Estradot is a medicine which is used to treat the effects of the menopause. A hormone replacement therapy (or HRT), it is a transdermal patch which is applied to the skin and is manufactured in the UK by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Estradot contains the female hormone estradiol and supplements declining oestrogen levels in menopausal women.
All women experience the process known as the menopause as they approach middle age. It most commonly starts between the ages of 45 and 55, although in some cases it can begin for women in their thirties.
The menopause is a natural process which occurs when menstruation periods stop and the ovaries no longer produce eggs. This happens as levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen falls. There are a number of symptoms which can be experienced during the menopause, some of which can be distressing. These can include anxiety, mood swings, disturbed sleep, hot flushes and headaches.
Many women find that these symptoms are mild and treatment is not necessary. However, for some the symptoms can be more severe and they may wish to begin HRT to alleviate them. Estradot is one of the medicines prescribed for this and is available to buy online from our UK pharmacy.
HRT usually lasts around five years. Treatment is reviewed on an annual basis, being gradually reduced as symptoms subside, before it is eventually stopped. It may not be suitable for women who have a family history of medical conditions such as heart disease or womb, ovarian or breast cancer.
Estradot patches are a single hormone treatment, containing oestrogen, and as such are most suited to those who have had a hysterectomy. This supplements the declining levels of naturally-occurring hormones in the body and helps to alleviate the effects of the menopause. The patches are applied to an area of the skin below the waist and only require changing every three to four days.
If a woman has not had a hysterectomy it is recommended that she is prescribed a medicine also containing progestogen to take in the last half of each monthly cycle. This is to balance the effects of oestrogen on the growth of the lining of the womb, which can cause endometrial cancer in some cases if left unchecked. This kind of treatment is known as combined HRT.
To get the best results from Estradot, you will need to closely follow to the instructions issued by your prescriber, and carefully read the patient information leaflet. This will also help to limit any side effects of the medication.
- Apply treatment as prescribed.
- The patch should be applied once every three to four days to a clean, dry area of skin below the waist, on the lower back, abdomen or buttocks.
- A detailed, illustrated set of instructions on how to apply the patch is provided in the leaflet.
- Consult the leaflet before use for guidance on when to start using it, particularly if transferring from another type of HRT (be it cyclical, sequential or continuous).
- Don’t use creams or lotions on your skin before putting the patch on as this will prevent it from sticking properly.
- Patches should not be placed on waistbands or on the breasts.
- Use a different area of skin each time you apply the patches to prevent your skin from becoming irritated.
- If a patch falls off prematurely or before it is scheduled to be removed, it can be replaced by the same patch or a new one if necessary. The treatment schedule can then be carried on as normal. If you are unsure, ask your prescriber for advice.
- Estradot patches can be worn while bathing.
- If you forget to change your patch, apply as soon as possible and then carry on with your usual schedule.
- Never use more than one patch at a time, or double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
These directions are only intended as a guide. Refer to the instruction leaflet before using this medicine.
Download Estradot patient information leaflet
Not everybody who uses Estradot will experience side effects, but it is important that you know what they are and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any that may be harmful.
These include: any signs of an allergic reaction; any sign of a blood clot; chest pains or pains in the chest that spread to your neck or arms; breathing difficulties; redness and painful swelling in the legs; jaundice (yellowing face and eyes, dark urine, itchy skin); sudden vaginal bleeding after stopping treatment or using Estradot for a length of time; breast cancer symptoms (lumps, dimpling of breast skin, changes in the nipple); painful periods; or sudden migraines.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. A more comprehensive list can be found on the patient information leaflet.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headaches, skin irritation, bruising, bleeding or swelling where the patch has been applied painful or tender breasts, period pain, or irregular periods.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Anxiety and depression, disturbed sleep, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, nausea, feeling bloated, dry or itchy skin, rashes, spots, enlarged breasts, heavy periods, irregular bleeding of the vagina, vaginal inflammation, vaginal discharge, severe uterine muscle contractions, unusual growth in the lining of the womb, fluid retention, changes in body weight, feeling weak, or pain in the back and limbs.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Migraines, feeling faint, high blood pressure, vomiting, discoloured skin, or impaired tests for liver function.
Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Tingling or numbness in hands and feet, blood clots, hair loss, gallstones, weak muscles, uterine muscle growths, cysts or polyps, or changes in libido.
Very rare (1 in 10000 people or less):
Severe allergic reactions (shortness of breath, swelling, hives, dizziness) spasms of the head, eyes and neck, skin lesions, discomfort while using contact lenses, excess hair growth, or increased intolerance of carbohydrates.
Taking it with other medicines
When completing your questionnaire, make sure you inform your prescriber about any prescription or nonprescription medicines you are taking so that they can determine whether or not treatment is safe for you.
Medications that can interfere with the use of Estradot include treatments for: tuberculosis (rifabutin, rifampicin); epilepsy (phenytoin, phenobarbital, and carbamazepine); HIV (nevirapine, ritonavir, efavirenz, nelfinavir); and herbal remedies that contain St John’s Wort.
It can also be affected by the use of medicines for treating infections like erythromycin and ketoconazole.
Conditions to look out for
It is important that you answer all of the questions about your medical history fully during consultation.
Estradot is not suitable if you have, or have had: breast cancer or any form of cancer which is sensitive to oestrogen, for instance womb cancer; untreated excessive thickening of the womb lining; unexplained vaginal bleeding; blood clots; a heart attack, angina or a stroke; a liver disease after which your liver function has not returned to normal; porphyria; or are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Estradot may not be recommended if you suffer from conditions such as: high blood pressure; diabetes; gallstones; epilepsy; migraines; excessive growth of the womb lining; asthma; or lupus. A doctor may also choose not to prescribe this item if you are at increased risk of breast, womb or ovarian cancer.
You will need to visit your GP for regular reviews when taking HRT, to monitor its effects and how well it is working.
HRT and cancer
There is more detailed information on HRT and cancer risk in the leaflet provided.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This treatment is only for postmenopausal women. If you become pregnant, stop using it and see your doctor as soon as you can.
Driving and using machinery
The treatment is not likely to inhibit your driving or your capacity to use machines.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. This treatment should not be affected by alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, as it is unlikely that Estradot will affect your ability to drive. However, if you notice any side effects which may interfere with your driving, you should refrain from doing so and seek medical advice.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Estradot is not suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using the treatment it should be stopped straight away.
How should I store it?
Estradot should be stored in a cool, dry place below 25°C, and must not be frozen or refrigerated.
Am I allergic to anything in this medicine?
This product contains: estradiol (as hemihydrate), acrylic and silicone adhesives, oleyl alcohol, dipropylene glycol, povidone (E1201), ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer, vinylidene/vinyl chloride copolymer, polyethylene and silicon dioxide/titanium dioxide.
You should not use Estradot if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You need a prescription to be able to buy Estradot in the UK. You can use our online service to have your case assessed by a medical professional who can renew your prescription for this item if suitable.
Is it right for me?
Which treatment you use will be discussed with you by your GP during a face-to-face consultation. Once your HRT schedule has been decided on, they will start a prescription for you.
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