Novofem is a sequential, or cyclical form of hormone replacement therapy, made by Novo Nordisk. This product consists of two types of pill, one containing oestrogen, and another carrying both oestrogen and progesterone. These are dispensed in sequence by a device called a calendar pack. Novofem, as a combined form of HRT, is issued to those having symptoms who have not experienced periodic bleeding for at least six months.
- Adept relief from menopausal symptoms
- Simple to take course of tablets
- Dispensed via a calendar pack
The average age at which a woman undergoes the menopause is 51, occurring in most cases between the ages of 45 and 55. During the menopause, the ovaries will stop producing an egg, and periodic bleeding will start to decelerate before coming to a total halt. As a result of these changes, the levels of hormones in the body will also fluctuate.
Other menopausal symptoms occur when oestrogen is in short supply, and include headaches, hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping and mood swings. Bone strength can also deteriorate following the menopause, posing an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Many women experiencing the above symptoms may only do so to a mild degree; in these cases, they may not even be noticeable. Others, however, may find that their symptoms are more severe in nature, and present more of an obstacle during their day-to-day life. Treatment may be able to help if the effects of the menopause are this prominent.
HRT is available in a variety of forms. Novofem is a sequential, combined tablet. This type is better suited to those women who have gone for six months without a natural menstrual bleed. It contains two functioning components, called estradiol and norethisterone. These are man-made versions of oestrogen and progesterone. The former relieves symptoms by treating oestrogen deficiency, and restoring levels of the hormone; whereas the latter performs a balancing function, to make sure that oestrogen levels do not rise to a point where they may prove potentially hazardous.
When using this product, you should make sure you adhere to the directions provided by your prescribing consultant. This will help you to get the most out of your medication. You should also read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to use and make every effort to follow them, as this will help you to limit the risk of side effects.
- Take this tablet in the manner prescribed by your physician.
- A typical course is one pill per day, taken at the same time each day.
- Swallow each of these whole with water.
- Advice on when to start taking it can be found in the accompanying leaflet.
- If you miss a dose, you can take it when you remember as long as it is within 12 hours of your scheduled administration. Otherwise, you should skip the dose you have missed and take your next one at the usual time.
- Do not make up for a missed dose with a double dose.
- Novofem is a sequential treatment. This means that the pills contain different amounts of the active components, and it therefore needs to be taken in a specific order.
- The pills are stored in a simple to use device called a calendar pack to help you keep track of the course.
The above directions are supplied only as a guide, and do not constitute detailed instructions. More comprehensive user guidelines can be located in the patient information leaflet.
Download Novofem patient information leaflet
This drug may cause side effects in some users, and it is important to be aware of the nature of these so that you can take the appropriate action in the event that they occur. If you notice any potentially harmful side effects, such as any signs which may indicate the following, you should visit your nearest doctor or hospital right away: heart disease; an allergic reaction; memory loss if using over the age of 65; stroke; blood clot in a vein; or breast, endometrial or ovarian cancer. More information on what these signs look like can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headache or tender breasts.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Rise in blood pressure, fungal vaginal infection, dizziness, sleeplessness, mood swings, indigestion, abdominal pain, flatulence, feeling sick, rash, itching, irregular menstrual bleeding, exacerbation of uterine fibroids, oedema, or weight gain.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Migraine, changes in libido, thrombosis, being sick, gallbladder disease, hair loss, or cramps.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Nervousness, dizziness, diarrhoea, bloating, acne, or uterine fibroid growth.
The above is not a total account of the side effects this product may induce. For a more detailed guide, consult the leaflet provided.
Taking it with other medicines
Some treatments may interact with how well this drug works, or vice versa. These include: antiepilepsy drugs including carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin; or treatments for: tuberculosis such as rifampicin and rifabutin; HIV infections, for example nevirapine, efavirenz, ritonavir and nelfinavir; or hepatitis C, such as telaprevir; St John’s Wort; or any product containing ketoconazole.
Conditions to look out for
Do not use Novofem if you have or have ever had any of the following: breast or endometrial cancer, or any other type exacerbated by oestrogen; vaginal bleeding which your doctor could not explain; untreated endometrial hyperplasia; a blood clot in a vein or a blood clotting disorder; a heart attack or stroke; porphyria; angina; or liver disease from which you have not yet recovered.
You should also let your prescriber know if you have a history of: fibroids inside your womb; endometriosis or endometrial hyperplasia; increased susceptibility to blood clots; an increased risk of developing oestrogen-reliant cancer; high blood pressure; liver disorder; asthma; otosclerosis; a very high level of fat in your blood; fluid retention due to cardiac or kidney problems; any condition where your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, for which you are receiving thyroid hormone replacement therapy; hereditary angioedema; gallstones; migraine; systemic lupus erythematosus; epilepsy; lactose intolerance; or diabetes.
You will need to have periodic check-ups with your doctor when taking HRT. This should take place at least once a year.
HRT and cancer
Further information on HRT and cancer risk can be located in the leaflet provided with this treatment.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This product is only for postmenopausal use. Do not use it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medication and inform your GP.
Driving and using machinery
This treatment should not inhibit your driving or ability to operate machinery.
This medicine contains lactose. Tell your prescriber if you have an intolerance to any sugars.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. The action of this drug should not be impaired by alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. It is unlikely that your capacity to drive will be affected. Nonetheless, if you experience any side effects which could compromise your judgment or motor skills, you should not drive and seek advice from a doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
This product is not suitable for use by those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby.
How should I store it?
Keep in a safe place below 25°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This drug consists of the following ingredients: estradiol hemihydrate, norethisterone acetate, lactose monohydrate, maize starch, hydroxypropylcellulose, talc, magnesium stearate, triacetin, hypromellose, titanium dioxide (E171), propylene glycol, and red iron oxide (E172). Do not use it if you are allergic to any of the above.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You will require a prescription to be able to buy Novofem from ours or any other UK pharmacy. You can renew your prescription by completing our short medical survey. Every case is checked by a practising doctor, before being dispensed by our UK pharmacy.
Is it right for me?
If you are having menopause symptoms but are not taking treatment, you should make an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to discuss suitable treatments with you, and issue a prescription where required.
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