The Estrogen Patch or Vivelle is used to control the symptoms of menopause.
The Estrogen Patch or Vivelle releases estrogen slowly through the skin into the body. In menopause there is a relative lack of estrogen, and the Estrogen Patch or Vivelle replaces this estrogen. Estrogen replacement decreases the rate of bone loss which may lead to osteoporosis. Positive effects are seen on lipid levels and some types of cancer.
Progesterone is often given along with Estrogen Patch or Vivellees to prevent the over growth of the lining of the uterus or endometrium.
The newer Estrogen Patch or Vivellees have the estrogen right in the adhesive, meaning that the patches can be worn longer - changing them once a week as opposed to twice a week.
The most common side effect is skin irritation where the Estrogen Patch or Vivelle is applied. Nausea, vomiting, break through bleeding, aggravation of migraine headaches, blood circulatory problems, appetite changes, and mood changes.
Women with liver function problems, estrogen dependent cancer, suspected pregnancy, migraine headache, and blood circulation problems should not use Estrogen Patch or Vivellees, because the estrogen released by the patch can make all these conditions worse.
Estrogen Patch or Vivellees can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners, diabetic drugs, and drugs used for high blood pressure.
Med Letter 1986;28:119
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.