What is Alora?Alora is a transdermal patch (applied to your skin) that contains the estrogen hormone, estradiol. It is used to treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or severe dryness, itching, and burning in or around your vagina. Also, Alora is used to treat certain conditions in which a young woman's ovaries do not produce enough estrogens naturally, and to reduce your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).
What is the most important information I should know about Alora?Estrogens increase your risk of developing cancer of the uterus. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are using Alora.
Do not use Alora to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using Alora can increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.
Alora can also increase your risk of dementia, gallbladder disease, ovarian cancer, visual abnormalities, high blood pressure, pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas), or thyroid problems. Talk regularly with your doctor about whether you still need treatment with Alora.
You can lower your chances of serious side effects with Alora by having a breast exam and mammogram (breast x-ray) every year, unless directed by your doctor to have it more often. See your doctor immediately if you get vaginal bleeding while you are using Alora. Also, ask your doctor for ways to lower your chances for getting heart disease, especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, if you are overweight, or if you use tobacco.
Who should not take Alora?Do not use Alora if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
Do not use Alora if you have a history of stroke or heart attack, blood clots, liver problems, unusual vaginal bleeding, or certain cancers, including cancer of your breast or uterus.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Alora?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Alora. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have any unusual vaginal bleeding, asthma, seizures, diabetes, migraine headaches, endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain), lupus (disease that affects the immune system), high blood calcium levels, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys. Also, tell your doctor if you are going to have surgery or will be on bedrest.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Apply 1 patch to your skin, and replace the patch twice a week.
How should I take Alora?Use Alora exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor regularly (every 3-6 months) about whether you still need treatment with Alora.
Hold the pouch at the notch and tear off the top edge. Do not use scissors, which may damage the Alora patch. Pull the patch out and remove half of the liner, which covers the sticky surface of the patch. Without touching the sticky surface, press the sticky half of the patch onto your skin. Rub the sticky half firmly to ensure full contact with your skin.
Place the patch on the lower abdomen (below the panty line) when you first start using Alora. As you get used to applying Alora, you may want to try the hips or buttocks to see which area works best for you. When changing your patch, apply your new patch to a different area of your body. Do not apply a new patch to that same area for at least 1 week.
Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use Alora.
What should I avoid while taking Alora?Do not apply Alora onto your breasts; waistline; or onto areas of your skin that are oily, damaged, or irritated.
Do not touch the sticky surface of the patch.
Grapefruit juice can increase your risk of side effects with Alora. Talk to your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are using Alora.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Alora?If Alora is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Alora with the following: carbamazepine, cimetidine, clarithromycin, dexamethasone, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.
What are the possible side effects of Alora?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: abdominal pain, application-site redness and irritation, bloating, breast pain, fluid retention, hair loss, headache, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, liver problems, nausea, rash, vaginal yeast infections, vomiting
If you experience symptoms of breast lumps, changes in your speech, changes in your vision, chest pain, dizziness and faintness, pain in your legs, severe headaches, shortness of breath, unusual vaginal bleeding, or vomiting, contact your doctor immediately.
Can I receive Alora if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Do not use Alora if you are pregnant. The hormone in Alora can be found in your breast milk if you use it while you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Alora?Alora should be used under special circumstances determined by your doctor. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How should I store Alora?Store at room temperature. Do not store the patch outside of the pouch.