combined HRT treatments have been aligned with a slightly higher risk of getting breast cancer. Additionally, similarly to the contraceptive pill, Utrogestan can also increase your chances of blood clots, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down or travel regularly. You will need to speak to your doctor if you are concerned about these side effects.
A severe allergic reaction to this medication is rare. However, make sure that you seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs of an allergic response. This may include swelling in the tongue, lips, or throat. You may also have trouble breathing or an increased heart rate.
When shouldn’t you use Utrogestan?
Utrogestan is a useful treatment for many people. Compared with other kinds of hormone replacement therapy, this medication can sometimes cause fewer side effects. This is particularly true when comparing Utrogestan to older versions of HRT. However, not everyone will be suitable to take Utrogestan. It is important to answer any of the questions asked by your consultant carefully, and to be truthful with your responses.
Make sure that your consultant is aware of any history you have of allergic reactions to medications similar to Utrogestan. Additionally, you should tell your doctor if you have unexplained vaginal bleeding, or you have ever had cancer of the ovaries, womb, or breasts. Make sure that your consultant is aware of cancers that your female family members have had too.
Do not take Utrogestan if:
- You or a close family memory has ever had breast lumps;
- You have ever had a deep vein thrombosis or blood clot;
- You have issues with your heart, or have had a stroke or heart attack;
- You smoke or are severely overweight;
- You have high blood pressure;
- You have kidney or liver problems;
- You have diabetes;
- You have epilepsy;
- You suffer from migraines or severe headaches;
- You have a history of depression;
- You have asthma
You should not take Utrogestan if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Remember that you can still get pregnant when using this medication. You should still be using a method of contraception with Utrogestan, as it will not protect you from pregnancy.
Does Utrogestan interact with other medications?
It is very important to tell your consultant or doctor what kind of medicines you’re already using before you begin taking Utrogestan. Some medications can interact poorly when they are taken at the same time. Before you begin taking this medication, ensure that your consultant is aware of any substances that you are using over the counter, or medications that have been prescribed to you.
Some medicines can increase the breakdown of progesterone in the body, which makes Utrogestan less effective. These include certain antiepileptic medications, rifampicin, griseofulvin, barbiturates, and St John’s Wort.
Where can you buy Utrogestan?
Utrogestan is available to purchase either online or offline, as long as you have had the appropriate consultation with a professional. You will need to ensure that this treatment is safe for you to use, and that it is the right method of treatment for your HRT requirements. Your consultant will be able to discuss this with you. You will need a blood pressure check.
Can I get Utrogestan without a prescription?
Utrogestan is not available without a prescription. This medication will not be appropriate for everyone to use. After your consultation, your consultant will be able to send a prescription to a local pharmacy for you within 3 working days.
BNF Nice.org, online, 2020, “Utrogestan® capsules” [Accessed 8th of January 2020], Available on: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/clinical-medicinal-product-information/utrogestan-capsules.html
Drugs.com online, 2020, “UTROGESTAN 100MG CAPSULES” [Accessed 8th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.drugs.com/uk/utrogestan-100mg-capsules-leaflet.html
Medicines.org.uk online, 2020, “Utrogestan 100mg Capsules” [Accessed 8th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/352/smpc
Mims.com online, 2007, “Utrogestan available for HRT” [Accessed 8th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.mims.co.uk/utrogestan-available-hrt/article/892009