Estradiol Transdermal System (Menostar)
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Estradiol Transdermal System (Menostar)

Menostar®
(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 stroke and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 6.8 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) alone per day, relative to placebo. (See Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The 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 0.625 mg) combined with medroxypro-gesterone acetate (MPA 2.5mg) per day, relative to placebo (see Clinical Studies, and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neo-plasms, Breast Cancer.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of the WHI study, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with CE 0.625 mg alone and during 4 years of treatment with 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 Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, geriatric use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and pro-gestins 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.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Menostar®, estradiol transdermal system, is designed to provide nominal in vivodelivery of 14 mcg 17β-estradiol per day continuously upon application to intact skin. The period of use is 7 days. The transdermal system has a contact surface area of 3.25 cm², and contains 1 mg of estradiol USP.

Estradiol USP (17β-estradiol) 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:

Menostar® (estradiol) Structural Formula Illustration

The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) 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 transdermal system can be used.

The Menostar transdermal system comprises three layers - Illustration

The active component of the transdermal system is 17β-estradiol. The remaining components of the transdermal 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, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • pain or swelling in your lower leg;
  • abnormal vaginal...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Menostar »

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

INDICATIONS

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is indicated for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. When prescribing solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, therapy should be considered only for women at significant risk of osteoporosis and non-estrogen medications should be carefully considered.

The mainstays for decreasing the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis are weight bearing exercise, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, and when indicated, pharmacologic therapy. Postmenopausal women require an average of 1500mg/day of elemental calcium. Therefore, when not contraindicated, calcium supplementation may be helpful for women with suboptimal dietary intake. Vitamin D supplementation of 400-800 IU/day may also be required to ensure adequate daily intake in postmenopausal women.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include low bone mineral density, low estrogen levels, family history of osteoporosis, previous fracture, small frame (low BMI), light skin color, smoking, and alcohol intake. Response to therapy can be predicted by pre-treatment serum estradiol (see Table 3), and can be assessed during treatment by measuring biochemical markers of bone formation/resorption, and/or bone mineral density.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) should only be prescribed to postmenopausal women who are at significant risk of osteoporosis. Non-estrogen medications should be carefully considered. Risk factors for osteoporosis include low bone mineral density, low estrogen levels, family history of osteoporosis, previous fracture, small frame (low BMI), light skin color, smoking, and alcohol intake. Response to therapy can be predicted by pre-treatment serum estradiol (see Table 3), and can be assessed during treatment by measuring biochemical markers of bone formation/resorption, and/or bone mineral density.

When estrogen is prescribed for a postmenopausal woman with a uterus, a progestin should also be used, to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. A woman without a uterus does not need progestin. For women who have a uterus, adequate diagnostic measures, such as endometrial sampling, when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding.

It is recommended that women who have a uterus and are treated with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) receive a progestin for 14 days every 6 to 12 months and undergo an endometrial biopsy at yearly intervals or as clinically indicated. (See BOXED WARNINGS and WARNINGS).

Application of the System

The adhesive side of the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) transdermal system should be placed on a clean, dry area of the lower abdomen. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) should not be applied to or near the breasts. The sites of application must be rotated, with an interval of at least 1-week allowed between applications to a particular site. The area selected should not be oily, damaged, or irritated. The waistline should be avoided, since tight clothing may rub and remove the transdermal system. Application to areas where sitting would dislodge the transdermal system should also be avoided. The transdermal system should be applied immediately after opening the pouch and removing the protective liner. The transdermal system should be pressed firmly in place with the fingers for about 10 seconds, making sure there is good contact, especially around the edges. If the transdermal system lifts, apply pressure to maintain adhesion. In the event that a transdermal system should fall off, a new transdermal system should be applied for the remainder of the 7-day dosing interval. Only one system should be worn at any one time during the 7-day dosing interval. Swimming, bathing, or using a sauna while using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) has not been studied, and these activities may decrease the adhesion of the transdermal system and the delivery of estradiol.

Removal of the Transdermal System

Removal of the system should be done carefully and slowly to avoid irritation of the skin. Should any adhesive remain on the skin after removal of the system, allow the area to dry for 15 minutes. Then gently rubbing the area with an oil-based cream or lotion should remove the adhesive residue.

Used patches still contain some active hormones. Each patch should be carefully folded in half so that it sticks to itself before throwing it away.

HOW SUPPLIED

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system), 14 mcg/day — each 3.25 cm²system contains 1 mg of estradiol USP

Individual Carton of 4 systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NDC 50419-455-04

Do not store above 86°F (30°C). Do not store unpouched. Apply immediately upon removal from the protective pouch.

