Climara

Generic Name: Estradiol

  • What is Climara?

    Climara contains the hormone estrogen, and is used after menopause to reduce hot flashes and dryness, itching, and burning in or around the vagina. Climara is also used to treat certain conditions in which a young woman's ovaries do not produce enough estrogen naturally. Climara also helps to reduce your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Climara?

    Estrogens increase the risk of getting cancer of the uterus. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding to your doctor right away while you are taking estrogens. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus.

    Do not use estrogens with or without progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes or dementia. Doing so may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or blood clots. Using estrogens with progestins may increase your risk of dementia. You and your doctor should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Climara.

  • Who should not take Climara?

    Do not start Climara if you have unusual bleeding, had a stroke or heart attack in the past year, have a history of certain cancers, blood clots, or liver problems, or are allergic to Climara or any of its ingredients. Also, tell your doctor if you think you may be pregnant.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Climara?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Climara. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma, seizures, migraines, endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain), lupus (disease that affects the immune system), problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys, have high calcium levels in your blood, are breastfeeding, or 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.

    Estrogens should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment only as long as needed. You and your doctor should talk regularly (for example, every 3-6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Climara.

    In women who are not currently taking oral estrogens, treatment with Climara can be initiated at any time. In women who are currently taking oral estrogen, treatment with Climara can be initiated 1 week after withdrawal of oral therapy or sooner if symptoms reappear in less than 1 week.

    Menopausal Symptoms

    Adults: Treatment should begin with the 0.025-milligram (mg) per day patch, applied to the skin once weekly. The dose should be adjusted as necessary to control symptoms.

    Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

    Adults: The minimum dose that has been shown to be effective is the 0.025-mg per day patch applied to the skin once weekly.

  • How should I take Climara?

    Climara is a patch that you wear on your skin. The estrogen in Climara passes through your skin. You must change the patch every 7 days (once a week). The Climara patch should be worn continuously for 1 week. You may wish to try different sites when putting on a new patch to find ones that are most comfortable for you and where clothing will not rub on the patch or loosen it.

    Open the Climara pouch (leaving the foil sticker inside) and remove the patch. Apply the sticky side of the Climara patch to a clean, dry area of the lower stomach below your belly button or the top of the buttocks. Do not apply the Climara patch to your breasts. Rotate application sites on the lower stomach and buttocks, allowing at least 1 week between applications to the same site. The site selected should not be oily, damaged, or irritated. Avoid the waistline, since tight clothing may rub and remove the patch. Also, do not put the patch on areas where sitting would rub it off or loosen it. Press the patch firmly in place with your fingers for about 10 seconds. Make sure that it sticks all over, especially around the edges.

    When removing the used patch, carefully fold it in half so that it sticks to itself and discard it. Any adhesive that might remain on your skin can be easily rubbed off. Then place the new Climara patch on a different skin site.

    Contact with water when you are bathing, swimming, or showering may affect the patch. If the patch falls off, the same patch may be reapplied to another area of your lower abdomen. If the patch will not stick completely to your skin, put a new patch on a different area of your lower abdomen. Do not apply two patches at the same time.

  • What should I avoid while taking Climara?

    Avoid applying more than one patch at one time or cutting a patch in half.

    Avoid eating or drinking grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking Climara because side effects may be increased.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Climara?

    If Climara 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 Climara with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Climara?

    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: headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, stomach cramps or bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, high blood pressure, liver problems, high blood sugar, fluid retention, enlargement of benign tumors of the uterus ("fibroids"), vaginal yeast infection

  • Can I receive Climara if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Climara should not be used during pregnancy. The hormone in Climara can pass into breastmilk. 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 Climara?

    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 for the missed dose.

  • How should I store Climara?

    Store at room temperature in the original sealed pouch.

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