Consumer Medicine Information
NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons
living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common
. It does
not contain all the information that is known about
. It does not take the
place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks
and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine
against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have
any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.
When you must not use Estraderm MX
Do not use Estraderm MX or other oestrogens, with or without a progestogen to prevent heart attacks, stroke or dementia.
A study called the Women's Health Initiative indicated increased risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and blood clots
in the legs or lungs in women receiving treatment with a product containing conjugated oestrogens 0.625 mg and the progestogen
medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). The researchers stopped the study after 5 years when it was determined the risks were greater
than the benefits in this group. The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study indicated increased risk of dementia in women
aged 65-79 years taking conjugated oestrogens and MPA. There are no comparable data currently available for other doses of
conjugated oestrogens and MPA or other combinations of oestrogens and progestogens. Therefore, you should assume the risks
will be similar for other medicines containing oestrogen and progestogen combinations.
Talk regularly with your doctor about whether you still need treatment with Estraderm MX.
Treatment with oestrogens, with or without progestogens should be used at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest period
What Estraderm MX is used for
Estraderm MX is a type of treatment called hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It is a stick-on patch that contains a hormone
Estraderm MX is used for the short-term relief of symptoms of the menopause. It can also be used to prevent thinning of the
bones in women with a high risk of fractures due to osteoporosis who cannot use other treatments.
HRT should not be used for the long-term maintenance of general health or to prevent heart disease or dementia.
Estraderm MX is not suitable for birth control and it will not restore fertility.
How it works
Oestradiol is a natural female sex hormone called an oestrogen. It is the same hormone that your ovaries were producing before
The menopause occurs naturally in the course of a woman's life, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. It may happen sooner
if the ovaries are removed by surgery (e.g. total hysterectomy). After menopause, your body produces much less oestrogen than
it did before. This can cause unpleasant symptoms such as a feeling of warmth in the face, neck and chest, "hot flushes" (sudden,
intense feelings of heat and sweating throughout the body), sleep problems, irritability and depression. Some women also
have problems with dryness of the vagina causing discomfort during or after sex. Oestrogens can be given to reduce or eliminate
After the age of 40, and especially after the menopause, some women develop osteoporosis. This is a thinning of the bones
that makes them weaker and more likely to break, especially the bones of the spine, hip and wrist. Exercise, calcium and
vitamin D can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Estraderm MX releases oestradiol in a continuous and controlled way just as your ovaries were doing before. Because the medicine
does not have to pass through your stomach and liver, it allows you to take a much lower dose of oestrogen than would be needed
in a tablet and helps to avoid some unpleasant side effects.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription. It is not habit-forming.
Before you use Estraderm MX
When you must not use it
Do not use Estraderm MX if you have an allergy to:
oestradiol, the active ingredient, or to any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
any other medicine containing oestrogen, including the birth control pill
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of
the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
If you had a severe skin reaction in the past, you could have a very serious reaction if you use any type of oestrogen (patch,
tablet, cream, etc.) again in the future.
Do not use Estraderm MX if you have:
cancer of the breast or uterus (womb) or any other oestrogen dependent cancer, or you have had this condition in the past
blood clots in your blood vessels, now or in the past. You may have had painful inflammation of the veins or blockage of
a blood vessel in the legs, lungs, brain or heart
a condition that increases the tendency for you to get blood clots
endometriosis (a disorder of the uterus that may cause painful periods and abnormal bleeding)
abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been investigated
severe liver disease
a condition called porphyria
If you are not sure whether any of the above conditions apply to you, your doctor can advise you.
Do not use Estraderm MX if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
It may affect your baby.
If you still have a uterus (womb), do not use Estraderm MX unless you are also taking another medicine called a progestogen.