Manufactured by 3M Drug Delivery Systems, Northridge, CA 91324. Manufactured for: Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wayne, NJ 07470. March 2007.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

SIDE EFFECTS

See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

Summary of Most Frequently Reported Treatment Emergent Adverse Experiences/Medical Events ( ≥ 5%) By Treatment Groups

AE per Body System Menostar 14 mcg/day
(N=208)
Placebo
(N=209)
Body as a Whole 95 (46%) 100 (48%)
  Abdominal Pain 17 (8%) 17 (8%)
  Accidental Injury 29 (14%) 23 (11%)
  Infection 11 (5%) 10 (5%)
  Pain 26 (13%) 26 (12%)
Cardiovascular 20 (10%) 19 (9%)
Digestive System 52 (25%) 44 (21%)
  Constipation 11 (5%) 6 (3%)
  Dyspepsia 11 (5%) 9 (4%)
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders 25 (12%) 22 (11%)
Musculoskeletal System 54 (26%) 51 (24%)
  Arthralgia 24 (12%) 13 (6%)
  Arthritis 11 (5%) 15 (7%)
  Myalgia 10 (5%) 6 (3%)
Nervous System 30 (14%) 23 (11%)
  Dizziness 11 (5%) 6 (3%)
Repiratory System 62 (30%) 67 (32%)
  Bronchitis 12 (6%) 9 (4%)
  Upper Respiratory Infection 33 (16%) 35 (17%)
Skin and Appendages 50 (24%) 54 (26%)
  Application Site Reaction 18 (9%) 18 (9%)
  Breast Pain 10 (5%) 8 (4%)
Urogenital System 66 (32%) 40 (19%)
  Cervical Polyps 13 (6%) 4 (2%)
  Leukorrhea 22 (11%) 3 (1%)

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported with estrogens and/or progestin therapy.

Genitourinary system

Changes in vaginal bleeding pattern and abnormal withdrawal bleeding or flow; breakthrough bleeding; spotting; dysmenorrhea; increase in size of uterine leiomyomata; vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis; change in amount of cervical secretion; changes in cervical ectropion; ovarian cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; endometrial cancer.

Breasts

Tenderness, enlargement, pain, nipple discharge, galactorrhea; fibrocystic breast changes; breast cancer.

Cardiovascular

Deep and superficial venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; thrombo-phlebitis; myocardial infarction; stroke; increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting; abdominal cramps, bloating; cholestatic jaundice; increased incidence of gallbladder disease; pancreatitis; enlargement of hepatic hemangiomas.

Skin

Chloasma or melasma, which may persist when drug is discontinued; erythema multiforme; erythema nodosum; hemorrhagic eruption; loss of scalp hair; hir-sutism; pruritus, rash.

Eyes

Retinal vascular thrombosis; intolerance to contact lenses.

Central nervous system

Headache; migraine; dizziness; mental depression; chorea; nervousness; mood disturbances; irritability; exacerbation of epilepsy; dementia.

Miscellaneous

Increase or decrease in weight; reduced carbohydrate tolerance; aggravation of porphyria; edema; arthalgias; leg cramps; changes in libido; anaphylactoid/ana-phylactic reactions including urticaria and angioedema; hypocalcemia; exacerbation of asthma; increased triglycerides.

Read the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

  1. Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.
  2. Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T3 levels by radioim-munoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Patients on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.
  3. Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum (i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-l-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).
  4. Increased plasma HDL and HDL2 subfraction concentrations, reduced LDL cholesterol concentration, and in oral formulations increased triglyceride levels.
  5. Impaired glucose tolerance.
  6. Reduced response to metyrapone test.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

WARNINGS

See BOXED WARNINGS.

Cardiovascular disorders

Estrogen and estrogen/progestin therapy have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (venous throm-boembolism or VTE). Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogens should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboem-bolism (e.g., personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Coronary heart disease and stroke

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, an increased risk of stroke was observed in women receiving CE compared to placebo (44 versus 32 per 10,000 women-years). (See Clinical Studies.)

In the CE/MPA substudy of the WHI study, an increased risk of CHD events (defined as non-fatal myocardial infarction and CHD death) was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (37 versus 30 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was observed in year one and persisted.

In the same substudy of the WHI study, an increased risk of stroke was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (29 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was observed after the first year and persisted. (See Clinical Studies.)

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average age 66.7 years) a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study; HERS) treatment with CE/MPA (0.625 mg/2.5mg per day) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE/MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease. There were more CHD events in the CE/MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand three hundred and twenty one women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE/MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

Large doses of estrogen (5 mg conjugated estrogens per day), comparable to those used to treat cancer of the prostate and breast, have been shown in a large prospective clinical trial in men to increase the risks of nonfatal myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and thrombophlebitis.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis was observed in women receiving CE compared to placebo (21 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in deep vein thrombosis risk was observed during the first year. (See Clinical Studies.)

In the CE/MPA substudy of WHI, a 2-fold greater rate of VTE, including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo. The rate of VTE was 34 per 10,000 women-years in the CE/MPA group compared to 16 per 10,000 women-years in the placebo group. The increase in VTE risk was observed during the first year and persisted. (See Clinical Studies.)

