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What is Estraderm MX?
Estraderm MX patches are used as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve the symptoms of menopause. The patches release estradiol through the skin into the bloodstream at a constant rate to restore hormonal balance in menopausal women. This helps to reduce menopausal symptoms. Estraderm MX patches are only available on prescription.
What is Estraderm MX used for?
Estraderm MX patches are used to treat physical and/or psychological symptoms in menopausal women, including:
- Hot flushes;
- Excessive sweating (night sweats);
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep;
- Dryness of eyes and/or vagina;
- Mood swings;
- Anxiety or depression;
- Osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density).
What causes these distressing symptoms is the fact that women's ovaries produce less and less oestrogen in the period up to menopause. Hormone replacement therapy replaces what the body is naturally losing, and so reduces these symptoms. Estraderm MX is an oestrogen-only form of HRT. It is therefore most suitable for women who have had a hysterectomy. Women who have not had a hysterectomy should also be prescribed a progestogen medicine to take with this medicine to protect the womb lining from side effects.
How to use Estraderm MX
Estraderm MX patches should be applied to clean, dry skin according to the instructions on the package leaflet. Patches should NOT be applied on or near the breasts, but below the waist on the lower back, buttocks or abdomen. The patch should be replaced with a new one on the same days each week.
Estraderm MX patches are available in various strengths. A doctor should determine what strength you should use. Unless otherwise advised, the usual dose in adult women is:
- one fresh patch, twice a week.
Read the package leaflet before use.
HRT may cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with Estraderm MX patches:
- Skin irritation (itching, redness) at patch application site;
- Breakthrough bleeding or vaginal discharge;
- Breast tenderness or soreness.
Most side effects will disappear with continued use. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent. It is important to be aware that all women using HRT have a slightly increased risk of serious side effects such as breast cancer and thrombosis compared with women who don't use HRT. See the package leaflet for further information.
When not to use Estraderm MX
Estraderm MX is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to estradiol or any other of its ingredients;
- You have a known or past history of thrombosis, breast cancer or other oestrogen-related cancer;
- You have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause or an overgrowth of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia);
- You have a blood disease or liver disorder.
Consult a doctor on the use of Estraderm MX patches if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently on medication.
Estraderm MX patches are intended for women experiencing a natural menopause. They do not provide contraception. If necessary, you should use a contraceptive of some kind to avoid getting pregnant. Do not use Estraderm MX patches if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Estraderm MX patches do not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.