Estraderm MX is a kind of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) made in the United Kingdom by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. It comes in the form of an adhesive patch containing the hormone oestrogen and is available in four strengths. Estraderm MX is a treatment suitable for postmenopausal women who had their last period at least twelve months ago.
- Patch is applied twice a week
- Second line treatment for osteoporosis (in MX 50 and 75)
- Provides effective treatment in easing menopausal symptoms
As women approach middle age a number of changes take place affecting their bodies. Known as the menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs, the levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen diminish and the monthly period cycle ends. This process usually takes place when a woman is between her mid-forties and mid-fifties, though sometimes it can occur outside this age range.
While the body is going through these changes the majority of women will be affected by a number of symptoms. Commonly these include hot flushes, night sweats, disrupted sleep patterns, mood swings, sexual discomfort, and difficulty with memory and concentration. Postmenopausal women are also more likely to get osteoporosis, as the fall in hormone levels causes the bones to become brittle. Normally you will start to notice these symptoms before your periods stop and they can continue for quite some time afterwards.
While the menopause can be challenging, most women are able to cope without any medical support. In some instances however, it can begin to interfere with daily life if the symptoms are severe. This is when a course of HRT may be recommended. One form of the therapy available is Estraderm MX which you can buy online from our UK pharmacy.
Estraderm MX is a continuous form of HRT which is recommended for use by postmenopausal women who have not had a period for at least twelve months. It comes in the form of a patch which contains the female sex hormone estradiol. When the patch is applied to the skin, the hormone is absorbed into the bloodstream. This supplements the decreasing hormone levels which in turn ease the menopausal symptoms.
In its MX50 and MX75 forms, Estraderm MX can also be used as a second line treatment for postmenopausal women who are prone to osteoporosis and cannot take other licensed treatments for preventing the condition. Women prone to osteoporosis would be, for example, women who started their menopause early, smokers, those with a thin frame or those who have a family history of the disease. It may also be issued to women who have had a long course of steroid therapy.
As Estraderm MX contains an oestrogen hormone as its active ingredient it is recommended for use by women who have had their wombs removed. If you have not, you will also be supplied with a progestogen which you will take alongside Estraderm MX for around half of each monthly cycle (this is known as combined HRT).
These directions are intended as a guide. Read the instruction leaflet carefully before using this medicine and make sure you follow any instructions given to you by your prescriber closely. This will help the medication work to its optimum and lessen the chances of side effects.
- Use the medicine as directed.
- If you already taking some form of HRT you should consult the leaflet to find out when you can start the course of treatment.
- Apply a patch to a dry, clean, unbroken area of the skin on the lower body, buttocks or thighs.
- Apply a new patch twice a week every three to four days. You should always change your patch on the same days, for example Tuesday and Friday. This will also help you remember when to change your patch.
- You must never put a patch on or near your breasts.
- Stick a patch on a different area of skin every time you use a new one.
- If a patch comes off, do not try to stick it on again. You should apply a new patch to a different area of skin then continue the treatment schedule as normal.
- If you forget to put a patch on, simply apply it as soon as you remember and then carry on changing the patches on the same days as before. Never wear more than one patch at once to make up for a missed dose.
- You can continue to bathe, swim, exercise and shower while wearing the patch.
- An illustrated set of instructions on how to apply Estraderm MX patches is included on the patient information leaflet.
You may find you can use this therapy without any side effects. However, it is important that you know what the possible side effects are so you can seek appropriate medical assistance if necessary.
You must stop using the treatment and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of the following: allergic reactions (for example rashes, itching, hives, coughing, wheezing, dizziness, swelling in the face, tongue, throat, lips, skin or eyes); yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice); a considerable rise in blood pressure; signs indicating a blood clot such as pains in the chest, abdominal pain; vomiting; shortness of breath and swelling or redness in the legs; sudden onset of migraines when you have not had them before; or signs of a stroke. You must also stop taking it and see a doctor if you become pregnant.
This is not a complete list of side effects. You should always read the patient information leaflet in full before taking this or any medicine.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Irritation, redness, bleeding or discomfort in the area where the patch has been applied, breakthrough bleeding, or tenderness or soreness in the breasts.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Nausea, bloatedness, or headaches.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Fluctuations in weight, dizziness, pain in legs, or fluid retention in the legs or ankles.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Changes in skin pigmentation, itches and rashes over large areas of the skin, jaundice, abnormal liver function test results, blood clots, bruising, worsening varicose veins, or heightened blood pressure.
Other side effects can include dry eyes and irritation while using contact lenses.
Taking it with other medicines
When filling in the consultation form you should tell us as much as you can about which medicines you are already taking, both prescription and nonprescription. This will help us find the most effective treatment for you and one that will not be impeded by other medication. The efficacy of Estraderm MX can be hindered if you are taking antiviral HIV treatment, medicines for tuberculosis such as rifabutin or rifampicin, anticonvulsants for epilepsy, anti-infective medicines (ketoconazole, erythromycin) or natural remedies which contain St. John’s Wort.
Conditions to look out for
You should not take Estraderm MX if you have ever had any of the following: breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to oestrogen such as womb cancer; unexplained vaginal bleeding; a liver disease where your liver function has not returned to normal; blood clots, a blood clotting disorder such as protein S, protein C or antithrombin deficiency; stroke, angina or heart attack; an extremely thick womb lining which has been untreated; the rare hereditary blood disorder porphyria; or are allergic to estradiol or any of the other ingredients.
It is important that you let your prescriber know if you have or have ever had the following: fibroid growth inside the womb; excessive womb lining growth or growth of the lining outside the womb; you are at heightened risk of developing blood clots, breast cancer or oestrogen sensitive cancer; diabetes; a liver disease or a benign liver tumor; gallstones; epilepsy, severe headaches or migraines; asthma; Systemic lupus erythematosus; high levels of blood fat; otosclerosis; retention of fluid related to heart and kidney problems; hereditary angioedema; or hypothyroidism.
You will need to go for regular reviews with your GP when taking HRT, to ensure it is working as it should. These will take place at least once annually.
HRT and cancer
Before using this treatment, read the information on HRT and cancer risk in the leaflet provided.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This therapy is for postmenopausal women only. Stop using it and seek medical advice if you become pregnant.
Driving and using machinery
This product is not likely to affect your capacity to drive or use machines.
Can I still drink alcohol?
The treatment is not thought to be inhibited or affected by alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
There is no evidence that Estraderm MX will interfere with your ability to drive. But if you experience side effects that are impeding your driving then you should avoid it and see your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
This product must only be taken by women who are post menopause. If you do get pregnant, stop using it right away and seek medical advice.
How should I store it?
Store Estraderm MX at room temperature below 25°C. Keep it in a place out of reach by children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
The ingredients of this medicine are: estradiol, isopropyl palmitate, ethyl acetate and acrylic adhesive, ethylene vinyl acetate and a polyester film laminate.
Do not use the treatment if you have an allergy to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
This product is only available on prescription. If you want to renew your Estraderm MX prescription online, simply answer a few questions and one of our UK doctors may be able to issue one for you.
Is it right for me?
The HRT you use will be decided upon by your GP during your regular review. Once you have settled on a suitable treatment, they will initiate a prescription.
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