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(estradiol) Transdermal System
ESTROGENS INCREASE THE RISK OF ENDOMETRIAL CANCER
Close clinical surveillance of all women taking estrogens is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding.
There is no evidence that the use of “natural” estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens at equivalent estrogen doses. (See WARNINGS, Malignant neoplasms, Endometrial cancer.)
CARDIOVASCULAR AND OTHER RISKS
Estrogens with and without progestins should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Dementia.)
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5mg) relative to placebo. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neoplasms, Breast cancer).
The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of WHI, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens plus medroxyprogesterone acetate relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)
Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins were not studied in the WHI clinical trials and, in the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar. Because of these risks, estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.
Climara®, estradiol transdermal system, is designed to release estradiol continuously upon application to intact skin. Six (6.5, 9.375, 12.5, 15, 18.75 and 25 cm²) systems are available to provide nominal in vivo delivery of 0.025, 0.0375, 0.05, 0.06, 0.075 or 0.1 mg respectively of estradiol per day. The period of use is 7 days. Each system has a contact surface area of either 6.5, 9.375, 12.5, 15, 18.75 or 25 cm², and contains 2, 2.85, 3.8, 4.55, 5.7 or 7.6 mg of estradiol USP respectively. The composition of the systems per unit area is identical. Estradiol USP is a white, crystalline powder, chemically described as estra-1,3,5(10)-triene-3, 17β-diol. It has an empirical formula of C18H24O2 and molecular weight of 272.39. The structural formula is:
The Climara (estradiol transdermal) system comprises three layers. Proceeding from the visible surface toward the surface attached to the skin, these layers are (1) a translucent polyethylene film, and (2) an acrylate adhesive matrix containing estradiol USP. A protective liner (3) of siliconized or fluoropolymer-coated polyester film is attached to the adhesive surface and must be removed before the system can be used.
The active component of the system is estradiol. The remaining components of the system (acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing) are pharmacologically inactive.
What are the possible side effects of estradiol transdermal?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden severe headache, sudden vision changes, problems with speech or balance;
- sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up...
What are the precautions when taking estradiol transdermal (Climara)?
Before using estradiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: vaginal bleeding of unknown cause, certain cancers (such as breast cancer, cancer of the uterus/ovaries), blood clots, stroke, heart disease (such as heart attack), liver disease, kidney disease, family medical history (especially breast lumps, cancer, blood clots, angioedema), blood clotting disorders (such as protein C or protein S deficiency), high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, obesity,...
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/2/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Climara Information
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