Vagifem is prescribed to post-menopausal women between 45 to 55 years old or older. It is also indicated to treat patients with atrophic vaginitis caused by menopause.
What does it do?
Estradiol, a type of Estrogen hormone, plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. As female patients age, the estrogen levels in their bodies decline and would be the lowest while gonadotropins such as luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) are elevated during menopause. Vagifem works by supplying estrogen to reduce the LH and FSH levels which eventually improves hormonal balance in the body.
How should I use it?
Vagifem is currently available as a 10mcg vaginal insert. The frequency depends on every patient’s condition and the doctor’s prescription. It is imperative that you do not self-medicate and only take this drug after consulting with your physician or pharmacist to determine the best dosing schedule for the treatment of your condition.
The desired effects of prescribed medications will only be achieved if taken properly. As much as possible, strictly follow your doctor’s prescribed dosing schedule. However, if you miss a dose, take it immediately and adjust the time of your next dose depending on your doctor’s advice. Never take two doses at the same time just to make up for your missed dose.
What are the special precautions before taking Vagifem?
Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking, your current and previous medical history especially if you have heart and blood clotting problems, history of cancer (you and your family), diabetes or lupus and if you have any allergies to Estradiol, Estrogen or any other ingredients included in the manufacture of this medication.
Inform your doctor if you are a woman that is not in the menopausal stage and if your uterus is still intact. Studies have shown that estrogen alone could cause endometrial cancer, so it is best if they are well informed.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the risks of Vagifem therapy.
For the drug label information of Vagifem, click here.
Does it have any side effects?
It is important to note that all drugs have corresponding side effects and adverse reactions. Additional information may be obtained when you ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Common side effects may include:
Pain or tenderness of the breast
Changes in libido
Irritation in the vaginal area
Serious side effects may include:
Difficulty of breathing
Swelling of any part of the body
Stomach pain, swelling or tenderness
Skin discoloration (yellowing)
Bulging of the eyes
If the symptoms do not go away or are life-threatening, immediately stop taking the medication and inform your doctor or call an ambulance for professional medical assistance.
Is it safe to take it with another drug?
Some drug interactions may cause serious or life-threatening reactions when administered together. Immediately inform your doctor if you are taking Vagifem with any of the following medications:
St. John’s Wort
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for other possible interactions not listed within this section.
How should I store it?
Store Vagifem in a tight container in a clean environment away from excessive heat, moisture and children’s reach. It should not be stored in the freezer.
What action should I take in case of overdose?
Call an ambulance and seek immediate medical attention to prevent further complications or possible death.
Is it safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Vagifem should not be administered during or if there is suspected pregnancy. Do not use it if you are breastfeeding or lactating.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or planning on doing so to ensure that the benefits of taking the medication outweigh the risks.
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