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

Malignant neoplasms

Endometrial cancer

The use of unopposed estrogens in women with intact uteri has been associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2- to 12-fold greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than one year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for five to ten years or more and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women taking estrogen/progestin combinations 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 of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

Breast cancer

The use of estrogens and progestins by postmenopausal women has been reported to increase the risk of breast cancer. The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about this issue is the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) substudy of CE/MPA (see Clinical Studies). The results from observational studies are generally consistent with those of the WHI clinical trial and report no significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogens or progestins, doses, or routes of administration.

The CE/MPA substudy of WHI reported an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took CE/MPA for a mean follow-up of 5.6 years. Observational studies have also reported an increased risk for estrogen/progestin combination therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen alone therapy, after several years of use. In the WHI trial and from observational studies, the excess risk increased with duration of use. From observational studies, the risk appeared to return to baseline in about five years after stopping treatment. In addition, observational studies suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen/progestin combination therapy as compared to estrogen alone therapy.

In the CE/MPA substudy, 26% of the women reported prior use of estrogen alone and/or estrogen/progestin combination hormone therapy. After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years during the clinical trial, the overall relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.01-1.54), and the overall absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE/MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE/MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years for CE/MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger and diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE/MPA group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups.

The use of estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation. All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Dementia

In the estrogen-alone WHIMS, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years was randomized to CE or placebo. In the estrogen plus progestin WHIMS, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years was randomized to CE/MPA or placebo.

In the estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for estrogen-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83-2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for estrogen-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years. It is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See Clinical Studies and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women being treated with CE/MPA (1.8 percent, n=2,229) and 21 women in the placebo group (0.9 percent, n=2,303) received diagnoses of probable dementia. The relative risk for CE/MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21 – 3.48), and was similar for women with and without histories of menopausal hormone use before WHIMS. The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE/MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years, and the absolute excess risk for CE/MPA was 23 cases per 10,000 women-years. It is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See Clinical Studies and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

It is unknown whether these findings apply to estrogen alone therapy.

Gallbladder disease

A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

Visual abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be discontinued.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Addition of a progestin when a woman has not had a hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration, or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of pro-gestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include a possible increased risk of breast cancer.

Elevated blood pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen. Blood pressure should be monitored at regular intervals with estrogen use.

Hypertriglyceridema

In patients with preexisting hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis and other complications.

Impaired liver function and past history of cholestatic jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function. For patients with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Patients with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Patients dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These patients should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

Fluid retention

Because estrogens may cause some degree of fluid retention, patients with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as a cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogens are prescribed.

Hypocalcemia

Estrogens should be used with caution in individuals with severe hypocalcemia.

Ovarian cancer

The CE/MPA sub-study of WHI reported that estrogen plus progestin increased the risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE/MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77-3.24) but was not statistically significant. The absolute risk for CE/MPA versus placebo was 4.2 versus 2.7 cases per 10,000 women-years. In some epidemiological studies, the use of estrogen alone, in particular for ten or more years, has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Other epidemiologic studies have not found these associations.

Exacerbation of endometriosis

Endometriosis may be exacerbated with administration of estrogens. A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen alone therapy. For patients known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

Exacerbation of other conditions

Estrogens may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine or porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic heman-giomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

Patient Information

Physicians are advised to discuss the PATIENT INFORMATION leaflet with patients for whom they prescribe Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

Laboratory Tests

Estrogen administration should be initiated at the lowest dose approved for the indication and then guided by clinical response rather than by serum hormone levels (e.g. estradiol, FSH).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term continuous administration of estrogen, with and without progestin, in women with and without a uterus, has shown an increased risk of endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. (See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS.)

Long-term continuous administration of natural and synthetic estrogens in certain animal species increases the frequency of carcinomas of the breast, uterus, cervix, vagina, testis, and liver.

Pregnancy

Menostar should not be used during pregnancy. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS.)

Nursing Mothers

Estrogen administration to nursing mothers has been shown to decrease the quantity and quality of the milk. Detectable amounts of estrogens have been identified in the milk of mothers receiving this drug. Caution should be exercised when Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) in pediatric patients has not been established.

Geriatric Use

A total of 417 postmenopausal women 61-79 years old, with an intact uterus, participated in the osteoporosis trial. More than 50% of women receiving study drug, were considered geriatric (65 years or older). Efficacy in older ( > 65 years) and younger ( < 65 years) postmenopausal women in the osteoporosis treatment trial was comparable both at 12 and 24 months. Safety in older ( > 65 years) and younger ( < 65 years) postmenopausal women in the osteoporosis treatment trial was also comparable throughout the study.

Of the total number of subjects in the estrogen-alone substudy of the WHI study, 46 percent (n = 4,943) were 65 years and older, while 7.1 percent (n = 767) were 75 years and older. There was a higher relative risk (CE versus placebo) of stroke in women less than 75 years of age compared to women 75 years and older.

