What is Kilofem?
Kliofem tablets contain two active ingredients: estradiol hemihydrate 2mg, and norethisterone acetate 1mg per tablet.
Estradiol is the oestrogen that is found naturally in the body, and relieves your menopausal symptoms. Norethisterone is a synthetic form of progesterone (a “progestogen” hormone found in the body) and this protects the lining of your uterus (womb).
Kliofem is only intended for women who have a uterus (i.e. women who have not had a hysterectomy). For women who do not have a uterus, a form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that does not contain a progestogen should be used, such as Premarin tablets.
Kliofem tablets are a form of HRT, and are prescribed to women after the menopause to replace the oestrogen that is no longer being produced. This helps to relieve the symptoms of the menopause, and restores the protective effect oestrogen has against the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to take Kliofem
Before starting a course of Kliofem tablets, you should read the enclosed leaflet carefully.
One tablet should be taken each day, at around the same time and you can take it either before or after eating. The tablets must be taken continuously without a break between packs.
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Is Kliofem suitable for me?
In certain situations, Kliofem should be used with caution or might not be recommended at all, for example in women over 65, or women with cancer or a history of cancer. This may also apply to women with undiagnosed genital bleeding, liver or kidney problems, or untreated endometrial hyperplasia (excessive growth of tissue in the womb). You’ll also need to make us aware if you currently have – or have previously had – venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism); disorders of blood clotting; any circulation problems including heart disease, angina, or a heart attack or porphyria. For people who are allergic to any of the active or inactive ingredients, it’s likely to be advised that you avoid this treatment entirely.
As well as all of the above, it is important to mention to the online doctor if you have now, or have had in the past, any of these conditions: endometriosis, risk factors for thromboembolic disorders (including major surgery, prolonged immobilisation, obesity, cancer, smoking and excessive drinking) and risk factors for oestrogen dependent tumours (including first-degree heredity for breast cancer). The doctor will also need to know about hypertension, liver or kidney problems (for example liver adenoma), diabetes mellitus with or without vascular involvement, cholelithiasis, migraine or (severe) headache and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). They will also need to know if you have a history of endometrial hyperplasia, epilepsy, asthma, or otosclerosis.
Throughout your consultation, you’ll be expected to tell the doctor whether you’re taking any other medicines – prescribed or purchased over the counter. Kliofem can cause problems if taken at the same time as certain other medicines, including some medicines for epilepsy, some medicines for infections (for example rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine, efavirenz) and some medicines for HIV/AIDS. But this also applies to warfarin and other anticoagulants, ketoconazole, ciclosporin, and the herbal preparation, St John's Wort.
Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your general health in the consultation, to make sure the doctor has all the information required to assess whether Kliofem is appropriate for you.
What are the side effects of Kliofem?
While you may not experience them, you should be aware that Kliofem can cause side effects.
There are some potentially serious side effects that can come with this medicine. If you experience any of the following, you should stop using the tablets and tell your local doctor immediately:
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting (breakthrough bleeding)
- Menstrual periods that are painful
- Painful swelling or redness of the legs
- Sudden chest pain
- Finding it hard to breathe
- Pain in your chest that spreads to your arm or neck
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and face)
- Rapidly increased blood pressure
- Unexplained headaches
- Any breast changes. This could include dimpling of the breast skin, any noticeable changes in the nipple, or any lumps that weren’t there before.
Other side effects that have been reported include breast pain, vaginal discharge, headache, dizziness, increased libido, depression, increased blood pressure, palpitations, fluid retention and nose bleeds. Indigestion and other types of stomach discomfort, itching, skin rashes, hair loss, weight gain, sweating, and feeling faint after eating are also side effects that have been reported.
HRT is known to increase the risk of thrombosis, stroke, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Oestrogen-only HRT can increase the risk of endometrial cancer, but the norethisterone in Kliofem tablets protects you from this extra risk. There is also an increased risk of heart disease in women who start HRT more than 10 years after the onset of the menopause. Because of this, the minimum effective dose of HRT should be used, and only for the shortest length of time.
To read the full list of potential side effects and other important information, please find the patient information leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.
Online consultations are available through the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service, which may lead to prescription-strength treatment for you.