Elleste Solo MX is a Hormone Replacement Therapy used to relieve the symptoms of the menopause. It is what is known as an oestrogen-only HRT. The hormone is delivered via a transdermal patch – a patch that you stick on your body somewhere below the waist. The patch contains estradiol, a synthetic form of the oestrogen produced by the body, estradiol comes from plants. When you go through the menopause your ovaries stop producing eggs and this causes a drop in the amount of oestrogen your body produces. The estradiol is contained on the sticky side of the patch and is gradually absorbed by the skin over the period of time you are wearing it.
Menopausal symptoms can really affect your ability to lead a normal life. It may be a natural process but that doesn’t mean it comes without suffering. Hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, palpitations, joint paint and a whole host of unpleasant symptoms can occur when your body stops producing the same levels of oestrogen as it once did. The menopause isn’t over quickly either, it’s a slow process that takes around seven years to complete. If you are suffering and the symptoms are severe then the most common type of treatment is Hormone Replacement Therapy. HRT comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from patches to creams to tablets and finding the right one to suit you can be a process of trial and error.
What is Elleste Solo MX?
Elleste Solo MX is a Hormone Replacement Therapy used to relieve the symptoms of the menopause. It is what is known as an oestrogen-only HRT.
The hormone is delivered via a transdermal patch – a patch that you stick on your body somewhere below the waist. The patch contains estradiol, a synthetic form of the oestrogen produced by the body, estradiol comes from plants. When you go through the menopause your ovaries stop producing eggs and this causes a drop in the amount of oestrogen your body produces.
The estradiol is contained on the sticky side of the patch and is gradually absorbed by the skin over the period of time you are wearing it.
When is Elleste Solo MX used?
Elleste Solo MX is used to combat the unpleasant symptoms of the menopause such as:
- Hot flushes;
- Lower sex drive;
- Night sweats;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Vaginal dryness;
- Mood changes;
- Joint pain or stiffness;
- Frequent urinary tract infections;
- Reduced muscle mass.
Elleste Solo MX is also used to help ward off osteoporosis in women with a high risk of fractures when other medicines are unsuitable.
How do you use Elleste Solo MX?
When taking any medication you should always follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist.
Starting the treatment:
- If you are having regular periods start Elleste Solo MX within five days of starting bleeding;
- If you are not having regular periods start at any time;
- If you are switching from a different HRT with a monthly bleed complete the previous cycle then start using Elleste Solo MX within five days of the withdrawal bleeding;
- If you are switching from an HRT without a withdrawal bleed then you can start your treatment on any convenient day.
The patch should be placed on a dry, unbroken area of skin below your waistline such as your lower back or buttocks, avoid areas that are likely to be rubbed by clothing.
Each time you apply a patch you should apply it to a fresh area of skin away from the place you just used.
To apply the patch:
- Ensure the area you are going to place the patch is free from irritation and redness;
- Wash and dry the area;
- Take one patch out of the pouch;
- Take hold of the smaller piece of shiny backing covering the sticky side of the patch and apply the patch to your chosen area of skin;
- Gently peel off the rest of the backing, flattening the patch to your skin with the other hand;
- Press the patch firmly in place.
The patch should stay firmly in place until you want to change it. You can walk, run, shower, swim etc. as normal.
When the time comes to change the patch, peel off the old patch and fold the sticky sides together to ensure none of the leftover product escapes. Dispose of the patch in your normal rubbish and apply a new patch to a fresh area following the same instructions.
If the patch comes off before it is time to change it and you cannot reapply it, simply put on a new patch and change it on the usual day.
What dosages are there?
Elleste Solo MX patches come in two different strengths:
- 40 mcg, which releases 40 micrograms of estradiol into your body per day;
- 80 mcg, which releases 8m micrograms of estradiol into your body per day.
No matter which strength patch you are using, the standard dose is one patch twice a week. Change your patch on the same two days each week, e.g. Monday and Thursday. This will help you remember to do so.
With all HRTs you should aim to take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time required to alleviate your symptoms.
What are the side effects of Elleste Solo MX?
As with all medication, Elleste Solo Mx comes with a warning of some side effects, although not everyone who uses Elleste Solo will get them.
The following diseases have been reported more often in women using HRT compared to women not using HRT:
- Ovarian cancer;
- Cancer of the lining of the womb or abnormal growth in the womb;
- Breast cancer;
- Heart disease;
- Blood clots;
- Loss of memory.
