What is Estraderm?Estraderm 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, Estraderm is used to treat certain conditions in which a young woman's ovaries do not produce enough estrogens, and to reduce your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).
What is the most important information I should know about Estraderm?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 Estraderm.
Do not use Estraderm to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using Estraderm can increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.
Estraderm 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 Estraderm.
You can lower your chances of serious side effects with Estraderm 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 Estraderm. Also, ask your doctor for ways to lower your chances of 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 Estraderm?Do not use Estraderm 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 Estraderm 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 Estraderm?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Estraderm. 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 Estraderm?Use Estraderm exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor regularly (every 3-6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Estraderm.
Each Estraderm patch is individually sealed. Tear open the pouch at the indentation (do not use scissors) and remove Estraderm. Remove the protective liner that covers the adhesive side that needs to be placed on your skin.
Apply the Estraderm patch to a clean, dry area of your skin on the trunk of your body, including the buttocks and stomach. 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 Estraderm.
What should I avoid while taking Estraderm?Do not apply Estraderm onto areas of your skin that are exposed to sunlight; your breasts; oily, damaged, or irritated areas of your skin; or your waistline.
Do not touch the adhesive side of the patch.
Grapefruit juice can increase your risk of side effects with Estraderm. Talk to your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are using Estraderm.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Estraderm?If Estraderm 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 Estraderm with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.
What are the possible side effects of Estraderm?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 Estraderm if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Do not use Estraderm if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The hormone in Estraderm 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 Estraderm?Estraderm 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 Estraderm?Store at room temperature. Do not store the patch outside of the pouch.