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Common Brand Name(s): Estraderm, Vivelle
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Estrogens, either used alone or with another hormone (progestin), have rarely caused very serious side effects. Discuss the risks and benefits of hormone treatment with your doctor. Estrogens should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia.
Estrogens can increase the risk of cancer of the uterus (endometrial cancer). Taking a progestin as directed by your doctor can help decrease this risk. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding.
In postmenopausal women, estrogens, taken with or without a progestin, increase the risk of cancer of the breast/ovaries, stroke, dementia, and serious blood clots. When used along with a progestin, estrogens also increase the risk of heart disease (such as heart attacks).
The risk for serious side effects may depend on the dose of estrogen and the length of time it is used. This medication should be used at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest amount of time. Discuss the use of this medication with your doctor and check with him/her regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) to see if you still need to use this medication. If you will be using this medication long-term, you should have regular complete physical exams (for example, once a year) as directed by your doctor. See also Notes section.
This medication is a female hormone (estrogen). It is used by women to help reduce symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness). These symptoms are caused by the body making less estrogen. If you are using this medication to treat symptoms only in and around the vagina, products applied directly inside the vagina should be considered before medications that are taken by mouth, absorbed through the skin, or injected. This medication may also be used by women who are not able to produce enough estrogen (for example, due to hypogonadism, primary ovarian failure).
Certain estrogen products may also be used by women after menopause to prevent bone loss (osteoporosis). However, there are other medications (such as raloxifene, bisphosphonates including alendronate) that are also effective in preventing bone loss and may be safer. These medications should be considered for use before estrogen treatment.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Peel off the backing from the patch and apply the patch to a clean, dry area of the body as directed. This patch should only be applied to certain areas of the body. Different brands of patches are applied to different areas of the body. If you have any questions about where to apply the patch, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Press the patch firmly in place for about 10 seconds to make sure it stays on. Do not apply the patch on the breast or on oily, broken, or irritated skin. Avoid applying the patch to areas of the skin where it might be easily rubbed off (such as the waistline). Use this medication as directed by your doctor. The patch is usually replaced twice a week (every 3 to 4 days). Follow the dosing schedule carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
When replacing your patch, make sure to apply the new patch to a different area. Wait at least 1 week before applying a patch to the same area. Fold the old patch in half with the sticky side together and throw away in the trash away from children and pets. Do not flush the patch down the toilet.
If a patch falls off, reapply it to a different area. If the patch does not stick completely, then apply a new patch and wear it for the rest of the scheduled period. Do not wear 2 patches at the same time.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, change the patch on the same days each week. It may help to mark your calendar as a reminder.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Warning section.
Skin redness/irritation at the application site, nausea/vomiting, bloating, breast tenderness, headache, or weight changes may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
This medication may rarely cause serious problems from blood clots (such as heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism). Get medical help right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using estradiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Do not smoke or use tobacco. Estrogens combined with smoking further increases your risk of stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attack, especially in women older than 35.
Tell your doctor if you just had or will be having surgery, or if you will be confined to a chair or bed for a long time (such as a long plane flight). These conditions increase your risk of getting blood clots, especially if you are taking an estrogen product. You may need to stop this medication for a time or take special precautions.
If you are going to have an MRI test, tell testing personnel that you are using this patch. Some patches may contain metals that can cause serious burns during an MRI. Ask your doctor whether you will need to remove your patch before the test and apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so properly.
This medication may cause blotchy, dark areas on your face and skin (melasma). Sunlight may worsen this effect. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems or trouble wearing your contact lenses. Contact your eye doctor if these problems occur.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. It may affect their growth/development. Discuss the possible effects of this medication with the doctor, and monitor your child's growth periodically.
This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. It may reduce the quality and amount of breast milk produced. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This medication patch may be harmful if chewed or swallowed. If someone has overdosed, remove the patch if possible. For serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Regular complete physical exams which include lab and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, breast exam/mammogram, pelvic exam, Pap smear) should be done while you are using this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your breasts, and report any lumps right away. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
Preventing or controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can help to reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes that can help to control or prevent these diseases include reducing stress, eating a low fat/salt diet, losing weight if overweight, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking. Keep your mind active with mental exercises (such as reading, solving crossword puzzles) to help prevent dementia. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Lifestyle changes that may help reduce hot flashes include stopping smoking, dressing lightly or in layers, avoiding/limiting certain foods (spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol), reducing stress, and exercising regularly.
Lifestyle changes that help promote healthy bones include increasing weight-bearing exercise, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and eating well-balanced meals that contain adequate calcium and vitamin D. Since you may also need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements and make lifestyle changes, consult your doctor for specific advice.
If you forget to replace a patch at the scheduled time, replace it as soon as you remember. Do not use more than one patch at a time.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature. Do not remove the patch from the pouch until ready for use. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed (See How to Use section).
Information last revised January 2023.
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