In the estrogen-alone substudy of the WHIMS, a population of 2,947 hysterec-tomized women, aged 65 to 79 years, was randomized to estrogen-alone (CE 0.625 mg) or placebo. In the estrogen-alone group, after an average follow-up of 5.2 years, the relative risk (CE versus placebo) of probable dementia was 1.49 percent (95 percent CI, 0.83-2.66)

Of the total number of subjects in the estrogen plus progestin substudy of the WHI study, 44 percent (n = 7,320) were 65 years and older, while 6.6 percent (n = 1,095) were 75 years and older. There was a higher relative risk (CE/MPA versus placebo) of stroke and invasive breast cancer in women 75 and older compared to women less than 75 years of age.

In the estrogen plus progestin substudy of WHIMS, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women, aged 65 to 70 years, was randomized to conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5 mg) or placebo. In the estrogen plus progestin group, after an average follow-up of 4 years, the relative risk (CE/MPA versus placebo) of probable dementia was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21-3.48).

Pooling the events in women receiving CE or CE/MPA in comparision to those in women on placebo, the overall relative risk of probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19-2.60). Since both substudies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See BOXED WARNINGS and WARNINGS, Dementia.)

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OVERDOSE

Overdosage of estrogen may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females. Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of estrogen-containing drug products by young children.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:

  1. Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.
  2. Known, suspected, or history of cancer of the breast.
  3. Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia.
  4. Active deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or a history of these conditions.
  5. Active or recent (e.g. within the past year) arterial thromboembolic disease (e.g., stroke, myocardial infarction).
  6. Liver dysfunction or disease.
  7. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to its ingredients.
  8. Known or suspected pregnancy. There is no indication for Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) in pregnancy. There appears to be little or no increased risk of birth defects in children born to women who have used estrogens and progestins from oral contraceptives inadvertently during early pregnancy (See PRECAUTIONS.)

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) transdermal system provides systemic estrogen therapy by releasing 17β-estradiol, the major estrogenic hormone secreted by the human ovary.

Endogenous estrogens are largely responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. Although circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions, estradiol is the principal intracellular human estrogen and is substantially more potent than its metabolites, estrone and estriol, at the receptor level.

The primary source of estrogen in normally cycling adult women is the ovarian follicle, which secretes 70 to 500 mcg of estradiol daily, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, most endogenous estrogen is produced by conversion of androstenedione, secreted by the adrenal cortex, to estrone by peripheral tissues. Thus, estrone and the sulfate conjugated form, estrone sulfate, are the most abundant circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women.

Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. To date, two estrogen receptors have been identified. These vary in proportion from tissue to tissue.

Circulating estrogens modulate the pituitary secretion of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), through a negative feedback mechanism. Estrogens act to reduce the elevated levels of these hormones seen in postmenopausal women.

The decline of ovarian estrogen production that accompanies menopause or oophorectomy results in the acceleration of bone loss and bone resorption. Bone resorption is increased more than bone formation especially in the early years of menopause where bone loss is the greatest. In some women, these changes will eventually lead to decreased bone mass, osteoporosis and increased risk for fractures, particularly that of the spine, hip, and wrist. Vertebral fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fracture in postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women with low serum estradiol concentrations and high serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) have an increased risk of hip and vertebral fractures. Postmenopausal estrogen therapy decreases bone resorption, helping to reestablish balance between resorption and formation. This effect appears to be effective for as long as treatment is continued.

Pharmacokinetics

The bioavailability of estradiol following application of a Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) transdermal system, relative to that of a transdermal system delivering 25 mcg/day, was investigated in 18 healthy postmenopausal women mean age 66 years (range 60-80 years). The mean serum estradiol concentrations upon administration of the two patches to the lower abdomen are shown in Figure 1. Transdermal administration of Menostar produced geometric mean serum concentration (Cavg) of estradiol of 13.7 pg/mL. No patches failed to adhere during the one week application period of both transdermal systems. Following application of the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) transdermal system to the abdomen, it is estimated to provide an average nominal in-vivo daily delivery of 14 mcg estradiol/day.

Absorption

The Menostar transdermal delivery system continuously releases estradiol which is transported across intact skin leading to sustained circulating levels of estradiol during a 7-day treatment period. The systemic availability of estradiol after transdermal administration is about 20 times higher than that after oral administration. This difference is due to the absence of first pass metabolism when estradiol is given by the transdermal route.

Figure 1 : Mean Uncorrected Serum 17β-Estradiol Concentrations vs. Time Profile Following Application of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) and Climara® 6.5 cm² Transdermal System

Mean Uncorrected Serum 17&beta;-Estradiol Concentrations vs. Time Profile - Illustration

Table 1 provides a summary of estradiol pharmacokinetic parameters determined during evaluation of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) using baseline uncorrected serum concentrations.

