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Vagifem

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Vagifem

Vagifem®
(estradiol vaginal) Tablets

Vagifem

WARNING: ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, BREAST CANCER and PROBABLE DEMENTIA

Estrogen-Alone Therapy

Endometrial Cancer

There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg]-alone, relative to placebo [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use in Specific Populations, and Clinical Studies].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

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.

Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use in Specific Populations, and Clinical Studies].

Breast Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and Clinical Studies].

In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

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.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Vagifem 10 mcg (estradiol vaginal tablets) are small, white, film-coated tablets containing 10.3 mcg of estradiol hemihydrate equivalent to 10 mcg of estradiol. Vagifem 25 mcg (estradiol vaginal tablets) are small, white, film-coated tablets containing 25.8 mcg of estradiol hemihydrate equivalent to 25 mcg of estradiol. Each tablet of Vagifem 10 mcg and 25 mcg contains the following excipients: hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, maize starch and magnesium stearate. The film coating contains hypromellose and polyethylene glycol. Each Vagifem tablet is 6 mm in diameter and is placed in a disposable applicator. Each tablet-filled applicator is packaged separately in a blister pack. Vagifem tablets are used intravaginally. When the tablet comes in contact with the vaginal mucosa, estradiol is released into the vagina.

Estradiol hemihydrate is a white, almost white or colorless crystalline solid, chemically described as estra-1,3,5 (10)-triene-3,17β-diol. The chemical formula is C18H24O2 • ½ H2O with a molecular weight of 281.4.

The structural formula is:

Vagifem®
  (estradiol) Structural Formula Illustration

What are the possible side effects of estradiol vaginal (local) (Estrace Vaginal Cream, Estring, Vagifem)?

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 any of these serious side effects:

  • 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 headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Vagifem »

What are the precautions when taking estradiol vaginal tablets (Vagifem)?

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,...

Read All Potential Precautions of Vagifem »

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/3/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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