ESTRADIOL VAGINAL TABLETS
In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for estradiol vaginal tablets, trade name VagifemTM.
What it’s for & How to take
Estradiol vaginal tablets are used to treat local symptoms that happen due to lowering of estrogen during menopause. Local symptoms may include a weakening of the vaginal wall, dryness, burning and itching.
This treatment will not help with full body symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes. Full body symptoms are treated with estrogen that you swallow, absorb through your skin, or receive by injection.
Wash and dry your hands before taking the estradiol vaginal tablet out of its package. The package comes with clear directions and pictures on how to insert the tablet. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for instruction if you have any questions.
Estradiol vaginal tablets are usually used once daily for the first two weeks, and then twice weekly after that. Your dose is based on your condition and response to treatment. Call your doctor or pharmacist if your condition does not show improvement within 2-3 weeks or worsens.
Most Important Warnings
- There is an increased risk of cancer in the uterus in women who use estrogen without also taking a progestin. Call your doctor right away at the first sign of genital bleeding.
- Estrogen therapy given by itself has been linked to an increased risk of stroke and blood clots in the legs.
- Estrogen therapy used along with progestin treatment has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs or lungs, and increased risk of breast cancer.
- Estrogen therapy, with or without progestin, has been shown to increase the chances of heart disease and dementia and should not be used for the treatment of either of these two disease states
- Estrogen, with or without progestin, should be prescribed at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of therapy, specific for each patient.
Other Warnings & Cautions
- Call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a blood clot, such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating, pain and swelling of your leg, weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes or confusion.
- Do not smoke while using estrogen therapy. Smoking will increase the risk of heart disease and blood clots in patients who use estrogen therapy, especially those over 35 years of age. If you can’t stay out of the sun, cover up with clothing and sunscreen.
- Let your doctor know if you will be confined to a chair for a long time, like on an airplane flight. This may increase your risk of a clot in your leg. Your doctor may have you take precautions to prevent a clot from forming.
- If you notice any change in your vision or have any difficulty wearing your contact lenses, notify your eye doctor as soon as possible to talk about it with them.
- Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if the estradiol vaginal tablet is safe for you to use.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to use with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart, liver, or kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, any blood clotting, vaginal bleeding, cancer, or any other medical condition.
- While using this medication, you may feel some nausea, bloating, headache or breast tenderness. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any vaginal bleeding, breast lumps, vaginal irritation, yellowing of the eyes or skin or increased swelling of your hands and feet.
- Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.