Evorel is the brand name for estradiol – a medicine that contains the female hormone oestrogen. The female body loses oestrogen during and after the menopause, and this can cause unpleasant symptoms. Evorel can help relieve these and improve a woman’s lifestyle. The menopause is the result of a woman aging and the hormone oestrogen declining. Some go through the menopause with no symptoms whatsoever, while others experience unpleasant symptoms that they can sometimes find hard to deal with.
What is Evorel?
Evorel is the brand name for estradiol – a medicine that contains the female hormone oestrogen. The female body loses oestrogen during and after the menopause, and this can cause unpleasant symptoms. Evorel can help relieve these and improve a woman’s lifestyle. The menopause is the result of a woman aging and the hormone oestrogen declining. Some go through the menopause with no symptoms whatsoever, while others experience unpleasant symptoms that they can sometimes find hard to deal with. Some of these include:
- Hot flushes;
- Loss of memory;
- Vaginal dryness or itching;
- Pain or discomfort during sex;
- General feeling of ‘not being oneself’.
The menopause usually occurs in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s. It can take several years to complete, from the initial signs to the time when a woman is considered to have gone through the menopause.
There are three stages to the menopause:
- Peri-menopause: This is the pre-menopause stage when the first symptoms occur such as hot flushes and night sweats. A simple blood test can confirm if you are in the peri-menopause stage. This stage can last for 3-10 years and a woman is likely to continue to have periods during this time, although they may be irregular.
- Menopause: This is when a woman has her last period and continues to experience menopause symptoms. This process usually lasts for up to a year but can be shorter or longer.
- Post-menopause: This is the stage a woman reaches when she has not had a period for a year, but the symptoms of menopause can still occur for 2-5 years after this.
Evorel works to replace the oestrogen a woman loses during the menopause and can be taken at all stages to help cope with the symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) however is a short-term solution to assist the management of menopausal symptoms. It can be used for a period of years but should not be used indefinitely. If a woman is using HRT, her doctor should review her annually and decide if the treatment should be continued.
Evorel comes in four different patch variations: Evorel 25, Evorel 50, Evorel 75 and Evorel 100. Each contains a different amount of oestrogen, with Evorel 25 being the weakest with 25 mg of oestrogen, and Evorel 100 the strongest with 100 mg of oestrogen. Evorel patches release oestrogen into the bloodstream constantly. Your doctor will assess your individual situation when prescribing Evorel patches and decide which strength is best for you.
When is Evorel used?
Evorel patches are used when a woman experiences menopause symptoms caused by a decline in oestrogen in her body. They are prescribed to alleviate these symptoms as they replace the hormone oestrogen, which the body gradually loses as a woman gets older. As a woman reaches middle age, her body produces fewer of the two main hormones that are part of the female reproductive system: oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones control the menstrual cycle and a woman’s sexual development. In addition to producing less oestrogen, a woman’s ovaries also produce fewer eggs as she ages.
Evorel patches are also used to stop osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones) occurring after the menopause. Some women are susceptible to this condition which can be provoked by early menopause, smoking, taking certain steroid medication, a family history of the disease, and is also found in women who are small and slight-framed with small bones. Evorel patches can also be used for women who have had a hysterectomy (when the uterus (womb) and sometimes the cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes are surgically removed). This can prompt early menopause, so Evorel patches can help treat the symptoms that may occur.
There is a similar product to Evorel called Evorel Conti or Evorel Sequi, which also contains the hormone progestogen which protects the lining of the womb. This is more suitable for women who have not had a hysterectomy as they will still have their womb.
How do you use Evorel?
Evorel is a skin patch that contains the hormone oestrogen. The patch contains an evenly balanced amount of the hormone and is applied to the lower part of the body (usually the upper thighs or hips). Evorel patches work as a slow-release medicine, gradually releasing oestrogen into the body through the skin. Evorel patches should not be applied to the upper body, particularly the arms or breasts. Many women find using Evorel patches convenient as they do not have to remember to take a tablet or apply a cream every day. The patch is replaced every few days (usually twice a week) and should be used consistently to ensure an even flow of oestrogen into the body.
It is important to follow the advice of your doctor as to which strength of Evorel patches to use and how often to change them. The patches come in different strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg. Each contains the corresponding amount of oestrogen. Your doctor should start you on the lowest suitable dose for you to allow your body to adjust to the HRT. The maximum safe dose of Evorel patches is 100 mg per day, but you should only use this strength of Evorel patch if advised by your doctor.
Each Evorel patch should be applied in a different location on the body (below the waist) to avoid skin irritation. The Evorel patches should not be removed while bathing, showering or swimming. Strong heat and sunlight can speed up the release of the oestrogen in the patches. As this is a slow-release medicine and works most effectively when the oestrogen hormone is released gradually, it is advisable not to use a sauna or sunbed while using Evorel patches. You can sunbathe but you should keep the patch out of direct sunlight to prevent it getting hot and releasing a large dose of oestrogen into your body. Evorel is not a contraception medicine and will not prevent pregnancy.
What dosages are there?
There are four different dosages of Evorel patches: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg. The dose you take should be as advised by your doctor. Only use one Evorel patch at a time and replace it twice a week. You should read the package leaflet before commencing with Evorel patches to check the contraindications and possible side effects.
What are the side effects of Evorel?
As with all medicines, Evorel patches can cause some side effects, which are more likely if you are using the larger 100 mg patch.
The possible side effects are:
- Breast pain;
- Vaginal discharge;
- Itchy skin (where you stick the patch, so be sure to apply it to a different area of your body each time you change the patch);
- Stomach problems;
- Increase in weight;
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting;
- Joint pain.
If you experience any of these side effects, you should consult your doctor. There is some discussion that HRT can increase the risk of cancer. It is important you make a fully informed decision before taking Evorel patches, so we advise you to talk to your doctor and read the package information leaflet.
When should you not use Evorel?
Evorel patches should not be given to children. They are an HRT for women of menopausal age. They are not prescribed for women of fertile age. Evorel patches are not suitable for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
Evorel patches are not recommended if you:
- Have had any cardiovascular problems;
- Suffer from high blood pressure;
- Have had a stroke;
- Have had thrombosis or blood clots;
- Suffer from intense migraines.
Make sure that your tell your doctor of any previous illnesses you have had or any medication you are taking (including herbal medicines) before taking Evorel patches.
Does Evorel interact with other medication?
Evorel patches can interact with some medications. It is important to inform your doctor about any medicines you are taking before using Evorel patches, including herbal medicines. If you have diabetes, your doctor may decide to adjust the dose of your medication before giving you Evorel patches. It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic and taking Evorel patches. There is a possibility that Evorel patches could affect how some medicines used to reduce blood pressure work. Whilst your blood pressure should be monitored regularly while taking HRT, this is particularly important if you have high blood pressure and are taking medication for this. Evorel patches do not interact with any foods or alcohol.
Where can you buy Evorel?
You can purchase Evorel patches from a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor.
Can I get Evorel without a prescription?
No, Evorel patches require a prescription from a doctor and are not available over the counter.
Brazier, Y. (2017, May 25). What you need to know about HRT. Retrieved 28 April 2019 from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181726.php
Evorel patches (estradiol). 11 June 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2019 from https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/a8239/evorel- patches-estradiol/
PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER. Evorel l® estradiol. (June 2014). Retrieved 29 April 2019 from https://downloads.dokteronline.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-3535-evorel-uk.pdf-1510756509.pdf?