Vagifem

Generic Name: Estradiol

  • What is Vagifem?

    Vagifem is a local estrogen therapy (inserted into the vagina) that can help to relieve the urinary and vaginal symptoms associated with the decline of your body's estrogen production during menopause.

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

    Using estrogen alone may increase your chance of getting cancer of the uterus. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are using Vagifem. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus. Your doctor should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find the cause.

    Do not use estrogens with progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attack, or dementia. Using estrogens with progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots. Using estrogens with progestin may increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years and older.

    You and your doctor should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Vagifem.

  • Who should not take Vagifem?

    Do not start using Vagifem if you: have unusual vaginal bleeding, currently have or have had certain cancers, had a stroke or heart attack, currently have or have had blood clots or liver problems, think you may be pregnant, or are allergic to Vagifem or any of its ingredients.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vagifem. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding, asthma (wheezing), epilepsy (seizures), diabetes, migraine, endometriosis, lupus, problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys, or have high calcium levels in your blood.

    Tell your doctor if you are going to have surgery, will be on bedrest or if you are breastfeeding.

  • 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: The usual dosage is one tablet inserted inside the vagina once daily for 2 weeks then one tablet is inserted inside the vagina twice weekly thereafter.

  • How should I take Vagifem?

    Vagifem is a tablet that you place in your vagina with an applicator. To use, tear off a single applicator. Separate the plastic wrap and remove the applicator from the plastic wrap. Hold the applicator so that the finger of one hand can press the applicator plunger. Next select the best position for vaginal insertion of Vagifem that is most comfortable for you, either when lying down or when standing. Using the other hand, guide the applicator gently and comfortably through the vaginal opening. If the tablet has come out of the applicator prior to insertion, do not attempt to replace it. Use a fresh tablet-filled applicator. The applicator should be inserted (without forcing) as far as comfortably possible, or until half of the applicator is inside your vagina, whichever is less. Once the tablet-filled applicator has been inserted, gently press the plunger until the plunger is fully depressed. This will eject the tablet inside your vagina where it will dissolve slowly over several hours. After depressing the plunger, gently remove the applicator and dispose of it the same way you would a plastic tampon applicator. The applicator is of no further use and should be discarded properly. Insertion may be done at any time of the day. It is advisable to use the same time daily for all applications of Vagifem.

  • What should I avoid while taking Vagifem?

    You should not become pregnant while using Vagifem.

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

    If Vagifem is taken 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 Vagifem 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 Vagifem?

    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: upper respiratory tract infection, headache, abdominal pain, back pain, itching, vaginal fungal infection, diarrhea

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

    Do not use Vagifem if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Vagifem?

    If you forget to insert a Vagifem tablet, insert one as you remember. If it is closer to your next scheduled dose, skip the dose you missed and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Vagifem?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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