Table 1 : Summary of Estradiol Pharmacokinetic Parameters (Abdomen Application)

Product Estradiol
Daily Delivery
Rate, mcg/day
AUC
(0-tlast)
pg•h/mL
Cmax
pg/mL
Cavg
pg/mL
Tmax
h
Cmin
pg/mL
Menostar 14 2296 20.6 13.7 42 12.6
Climara® 6.5 cm² 25 4151 37.2 24.7 42 20.4

Pharmacokinetic parameters are expressed in geometeric means except for the tmax which represents the median estimate and the Cmin which is expressed as the arithmetic mean.

The estimated estradiol daily delivery rate for Climara 6.5 cm² is quoted from the Climara labeling.

Distribution

The distribution of exogenous estrogens is similar to that of endogenous estrogens. Estrogens are widely distributed in the body and are generally found in higher concentrations in the sex hormone target organs. Estrogens circulate in the blood largely bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin. In the clinical study with 208 patients on Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) , SHBG concentration (mean ± SD) remained essentially unchanged over the 2 year period (baseline 45.1 ± 20.1 nmol/L, 24 month visit 46.4 ± 20.9 nmol/L).

Metabolism

Exogenous estrogens are metabolized in the same manner as endogenous estrogens. Circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions. These transformations take place mainly in the liver. Estradiol is converted reversibly to estrone, and both can be converted to estriol, which is the major urinary metabolite. Estrogens also undergo enterohepatic recirculation via sulfate and glucuronide conjugation in the liver, biliary secretion of conjugates into the intestine, and hydrolysis in the intestine followed by reabsorption. In postmenopausal women, a significant proportion of the circulating estrogens exist as sulfate conjugates, especially estrone sulfate, which serves as a circulating reservoir for the formation of more active estrogens.

Excretion

Estradiol, estrone, and estriol are excreted in the urine along with glucuronide and sulfate conjugates.

Special Populations

Geriatric: The efficacy and safety of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) has been studied in women between 60 and 80 years of age, with approximately half over 65 years old.

Pediatric: No pharmacokinetic study for Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) has been conducted in a pediatric population.

Gender: Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is indicated for use in postmenopausal women only.

Race: No studies were done to determine the effect of race on the pharmacoki-netics of Menostar.

Patients with Renal Impairment: Total estradiol serum levels are higher in postmenopausal women with end stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving maintenance hemodialysis than in normal subjects at baseline and following oral doses of estradiol. Therefore, conventional transdermal estradiol doses used in individuals with normal renal function may be excessive for postmenopausal women with ESRD receiving maintenance hemodialysis.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment: Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function and should be administered with caution.

Drug Interactions

In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that estrogens are metabolized partially by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). Therefore, inducers or inhibitors of CYP3A4 may affect estrogen drug metabolism. Inducers of CYP3A4 such as St. John's Wort preparations (Hypericum perforatum), phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and rifampin may reduce plasma concentrations of estrogens, possibly resulting in a decrease in therapeutic effects and/or changes in the uterine bleeding profile. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, ketoconazole, itra-conazole, ritonavir and grapefruit juice may increase plasma concentrations of estrogens and may result in side effects.

Adhesion

In a Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) pharmacokinetic study with 18 postmenopausal women, no patches failed to adhere during the one week application period.

Clinical Studies

The efficacy of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis was investigated in a 2-year double blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study in the United States. A total of 417 postmenopausal women, 60 to 80 years old, with an intact uterus were enrolled in the study. All patients received supplemental calcium and vitamin D.

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) produced larger increases in bone mass than placebo as reflected by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometric (DEXA) measurements of hip and lumbar spine BMD. The changes in BMD from baseline were statistically significantly (p < 0.001) greater during treatment with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) than during treatment with placebo for hip and spine after 1 and 2 years.

At lumbar spine Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) increased BMD by 2.3% after 1 year and 3% after 2 years compared with a 0.5% increase after 1 and 2 years of treatment with placebo. At the hip Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) increased BMD by 0.9% after one year and 0.84% after two years compared with a mean decrease of 0.22% after 1 year and 0.71% after 2 years of placebo treatment (see Table 2 below).

Table 2 : Mean Percent BMD Change from Baseline in Lumbar Spine and Total Hip (Full Analysis Set)

Lumbar spine Total hip
Time points Menostar
N = 208
Placebo
N = 209
p-value Time points Menostar
N = 208
Placebo
N = 209
p-value
  n = 189 n = 186     n = 189 n = 184  
12-month Endpoint +2.29 +0.51 < 0.001 12-month Endpoint +0.9 -0.22 < 0.001
  n = 189 n = 186     n = 189 n = 185  
24-month Endpoint +2.99 +0.54 < 0.001 24-month Endpoint +0.84 -0.71 < 0.001
N = total number of patients; n = number of patients with data available for each variable

The BMD data of the study were analyzed according to baseline estradiol levels of the patients. Overall, estimated treatment effects on lumbar spine and total hip BMD after 2 years were approximately twice as large in the subgroup with baseline estradiol levels < 5 pg/mL than in the subgroup with baseline estradi-ol levels ≥ 5 pg/mL [Table 3].

