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All about: Estraderm

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Generic Name: estradiol transdermal (ess tra DY ol tranz DERM al)
Brand Names: Alora, Climara, Esclim, Estraderm, Fempatch, Menostar, Vivelle, Vivelle-Dot

What is Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone the regulates many processes in the body.

Estradiol transdermal skin patches are used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as dryness, burning, and itching of the vaginal area. Estradiol transdermal also reduces urgency or irritation of urination. Estradiol skin patches are also used to treat ovarian disorders, infertility, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Some estradiol skin patches are used to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Transdermal skin patches release the drug slowly, and it is absorbed through your skin.

Estradiol transdermal may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Do not use this medication if you have any of the following conditions: a history of stroke or blood clot, circulation problems, a bleeding disorder, a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer, or abnormal vaginal bleeding. This medication can cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Do not use if you are pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol transdermal.

Long-term estradiol treatment may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using estradiol transdermal.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Do not use estradiol transdermal if you have:
  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;

  • a history of stroke or circulation problems;

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked; or

  • any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer.

Before using estradiol transdermal, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • asthma;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • migraines;

  • diabetes;

  • depression;

  • gallbladder disease; or

  • if you have had your uterus removed (hysterectomy).

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use estradiol transdermal, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol transdermal.

Long-term estradiol treatment may increase your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use estradiol transdermal if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication. Estradiol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.

Apply the skin patch to clean, dry skin on your stomach, lower back, or buttocks. Choose a different spot within these skin areas each time you apply a new patch. Avoid skin that is oily, irritated, or damaged.

Press the patch in place firmly for about 10 seconds, especially around the edges.

Do not apply a skin patch to your breasts. Do not apply a patch where it might be rubbed off by tight clothing, such as under an elastic waistband.

If a patch falls off, try putting it back on to a different skin area, pressing the patch into place for 10 seconds. If the patch will not stick you may apply a new one.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using estradiol transdermal.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply a skin patch as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to apply your next patch, skip the missed dose and apply a patch at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra patches to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of an estradiol transdermal overdose may include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.

What should I avoid while using Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Avoid using other vaginal products without your doctor's advice.

Estraderm (estradiol transdermal) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;

  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • pain or swelling in your lower leg;

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding;

  • pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • a lump in your breast.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • swollen breasts;

  • acne or skin color changes;

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;

  • migraine headaches or dizziness;

  • vaginal pain, dryness, or discomfort;

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • depression; or

  • changes in your menstrual periods, break-through bleeding.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Estraderm (estradiol transdermal)?

Before using estradiol transdermal, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • St. John's wort;

  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • ritonavir (Norvir);

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or

  • antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox);

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use estradiol transdermal or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect estradiol transdermal. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about estradiol transdermal written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Estradiol transdermal skin patches are available with a prescription under the brand names Alora, Climara, Esclim, Estraderm, Fempatch, Menostar, and Vivelle. Other brand and generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.04. Revision Date: 8/14/06 4:42:10 PM.

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