Women who still have a uterus must take both oestrogen and progestogen as part of HRT. This is because oestrogen stimulates
the growth of the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium). Before menopause this lining is removed during your period
through the action of a natural progestogen. After menopause, taking oestrogen on its own as HRT may lead to irregular bleeding
and to a disorder called endometrial hyperplasia. Your doctor will prescribe a progestogen to protect the lining of the uterus
from the effects of oestrogen.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
In that case, return it to your pharmacist.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if you have:
a family history of breast cancer
nodules, lumps or cysts in your breasts or any other benign breast condition (not cancer)
fibroids or other benign tumours of the uterus (not cancer)
had one or more pregnancies where you lost the baby before birth
high blood pressure
kidney or liver problems
migraine or other severe headaches
gall bladder disease
a high level of triglycerides in the blood
a disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
low levels of thyroid hormone
a bone disease causing high calcium levels in the blood
very low calcium levels in the blood
had a problem in the past with jaundice (a liver problem) or itching skin when you took an oestrogen (e.g. the birth control
pill or HRT)
a skin condition that could be made worse by applying the patch
hereditary angioedema or if you have had episodes of rapid swelling of the hands, feet, face, lips, eyes, tongue, throat (airway
blockage) or digestive tract
Your doctor may want to take special precautions if you have any of the above conditions.
Tell your doctor if you are likely to have an increased risk of developing blood clots in your blood vessels. The risk increases
as you get older and it may also be increased if:
anyone in your immediate family has ever had blood clots in the blood vessels of the legs or lungs
you are overweight
you have varicose veins
you have a disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking birth control pills.
Estraderm MX is not a contraceptive. Since pregnancy may be possible early in the menopause while you are still having menstrual
periods, you should ask your doctor to suggest another (non-hormonal) method of birth control.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription
from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Estraderm MX may interfere with each other. These include:
herbal medicines containing St. John's wort
some medicines to help you sleep, including barbiturates and meprobamate
some medicines for epilepsy, including phenytoin and carbamazepine
phenylbutazone, a medicine for pain and inflammation
some antibiotics and other anti-infective medicines, including rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine, efavirenz, ritonavir and
You may need to take different amounts of your medicines or to take different medicines while you are using Estraderm MX.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you start using this medicine.
How to use Estraderm MX
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
These instructions may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
When to start it
If you are not already using HRT, you can start Estraderm MX at a convenient time for you. If you are already using a different
type of HRT, your doctor can advise you when to switch to Estraderm MX.
How much to use
The patches come in three strengths. To reduce symptoms of the menopause, you will usually start with the Estraderm MX 50
patch. Your doctor will check your progress and may change you to a lower or higher strength, depending on your response to
treatment. To prevent thinning of the bones, Estraderm MX 50 or 100 may be suitable.
How to use it
A leaflet in the carton contains pictures and information on how to apply the patch properly.
You will usually have a patch on all the time. You will apply a new patch twice weekly (every 3 or 4 days). There are 8 patches
in the carton, enough for a 4-week cycle.
Estraderm MX can also be used in cycles of 3 weeks of patches and then 1 week with no treatment. Your doctor will advise you
on the method that is best for you.
If you have not had a hysterectomy (operation to remove the uterus), you must take another type of hormone called a progestogen
as well as using the patches. A progestogen helps to protect the lining of the uterus. If you have not been asked to take
a progestogen, talk to your doctor.
How long to use it
If you want to continue using HRT for longer than a few months, discuss the possible risks and benefits with your doctor.
You may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots on the lungs and dementia.
On the other hand, the risk of hip fractures and bowel cancer may be reduced. If you have had a hysterectomy but still have
your ovaries, there may also be a small increase in the risk of developing cancer of the ovaries. Your doctor can discuss
these risks and benefits with you, taking into account your particular circumstances.
If you forget to use it
Apply a new patch as soon as you remember, and then go back to your usual schedule.
If you have trouble remembering when to use or replace your patches, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you use too much (Overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your
nearest hospital, if you think that an overdose has happened. Keep the telephone numbers for these places handy.
Because of the way this medicine is used, an intentional overdose is unlikely. Swallowing a patch may cause nausea and vomiting.
While you are using Estraderm MX
Things you must do
If you become pregnant while using Estraderm MX, tell your doctor immediately.