Table 3 : Mean percent change in lumbar spine and total hip BMD at 24 months by subgroups of baseline estradiol level ( < 5 pg/mL, ≥ 5 pg/mL)

Lumbar spine Total hip
Baseline estradiol levels Menostar Placebo Treatment difference Menostar Placebo Treatment difference
< 5 pg/mL n = 101 n = 97   n = 101 n = 96  
+3.5 +0.29 3.21
(p < 0.001)
+1.04 -1.09 2.13
(p < 0.001)
≥ 5 pg/mL n = 88 n = 89   n = 88 n = 89  
+2.4 +0.81 1.59
(p = 0.002)
+0.61 -0.31 0.92
(p = 0.045)
n = number of patients with data available for each variable

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) therapy also resulted in consistent, statistically significant suppression of bone turnover, as reflected by changes in serum and urine markers of bone formation (osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase) and bone resorption (carboxyterminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (ICTP) and the urinary deoxypryridoline/creatinine ratio).

Women's Health Initiative Studies

The WHI-enrolled a total of 27,000 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women to assess the risks and benefits of either the use of oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) alone per day or the use of oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5 mg) per day compared to placebo in the prevention of certain chronic diseases. The primary endpoint was the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome studied. A “global index” included the earliest occurrence of CHD, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism (PE), endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other cause. The study did not evaluate the effects of CE or CE/MPA on menopausal symptoms.

The estrogen-alone substudy was stopped early because an increased risk of stroke was observed. Results of the estrogen-alone substudy, which included 10,739 women (average age 63 years, range 50 to 79: 75.3 percent white, 15 percent black, 6.1 percent Hispanic), after an average follow-up of 6.8 years are presented in Table 4.

Table 4 : RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE RISK SEEN IN THE ESTROGEN ALONE SUBSTUDY OF WHIa

Eventc Relative Risk*
CE vs Placebo
at 6.8 Years
(95% CI)
CE
n = 5310
Placebo
n = 5429
Absolute Risk per 10,000 Women-years
CHD events 0.91 (0.75-1.12) 49 54
Non-fatal MI 0.89 (0.7-1.12) 37 41
CHD death 0.94 (0.65-1.36) 15 16
Invasive breast cancer 0.77 (0.59-1.01) 26 33
Stroke 1.39 (1.1-1.77) 44 32
Pulmonary embolism 1.34 (0.87-2.06) 13 10
Colorectal cancer 1.08 (0.75-1.55) 17 16
Hip fracture 0.61 (0.41-0.91) 11 17
Death due to causes other than the events above 1.08 (0.88-1.32) 53 50
Global Indexb 1.01 (0.91-1.12) 192 190
Deep vein thrombosisc 1.47 (1.04-2.08) 21 15
Vertebral fracturesc 0.62 (0.42-0.93) 11 17
Total fracturesc 0.7 (0.63-0.79) 139 195
a adapted from JAMA, 2004; 291:1701-1712
b a subset of the events was combined in a “global index”, defined as the earliest occurrence of CHD events, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes
c Not included in Global Index
*Nominal confidence intervals unadjusted for multiple looks and multiple comparisons

For those outcomes included in the WHI “global index” that reached statistical significance, the absolute excess risks per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE alone was 12 more strokes, while the absolute risk reduction per 10,000 women-years was 6 fewer hip fractures. The absolute excess risk of events included in the “global index” was a nonsignificant 2 events per 10,000 women-years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of all-cause mortality. (See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.)

The CE/MPA substudy was stopped early because, according to the predefined stopping rule, the increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular events exceeded the specified benefits included in the “global index.” Results of the CE/MPA substudy, which included 16,608 women (average age of 63 years, range 50 to 79; 83.9% White, 6.5% Black, 5.5% Hispanic), after an average follow-up of 5.2 years are presented in Table 5 below:

Table 5 : RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE RISK SEEN IN THE CE/MPA SUBSTUDY OF WHIa

Eventc Relative Risk
CE/MPA vs placebo
at 5.2 Years
(95% CI*)
CE/MPA
n = 8506
Placebo
n = 8102
Absolute Risk per
10,000 Person-years
CHD events 1.29 (1.02-1.63) 37 30
Non-fatal MI 1.32 (1.02-1.72) 30 23
CHD death 1.18 (0.7-1.97) 7 6
Invasive breast cancerb 1.26 (1-1.59) 38 30
Stroke 1.41 (1.07-1.85) 29 21
Pulmonary embolism 2.13 (1.39-3.25) 16 8
Colorectal cancer 0.63 (0.43-0.92) 10 16
Endometrial cancer 0.83 (0.47-1.47) 5 6
Hip fracture 0.66 (0.45-0.98) 10 15
Death due to causes other than the events above 0.92 (0.74-1.14) 37 40
Global Indexc 1.15 (1.03-1.28) 170 151
Deep vein thrombosisd 2.07 (1.49-2.87) 26 13
Vertebral fracturesd 0.66 (0.44-0.98) 9 15
Other osteoporotic fracturesd 0.77 (0.69-0.86) 131 170
a adapted from JAMA, 2002; 288:321-333
b includes metastatic and non-metastatic breast cancer with the exception of in situ breast cancer
c a subset of the events was combined in a “global index”, defined as the earliest occurrence of CHD events, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes
d not included in Global Index
*nominal confidence intervals unadjusted for multiple looks and multiple comparisons

