What is Vagifem?
Vagifem vaginal tablets contain the active ingredient estradiol, which is a naturally occurring form of the main female sex hormone oestrogen. Vagifem is a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparation that is used in menopausal women. Vagifem vaginal tablets release small amounts of oestrogen locally into the vaginal tissues and are used to provide relief from the vaginal menopausal symptoms. Vagifem is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Vagifem used for?
The loss of oestrogen in the body due to menopause can lead to a thinning of the vaginal walls which, in turn, can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Vaginal dryness;
- Itching, pain or irritation in the vagina;
- Pain or blood loss during sex;
- Increased susceptibility to vaginal yeast infections;
- Increased susceptibility to urinary infections.
Vagifem stabilises oestrogen levels by supplying the body with extra oestrogen. This thickens the vaginal tissues and reduces menopausal symptoms.
How to use Vagifem
Vagifem comes in pre-filled disposable applicators. Remove the applicator from the packaging and insert the applicator into the vagina according to the instructions in the package leaflet. To release the tablet, gently press the push-button until you feel a click. Take out the applicator and throw it away. The vaginal tablets can be inserted at any time of the day. The tablet will stick to the wall of the vagina and won’t fall out if you stand or walk. Treatment with Vagifem should commence with one vaginal tablet once a day. Once the symptoms improve, then one tablet is used twice a week for maintenance. The use of Vagifem should be reviewed by a doctor after three months to see if it is still needed.
Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose in adult women is:
- Insert one tablet into the vagina once a day for two weeks. After this you should insert one tablet twice a week (every three or four days).
Do not exceed the recommended dose and read the package leaflet carefully before use.
Vagifem may cause side effects, including:
- Stomach ache;
- Vaginal itching or irritation;
- Breakthrough bleeding or vaginal discharge.
Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe or persistent. For a complete list of possible side effects, see the package leaflet. The package leaflet will also tell you that all women using HRT have a slightly increased risk of serious side effects such as cancer and thrombosis compared with women who don’t use HRT.
When not to use Vagifem
Vagifem vaginal tablets are not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to estradiol or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You have active breast cancer or other oestrogen-related cancer or a history of this;
- You have a blood clot in a vein (thrombosis) or the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or a history or risk of this;
- You have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause or an overgrowth of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia);
- You have a blood or liver disease.
Consult a doctor on the use of Vagifem if you have a health condition that is not listed above. Vagifem may interact with other medicines. It is therefore important to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking when you order.
Women who are still in the fertile age bracket should not use Vagifem if pregnant or breastfeeding.
This medicine does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.