Transdermal estradiol is prescribed for various purposes in women experiencing menopause, which marks the cessation of monthly menstrual periods. It helps manage hot flashes, characterized by sudden sensations of mild or intense body heat. This medication is also employed to alleviate vaginal dryness, itching, and burning associated with menopause.
Estradiol belongs to a class of drugs known as estrogen hormones and functions by replacing the estrogen typically produced by the body.
Uses and Dosage
Remove the protective backing from the patch and adhere it to a clean, dry area of your body as instructed. Apply the patch to specific body regions, various patch brands are designed for different areas. If you have any uncertainty about the appropriate application site, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Firmly press the patch down for approximately 10 seconds to ensure secure attachment. Avoid placing the patch on the breast or on skin that is oily, damaged, or irritated. Additionally, refrain from applying it to areas prone to frequent rubbing, such as the waistline. Follow your doctor’s instructions precisely when using this medication. Typically, the patch is replaced every three to four days (twice a week). Adhere to the prescribed dosing schedule.
The dosage is determined based on your medical condition and how you respond to the treatment.
When changing the patch, be sure to affix the new one to a different area. Allow at least one week to pass before applying a patch to the same location. Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together and dispose of it in the trash, away from the reach of children and pets. Do not flush the patch down the toilet.
If a patch falls off, reapply it to a different area. If it doesn’t adhere securely, replace it with a new patch and continue wearing it for the remainder of the scheduled period. Avoid using two patches simultaneously.
Consistently use this medication to derive the maximum benefits. To help you remember, switch the patch on the same days every week. You may find it helpful to mark your calendar as a reminder.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- breast pain or tenderness
- weight gain or loss
- hair loss
- redness or irritation of the skin that was covered by the estradiol patch
- swelling, redness, burning, irritation or itching of the vagina
- vaginal discharge
- painful menstrual periods
- changes in mood
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- loss of appetite
- stomach tenderness, pain, or swelling
- rash, blisters on skin, or other skin changes
- swelling, of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Prior to using estradiol, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any allergies or sensitivities, including allergies to this medication. This product might contain inactive components that could potentially trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before initiating this treatment, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have experienced any of the following conditions: unexplained vaginal bleeding, specific cancers, blood clots, strokes, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, a family history of certain medical conditions, personal or family history of angioedema, blood clotting disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides, obesity, lupus, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), imbalances in minerals, a particular hormonal disorder (hypoparathyroidism), issues with the uterus, gallbladder disease, asthma, seizures, migraine headaches, certain blood disorders (porphyria), or mental/mood disorders.
Avoid smoking or tobacco use. Combining estrogen with smoking heightens the risk of stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, particularly in women older than 35.
Notify your doctor if you have recently undergone surgery, are planning to undergo surgery, or will be immobile for an extended period. These situations increase the risk of developing blood clots, especially when using estrogen-containing products. Your doctor may recommend discontinuing this medication temporarily or taking specific precautions.
If you are scheduled for an MRI test, inform the testing staff about your use of this patch. Certain patches may contain metals that can cause severe burns during an MRI. Consult your doctor to determine whether you need to remove the patch before the test, apply a new patch afterward, and how to do so correctly.
This medication may lead to the development of blotchy, dark patches on your face and skin (melasma). Sun exposure can exacerbate this effect. Limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, and use sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors.
If you have nearsightedness or wear contact lenses, you may experience vision problems or difficulty wearing your contacts. Contact your eye doctor if these issues arise.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, which could potentially affect their growth and development. Discuss any potential effects of this medication with your doctor, and monitor your child’s growth periodically.
Do not use this medication during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant, promptly inform your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk, potentially reducing the quality and quantity of breast milk produced. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Vivelle DOT is available in the following forms and strengths:
Vivelle DOT transdermal patch:
How long does it take for the Vivelle-Dot patch to start working?
You should notice some improvement in your menopausal symptoms after 2 weeks of treatment with an estrogen patch.
When should I change my Vivelle-Dot patch?
Replace Vivelle-Dot twice weekly. Rotate the sites of application, with an interval of at least 1 week allowed between applications to a particular site.