For those outcomes included in the “global index,” the absolute excess risks per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE/MPA were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 8 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while absolute risk reductions per 10,000 women-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures. The absolute excess risk of events included in the “global index” was 19 per 10,000 women-years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of all-cause mortality. (See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.)

Women's Health Initiative Memory Study

The estrogen-alone WHIMS, a substudy of the WHI study, enrolled 2,947 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women 65 years of age and older (45 percent were aged 65 to 69 years, 36 percent were 70 to 74 years and 19 percent were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared with placebo.

After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group (37 per 10,000 women-years) and 19 in the placebo group (25 per 10,000 women-years) were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia in the estrogen-alone group was 1.49 (95 percent confidence interval (CI), 0.83-2.66) compared to placebo. It is unknown whether these findings apply to postmenopausal women. (See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

The estrogen plus progestin WHIMS substudy of WHI enrolled 4,532 predominantly postmenopausal women 65 years of age and older (47% were age 65 to 69 years, 35% were 70 to 74 years, and 18% were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of CE/MPA (0.625 mg conjugated estrogens plus 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate) on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared with placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the estrogen/progestin group (45 per 10,000 women-years) and 21 in the placebo group (22 per 10,000 women-years) were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia in the hormone therapy group was 2.05 (95% CI, 1.21 to 3.48) compared to placebo. Differences between groups became apparent in the first year of treatment. It is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women. (See BOXED WARNINGS, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

PATIENT INFORMATION

Menostar®
(Men-o-star)
(estradiol) Transdermal System

Read this before you start using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) and read what you get each time you refill Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your health care provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) (an osteoporosis preventative containing an estrogen hormone)?

  • Estrogens increase the chances of getting cancer of the uterus.

Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are taking estrogens. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb). Your health care provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause.

  • Do not use estrogens with or without progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.

  • Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your risk of dementia.

You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

What is Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is a medicine that contains an estrogen hormone.

What is Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) used for?

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is used after menopause to:

reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis (thin weak bones).

  • Osteoporosis from menopause is a thinning of the bones that makes them weaker and easier to break. Very low doses of estrogen can help keep your bones from becoming weaker. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you should continue with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • Weight-bearing exercise, like walking or running, and taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may also lower your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is important to talk about exercise and supplements with your healthcare provider before starting them.

Who should not use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

Do not start using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) if you:

  • have unusual vaginal bleeding
  • currently have or have had certain cancers. Estrogens may increase the chances of getting certain types of cancers, including cancer of the breast or uterus. If you have or had cancer, talk with your health care provider about whether you should use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • had a stroke or heart attack in the past year.
  • currently have or have had blood clots.
  • currently have or have had liver problems.
  • are allergic to Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) or any of its ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a list of ingredients in Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you are allergic to other estrogen patches, you will likely be allergic to Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • think you may be pregnant

Tell your health care provider:

  • if you are breastfeeding. The hormone in Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) can pass into your milk.
  • about all of your medical problems. Your health care provider may need to check you more carefully if you have certain conditions, such as asthma (wheezing), epilepsy (seizures), migraine, endometriosis, lupus, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, kidneys, or have high calcium levels in your blood.
  • about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not use any estrogen pill, patch or injection with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . Some medicines may affect how Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) works. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) may also affect how your other medicines work.
  • if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest. You may need to stop taking estrogens.

How should I use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

  • Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is a patch that you wear on your skin. The estrogen in the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch passes through your skin. You must change your Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch every 7 days (once a week). See the end of this leaflet for complete instructions for using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • 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 about whether you still need treatment with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

What are the possible side effects of estrogens?

Less common but serious side effects include:

These are some of the warning signs of serious side effects:

Call your health care provider right away if you get any of these warning signs, or any other unusual symptom that concerns you.

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

These are not all the possible side effects of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

What can I do to lower my chances of a serious side effect with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

  • Talk with your healthcare provider regularly about whether you should continue using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you have a uterus, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the addition of a progestin is right for you. In general, the addition of a progestin is recommended for women with a uterus to reduce the chance of getting cancer of the uterus.
  • See your healthcare provider right away if you get vaginal bleeding while using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • Have a breast exam and mammogram (breast X-ray) every year unless your healthcare provider tells you something else. If members of your family have had breast cancer or if you have ever had breast lumps or an abnormal mammogram, you may need to have breast exams more often.
  • If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol (fat in the blood), diabetes, are overweight, or if you use tobacco, you may have higher chances for getting heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider for ways to lower your chances for getting heart disease.