It should not be used while you are pregnant.
See your doctor at least once a year for a check-up. Some women will need to go more often. Your doctor will:
check your breasts and order a mammogram at regular intervals
check your uterus and cervix and do a pap smear at regular intervals
check your blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Check your breasts each month and report any changes promptly to your doctor.
Your doctor or nurse can show you how to check your breasts properly.
Tell your doctor that you are using Estraderm MX well in advance of any expected hospitalisation or surgery. If you go to
hospital unexpectedly, tell the doctor who admits you that you are using it.
The risk of developing blood clots in your blood vessels may be temporarily increased as a result of an operation, serious
injury or having to stay in bed for a prolonged period. If possible, this medicine should be stopped at least 4 weeks before
surgery and it should not be restarted until you are fully mobile.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are using Estraderm MX.
Tell any other doctor, dentist or pharmacist who treats you that you are using Estraderm MX.
Things you must not do
Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give it to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using Estraderm MX.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment
if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by these lists of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. Ask your doctor or pharmacist
to answer any questions you may have.
Stop using Estraderm and tell your doctor straight away if you experience:
difficulty breathing or swallowing, tightness of the chest, hives, general rash, swelling, itching, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal
pain (possible signs of a severe allergic reaction) or
swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, and/or extremities (possible signs of angioedema)
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of the body;
shortness of breath, wheezing or troubled breathing
signs that blood clots may have formed, such as sudden severe headache, sudden loss of coordination, blurred vision or sudden
loss of vision, slurred speech, numbness or tingling in an arm or leg, painful swelling in the calves or thighs, chest pain,
difficulty breathing, coughing blood
pain or tenderness in the abdomen, which may be accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
a yellow colour to the skin or eyes, itching, dark coloured urine or light coloured bowel motions.
signs of angioedema: swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, and/or extremities.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting (if bleeding is heavy, check with your doctor as soon as possible)
tender, painful or swollen breasts
redness, irritation or itching under the patch
itching or inflammation of the vagina
pain during sex or when urinating (passing water)
palpitations (feeling of fast or irregular heartbeat)
swelling of the lower legs, ankles, fingers or abdomen due to fluid retention
nausea (feeling sick), abdominal cramps, bloating
rise in blood pressure
tiredness, nervousness, irritability, depression
muscle or nerve pain, leg pain
worsening of varicose veins
ringing in the ears
changes in weight
reversible skin discolouration
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Some people may have other side effects not yet known or mentioned in this leaflet. Some side effects can only be found when
laboratory tests are done.
After using Estraderm MX
Keep your medicine in the original container until it is time to use it.
Store it in a cool dry place.
Do not store Estraderm MX or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
Keep the patches where young children cannot reach them.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Fold used patches in half with the sticky side inwards. Dispose of them where children cannot reach them.
Used patches still contain some oestradiol which could harm a child.
If your doctor tells you to stop using this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any
patches that are left over.
What it looks like
Estraderm MX patches come in three strengths: 25, 50 and 100. They are thin, flat, square patches with rounded corners, sealed
in individual pouches. Each carton contains 8 patches (enough for 4 weeks of treatment).
Estraderm MX 25 patches are marked CG GRG
Estraderm MX 50 patches are marked CG GSG
Estraderm MX 100 patches are marked CG GTG
Estraderm MX patches are made up of three layers:
a waterproof transparent backing film
a sticky layer containing the active ingredient, oestradiol
a protective liner (to be removed before use)
Estraderm MX patches release approximately 25, 50 or 100 micrograms oestradiol in 24 hours.
The following inactive ingredients are also used to make the patch:
silicone coating on the release liner
Estraderm MX is supplied in Australia by:
NOVARTIS Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Limited
ABN 18 004 244 160
54 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Telephone: 1 800 671 203
Web site: www.novartis.com.au
This leaflet was prepared in December 2012.
Australian Registration Number.
Estraderm MX 25 AUST R 67089
Estraderm MX 50 AUST R 56658
Estraderm MX 100 AUST R 67090