Q: What is Prempro?
A: Prempro is a medicine that contains two kinds of hormones: estrogens and a progestin. Prempro is given to postmenopausal women who have not had hysterectomies to: reduce hot flashes; treat vaginal dryness, itching, and burning; and, help reduce chances of getting osteoporosis (thin weak bones). Progestin reduces the risk of endometrial cancer in women.
Q: What is the most important information I should know about Prempro?
A: A Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, non-fatal heart attacks, and blood clots in women taking Prempro long-term. If you are or were taking Prempro, you should have yearly physical exams and examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis. Do not take Prempro if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Q: What should I tell the doctor if I want hormone replacement therapy?
A: Tell your doctor if you suffer from any of the following: hot flashes; sleep disturbances; menopause-related mood changes; vaginal dryness; night sweats; fatigue; joint pain.
Q: Who should not take Prempro?
A: Do not take Prempro if you have: a circulation, bleeding, or blood-clotting disorder; liver disease; undiagnosed, abnormal vaginal bleeding; or any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer. Do not take Prempro if you think you are, or plan on becoming, pregnant.
Q: How many postmenopausal women take estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin?
A: Prempro's manufacturer estimates that approximately 10 million postmenopausal women are taking some form of estrogen, either alone or in combination with a progestin.
Q: What are the possible side effects of Prempro?
A: The side effects include: menstrual periods beginning again, changing menstrual bleeding pattern for up to 6 months (spotting, breakthrough bleeding, prolonged or heavier vaginal bleeding, or vaginal bleeding completely stopping by 10 months); vaginal itching or irritation, or thick, white vaginal discharge. Less common side effects include sharp chest or lower leg (calf) pain, breast lumps, severe headache, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, severe stomach pain or swelling, abnormal vaginal bleeding, mild dizziness, nausea and fluid retention. Other, more serious risks associated with Prempro, are discussed elsewhere.
Q: What are the increased risks for women taking estrogen plus progestin?
A: The results of a five-year study show that of every 10,000 women per year taking Prempro, there would be: 8 more cases of breast cancer, 7 more cases of heart attacks, 8 more cases of stroke, and 18 more cases of blood clots in the lungs and legs.
Q: If I have suffered injury or harm in connection with taking Prempro, do I have a legitimate legal case against the manufacturer?
A: Possibly - it isn't a certainty by any means, and the details of your particular case must be analyzed by a qualified attorney, but ever since 2006, when Prempro litigation against the manufacturer (Pfizer) first began, Pfizer has paid out over $896 million dollars to plaintiffs and has litigated over 10,000 Prempro claims. Again, the details of your particular injuries may change how strong of a case you actually have against Pfizer, so do be sure to contact an attorney before you move forward.
Q: What evidence do I need to gather for a Prempro lawsuit?
A: Prempro lawsuits are basically medical product liability lawsuits, so as far as evidence is concerned, it should operate similarly to other medical product liability lawsuits. This means that, for the purpose of building your case with your attorney, you should gather all relevant medical records, gather payment records from work (for example, you may have had to take several months off of work due to heart, stroke, blood clot, or cancer related issues), and gather your medical bills records as well. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should help your attorney determine how strong your case is, as well as help calculate the damages claim you'll be making against Pfizer.