Dienogest

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Dienogest is used to reduce the painful symptoms of both endometriosis and the lesions. It decreases the amount of estrogen, a type of female hormones, and thus, slows the growth of the tissue outside the womb.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the one lining the inside of the womb, known as the endometrium, can be found outside the womb itself or on other nearby organs such as the pelvic wall ovaries, bladder and bowel. The tissue growth is fueled by estrogen, and may develop into painful lesions.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.
  • You should stop taking other hormonal treatments before starting this medication.
  • You should take this medication after food.
  • You may start taking this medication on any day of the menstrual cycle.
  • You should take one tablet daily without break, preferably at the same time every day, regardless of menstrual bleeding.
  • When a pack is finished, the next pack should be started without interruption.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
  • If you vomit or have diarrhoea within 3 – 4 hours after taking a tablet, the tablet may not be absorbed. This is considered a missed dose and you should take another tablet. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You are taking hormone contraceptives (tablet, patch, intrauterine system (IUD))
  • You have a history of or current medical conditions such as liver problems, stroke, heart disease, migraine headaches, epilepsy, diabetes or cancer

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

Side effects tend to occur during the first few months of taking dienogest, and reduces or goes away after a period of treatment. Inform your doctor if these side effects become bothersome.
  • Menstrual irregularities (if bleeding is heavy and continuous over time, it may lead to anaemia)
  • Headache, Back pain
    • You may take Paracetamol to relieve headaches and back pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Hot flushes
    • Wear loose fitting clothes or go to areas with air-conditioning
  • Mood changes
  • Acne
    • Use gentle, fragrance-free facial cleansers. Avoid picking or squeezing pimples. 
  • Stomach discomfort (e.g. nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain)
    • Take the medication after food to reduce these side effects. 
  • Weight gain
    • Choose to have smaller but more frequent meals and select healthier snack

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

Rare but serious side effects include the formation of blood clot. However, this side effect is rare and the doctor would have evaluated and weighed its benefits over risks before prescribing the medication for you.

The symptoms of blood clot include one or more of the following: 
  • Any unusual sudden cough, breathlessness or difficulty in breathing
  • Severe pain in the chest which may reach the left arm
  • Severe pain in legs or swelling in either of your legs
  • Weakness or numbness in any part of your body
  • Change in your speech, including slurring of words
  • Change in your senses of hearing, smell or taste
  • Vision changes such as loss of vision/ blurred vision
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Some medications including antibiotics, antifungals and St John’s wort may affect how Dienogest works or be affected by Dienogest. Please inform other healthcare professionals about the medication you are taking if you are seeing them for other medical conditions.

Avoid taking grapefruit when you are taking this medicine as grapefruit may interact with your medicine and increase the risk of side-effects.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last reviewed on July 19

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Dienogest

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