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  • Generic Name: (estradiol)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 09/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Vagifem is a medicine that contains an estrogen hormone. Vagifem is used to treat menopausal changes in and around the vagina due to menopause. It is available as an insert that is inserted into the vagina.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Menopausal women have lower levels of the hormone estrogen in their bodies, resulting in vaginal changes such as vaginal dryness, burning, irritation, or itching, burning with urination, and light bleeding after intercourse. Vagifem provides estrogen to help relieve those symptoms.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Vagifem has been shown to significantly improve vaginal symptoms due to menopause.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you use Vagifem exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start using Vagifem. Your healthcare provider may also ask you questions from time to time to assess how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Using estrogen-only medicines such as Vagifem may increase your chance of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are using Vagifem. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of endometrial cancer.

      Do not use Vagifem alone to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia (an illness involving confusion, loss of memory, and impaired judgment). Using Vagifem alone may increase your chance of getting strokes, blood clots, or dementia.

      Do not use Vagifem in combination with certain medicines known as progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using Vagifem in combination with progestins may increase your chance of a heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or dementia. Using Vagifem in combination with progestins may also increase your chance of developing breast cancer.

      More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection, headache, abdominal (stomach area) pain, back pain, genital itching, vaginal infections, diarrhea.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Vision problems, with symptoms such as double vision, bulging eyes, or sudden new severe headaches.

      Vagifem may also cause gallbladder problems, increased blood calcium levels, increased blood pressure, increased triglyceride (type of fat in the blood) levels, or swelling.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use Vagifem if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not use Vagifem if you have unusual vaginal bleeding or have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder.

      Do not use Vagifem if you currently have or have had certain cancers (including breast cancer), blood clots, or liver problems.

      Do not use Vagifem if you had a stroke or a heart attack.

      Do not use Vagifem if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vagifem. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma; seizures; diabetes; migraines; endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain); lupus (a disease that affects the immune system); heart, liver, thyroid, or kidney problems; high blood calcium levels; or a scheduled surgery, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Insert 1 insert in your vagina once a day for 2 weeks, followed by 1 insert twice a week thereafter.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Use Vagifem exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop using Vagifem without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Be sure to review the instructions that came with your prescription before you start using Vagifem.

      Estrogens should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment only as long as needed. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) about the dose you are using and whether you still need treatment with Vagifem.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become pregnant while you are using Vagifem.

      Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are using Vagifem without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Vagifem is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Vagifem may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are using Vagifem. Vagifem can be found in your breast milk if you use it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Vagifem, insert it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not insert two inserts at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
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