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Elleste Duet

Elleste Duet is taken after the menopause mainly for symptom relief and sometimes to prevent osteoporosis (weak, frail bones) when other bone medicines cannot be used.

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What is Elleste Duet?

The hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Elleste Duet, comprises two hormones provided in two tablet types (i.e., it is a combined HRT). The hormones are an oestrogen (oestradiol) and a progestogen (norethisterone); the former naturally occurs, the latter is synthetic. Oestrogen only is in one tablet type and both hormones are in the other type.

In the premenopause, each of your ovaries slowly reduces the amount of oestrogen up to the menopause. The fall in oestrogen levels can cause concerning symptoms like hot flushes, irregular periods, mood swings, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness and itchiness, and painful intercourse. Taking oestrogen minimises these symptoms. However, oestrogen encourages growth of the womb, which increases the risk of womb (endometrial) cancer. Thus, progesterone is also taken to counteract womb growth and reduce this cancer risk.

Oestrogen also protects our bones by preventing bone loss (osteoporosis); a deficit after the menopause can make our bones thin and fragile and break easily. Elleste Duet therefore protects the bones, reducing the likelihood of fracture.

How to use Elleste Duet

There are two doses of Elleste Duet, you will start with the dose to suit your needs. The Elleste Duet pack contains the two types of tablet; there are 16 of one and 12 of the other. You must start with one of the 16 tablets. If your periods are still regular, then start on day 1 of bleeding; if your periods are irregular, then start straight away. The foil strip will indicate the order in which to take the tablets and, when you finish one strip, start the next the following day. When taking these tablets, try to do so at the same hour of the day and swallow them whole with water. If you are currently on another HRT, start Elleste Duet when you finish the pack; otherwise your doctor will tell you the method of switching medicines.

Most, but not all, women will have a bleed starting after day 21 until day 5 of the next pack. Bleeds may be irregular at first, but if they continue to be or are additional to the monthly bleed, inform your doctor. Missing a tablet can cause spotting (bleeding). If you do miss a dose, then take it only if you remember within 12 hours; otherwise safely dispose of it and continue at the usual time. If you take too much, it is not serious but you may feel unwell and you should continue as scheduled. You are recommended to detail your and your family history of diseases and have regular check-ups while on this medication.

Who can use Elleste Duet?

Elleste Duet is for women after the menopause. Elleste Duet is not to be taken during pregnancy and is not a means of contraception. Precautionary use of contraception may be required if it is less than 12 months since your period or you have not reached 50 years of age.

You will not be prescribed Elleste Duet if you either have or have had breast cancer or a cancer that is oestrogen sensitive, vaginal bleeding (unexplained), thickened womb lining (untreated), blood clots in veins, heart disease/stroke (due to blood clots), blood clotting anomalies, porphyria, liver problems, and allergies to the medicine's ingredients. Other ailments that may return or worsen with this HRT include womb lining problems and fibroids, high blood pressure, high fat (triglyceride) levels in the blood, systemic lupus erythematosus, epilepsy, migraine, asthma, otosclerosis, diabetes, water retention, gallstones, and underactive thyroid glands. Report any disorders that develop, return, or worsen, or if you need surgery.

Irregular bleeds can occur if you are taking other medicines, so let your doctor know about them all including herbal products such as St John's Wort. Medicines to highlight are those used to treat HIV, tuberculosis, and epilepsy. Note that Elleste Duet can alter blood test results.

Elleste Duet Side Effects

It is very common to experience headache, and problems with your breasts (pain and tenderness) and menstrual cycle (such as pain). Commonly, women have changes in mood and sex drive, dizziness, problems sleeping, a range of digestive disturbances (e.g., nausea, indigestion, and diarrhoea), skin problems (e.g., acne, itchiness, dry skin) and menstrual disturbances (e.g., heavy periods, spotting, and pain), vaginal dryness/infection, pain and weakness, ankle/extremity swelling, and increase in body weight. A few people get high blood pressure, varicose veins, problems with their gallbladder, skin colour changes, and muscle cramp. Rarely, breast cancer, growths within the womb, blood clots and numbness are reported. Some diseases potentially occur more frequently if you take Elleste Duet, including cancer of the breast, ovaries, and endometrium (womb), blood clots, heart disease, stroke, and (if started +65 years old) memory loss

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Hormone replacement therapy
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