If you experience any of the following while using Elleste Solo MX stop the treatment and see your doctor immediately:
- Unexplained epileptic fit;
- Fainting attack or collapse;
- New migraine or severe headache;
- Painful swelling in your leg, sudden chest pain or difficulty breathing (possible signs of a blood clot);
- Sudden or partial loss of vision;
- Impaired hearing;
- You are pregnant or think you may be.
The most common side effects (affecting more than 1 in 10 people) are:
- Breakthrough bleeding;
- Tender breasts.
Common side effects (affecting less than 1 in 10 people) are:
- Red skin;
- Changes to the skin’s pigmentation.
Usually, these reactions are mild and disappear a few days after the patch has been removed.
Rare side effects (affecting less than 1 in 1,000 people):
- Benign liver tumour.
Very rare side effects (affecting less than 1 in 10,000 people):
- Malignant liver tumour.
Finding the right HRT to suit you can be a process of trial and error so you should discuss side effects with your doctor at your check-ups.
When shouldn’t you use Elleste Solo MX?
If you have or have ever had any of the following then you should not use Elleste Solo MX:
- Any cancer sensitive to oestrogens (for example, cancer of the womb lining);
- Breast cancer;
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding;
- Excessive thickening of the womb lining;
- A blood clotting disorder;
- A recent disease caused by blood clots in the arteries like a recent heart attack, stroke or angina;
- Inflammation of a vein just under the skin;
- A blood clot in a vein;
- Liver disease;
- A rare blood problem called porphyria;
If you are allergic to estradiol or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet.
If you experience any of the conditions listed above for the first time while using Elleste Solo MX then you should stop the treatment and seek immediate medical assistance.
If you have ever had any of the health issues listed below you should discuss this carefully with your doctor before starting treatment with Elleste Solo MX as you may require more frequent check-ups:
- Growth of the womb lining outside your womb;
- A history of excessive growth of the womb lining;
- Fibroids inside your womb;
- Increased risk of developing blood clots;
- Increased risk of getting oestrogen-sensitive cancer;
- High blood pressure;
- Hereditary angioedema;
- Fluid retention due to cardiac or kidney problems;
- A disease of the immune system that affects many organs in the body (systemic lupus);
- A disease affecting the eardrum and hearing;
- A very high level of fat in your blood;
- Migraine or severe headaches;
Does Elleste Solo MX interact with other medications?
Always speak to your doctor about any other medication you are taking before starting a new treatment. Some medicines may interfere with others and reduce their effectiveness or cause more problems.
The following medicines may cause irregular bleeding if taken while using Elleste Solo MX:
- Medicines for epilepsy;
- Medicines for tuberculosis;
- Drugs that prevent harmful blood clots;
- Medicines that treat Parkinson;
- Medicines for HIV infection;
- Herbal remedies containing St John’s Wort.
Where can you buy Elleste Solo MX?
You can buy Elleste Solo MX from pharmacies nationwide. You can order discreetly from an online pharmacy and have it delivered to your home or office, or simply pick it up at your local pharmacy.
Can I get Elleste Solo MX without a prescription?
No, you cannot buy Elleste Solo MX without a prescription. Hormone Replacement Therapies are carefully monitored and are only prescribed to women whose lives are seriously affected by the symptoms of menopause. You will need to consult with a doctor either online or in-person to discuss your symptoms and your family history to work out whether Elleste Solo MX is the best course of treatment for you and to decide upon a length of this treatment. You will also need regular check-ups throughout your treatment including blood pressure monitoring. Sometimes finding the most suitable HRT is a process of trial and error to see how your body responds.
Mylan products Ltd (2018). Elleste Solo MX40 micrograms Transdermal Patch – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (emc). [online] Medicines.org.uk. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/21142 [Accessed 9 Jan. 2020].
Mylan Products Ltd (2018). [online] Medicines.org.uk. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.9514.pdf [Accessed 9 Jan. 2020].
Payne, J. (2017). Menopause | Symptoms and Treatment. [online] Patient.info. Available at: https://patient.info/womens-health/menopause [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].
Willacy, H. (2018). Hormone Replacement Therapy (Risks and Benefits). HRT. [online] Patient.info. Available at: https://patient.info/doctor/hormone-replacement-therapy-including-benefits-and-risks [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].