Treats hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause or low amounts of estrogen. Also used to prevent osteoporosis after menopause.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Alora, Climara, Estraderm, Menostar, Minivelle, Vivelle, Vivelle-Dot
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an angioedema or an allergic reaction to estradiol or if you are pregnant. Do not use this medicine if you have unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by your doctor. Do not use this medicine if you have a blood clotting disorder or have blood clots (such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism), liver disease, or if you have had a heart attack or stroke. Make sure your doctor knows if you have any kind of cancer or if you have a history of breast cancer.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
- Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
- The patient instructions will show the body areas where you can wear the patch. When putting on each new patch, choose a different place within these areas. Do not put the new patch on the same place you wore the last one. Be sure to remove the old patch before applying a new one.Do not apply the patch on or near your breasts.
- Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin.
- Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied.
If a dose is missed:
- If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.Do not open the pouch until you are ready to use the patch.
- Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), erythromycin (E.E.S.®, Ery-tab®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifater®), ritonavir (Norvir®), St John's wort, or thyroid medicine (levothyroxine, Synthroid®).
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- It is unlikely that a postmenopausal woman may become pregnant. But, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, edema (body swelling), endometriosis, epilepsy, gallbladder disease, migraine headaches, porphyria, lupus, an underactive thyroid, or a history of cancer. Your doctor needs to know about any problems with your heart or blood, such as heart disease, blood clotting problems, or high blood pressure. Make sure your doctor knows if you have high or low calcium in the blood, high blood cholesterol, or a family history of high cholesterol. Tell your doctor if you have ever had liver problems caused by pregnancy or estrogen.
- Your risk of some kinds of cancer may increase if you use large doses of estrogen over a long period of time. Talk with your doctor about this risk. If you still have your uterus (womb), ask your doctor if you should also use a progestin medicine.
- This medicine may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots. Your risk for these serious problems is even greater if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Your risk is also greater if you are overweight or smoke cigarettes. Talk to your doctor about your personal risks compared with the benefits of this medicine.
- This medicine may increase the risk of dementia (loss of some mental abilities, such as memory or judgment) in women over 65 years of age. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you have a severe headache or vision changes. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an eye doctor.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.You may need to stop using this medicine for a few weeks before and after you have surgery or if you need to stay in bed for a long time.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.You should have regular pelvic exams, breast exams, and mammograms as directed by your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Breast lump
- Chest pain, coughing up blood, sudden trouble breathing
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body
- Pain in your lower leg (calf)
- Sudden or severe headache, problems with speech or walking
- Sudden or severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Unusual or unexpected vaginal bleeding or heavy bleeding
- Vision changes
- Yellow skin or eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Skin redness or itching where the medicine is applied
- Swollen or tender breasts