The following diseases are reported more often in women using HRT compared to women not using HRT: breast cancer; abnormal growth or cancer of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia or cancer); ovarian cancer; blood clots in the veins of the legs or lungs (venous thromboembolism); heart disease; stroke; probable memory loss if HRT is started over the age of 65.
For more information about these side effects, see Precautions.
Hypersensitivity/allergy (uncommon side effect - affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000). Though it is an uncommon event, hypersensitivity/allergy may occur. Signs of hypersensitivity/allergy may include one or more of the following symptoms: hives, itching, swelling, difficulty in breathing, low blood pressure (paleness and coldness of skin, rapid heart beat), feeling dizzy, sweating, which could be signs of anaphylactic reaction/shock. If one of the mentioned symptoms appears, stop taking Estrofem and seek immediate medical help.
The frequency of possible side effects listed as follows is defined using the following convention: Very common (affects more than 1 user in 10); Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100); Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000); Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000); Very rare (affects less than 1 user in 10,000); Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data).
Common side effects: Depression; Headache; Abdominal (stomach) pain; Feeling sick (nausea); Leg cramps; Breast pain, breast tenderness or breast enlargement; Oedema (retention of fluid); Weight increase.
Uncommon side effects: Abnormal vision; Blood clots in the veins (venous embolism); Heartburn (dyspepsia); Vomiting; Flatulence or bloating; Gallstones; Itching or hives (urticaria).
Very rare side effects: Irregular vaginal bleeding*; Migraine, worse than before; Stroke; Insomnia (being unable to sleep); Epilepsy; Changes in libido; Vaginal infection caused by a fungus; Deterioration of asthma; Dizziness; Diarrhoea; Hair loss (alopecia); Increased blood pressure.
*If prescribed for women with a uterus.
The following side effects have been reported with other HRT's: Gall bladder disease; Various skin disorders: Discolouration of the skin especially of the face or neck known as 'pregnancy patches' (chloasma), Painful reddish skin nodules (erythema nodosum), Rash with target-shaped reddening or sores (erythema multiforme).