General information about safe and effective use of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

Keep Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) out of the reach of children.

This leaflet provides a summary of the most important information about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. You can ask for information about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) that is written for health professionals. You can get more information by calling the toll free number (1-888-237-5394) or visit www.menostar (estradiol transdermal system) -us.com.

What are the ingredients in Menostar?

The active ingredient of Menostar is estradiol. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) also contains acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) does not contain latex.

Instructions for Use

How and where do I apply the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch?

  • Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about applying the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch.
  • 1 Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is applied and worn for 7 days (1 week). The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is changed once a week.
  • Each Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is individually sealed in a protective pouch. To open the pouch, hold it upright with the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) name facing you. Tear off the top of the pouch using the top tear notch. Tear off the side of the pouch using the side tear notch. Pull the pouch open. The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is the see-through plastic film attached to the clear thicker plastic backing. There is a silver foil-sticker attached to the inside of the pouch. Do not remove it from the pouch. The sticker contains a moisture protectant. Lift out the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch. Notice that the patch is attached to a thicker, hard-plastic backing and that the patch itself is oval and see-through.

To open the pouch, hold it upright - Illustration

  • Apply the sticky side of the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch to a clean, dry area of the lower stomach area below your belly button (see diagram below). Do not apply the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch to your breasts. The site selected should not be oily, damaged, or irritated. Avoid the waistline area, since tight clothing may rub and remove the patch. Also, do not put the patch on areas where sitting would rub it off or loosen it. Apply the patch right after opening the pouch and removing the protective liner. Press the patch firmly in place with your fingers for about 10 seconds. Make sure that it sticks all over, especially around the edges.

Press the patch firmly in place - Illustration

  • The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch should be left in place for 7 days (one week). Change the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch every 7 days (once a week). Remove the used patch. Carefully fold it in half so that it sticks to itself and safely throwaway, away from children and pets. Place a new Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch on a different clean, dry area of the lower stomach area below your belly button. The same skin site should not be used again for at least 1 week after removal of the patch.
  • If the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch falls off, the same patch may be reapplied to another area of your lower stomach. Make sure that Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch sticks well to your skin, especially around the edges. If the patch will not stick completely to your skin, remove it and safely throwaway. Apply a new patch on a different area of the lower stomach. Do not wear 2 Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patches at the same time.
  • Bathing, swimming, or showering may affect and loosen the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch.

Updated December 2005

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

>

PATIENT INFORMATION

Menostar®
(Men-o-star)
(estradiol) Transdermal System

Read this before you start using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) and read what you get each time you refill Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your health care provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) (an osteoporosis preventative containing an estrogen hormone)?

  • Estrogens increase the chances of getting cancer of the uterus.

Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are taking estrogens. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb). Your health care provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause.

  • Do not use estrogens with or without progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.

  • Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your risk of dementia.

You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

What is Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is a medicine that contains an estrogen hormone.

What is Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) used for?

Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is used after menopause to:

reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis (thin weak bones).

  • Osteoporosis from menopause is a thinning of the bones that makes them weaker and easier to break. Very low doses of estrogen can help keep your bones from becoming weaker. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you should continue with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • Weight-bearing exercise, like walking or running, and taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may also lower your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is important to talk about exercise and supplements with your healthcare provider before starting them.

Who should not use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

Do not start using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) if you:

  • have unusual vaginal bleeding
  • currently have or have had certain cancers. Estrogens may increase the chances of getting certain types of cancers, including cancer of the breast or uterus. If you have or had cancer, talk with your health care provider about whether you should use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • had a stroke or heart attack in the past year.
  • currently have or have had blood clots.
  • currently have or have had liver problems.
  • are allergic to Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) or any of its ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a list of ingredients in Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you are allergic to other estrogen patches, you will likely be allergic to Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • think you may be pregnant

Tell your health care provider:

  • if you are breastfeeding. The hormone in Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) can pass into your milk.
  • about all of your medical problems. Your health care provider may need to check you more carefully if you have certain conditions, such as asthma (wheezing), epilepsy (seizures), migraine, endometriosis, lupus, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, kidneys, or have high calcium levels in your blood.
  • about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not use any estrogen pill, patch or injection with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . Some medicines may affect how Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) works. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) may also affect how your other medicines work.
  • if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest. You may need to stop taking estrogens.

How should I use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

  • Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) is a patch that you wear on your skin. The estrogen in the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch passes through your skin. You must change your Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch every 7 days (once a week). See the end of this leaflet for complete instructions for using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • 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 about whether you still need treatment with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

What are the possible side effects of estrogens?

Less common but serious side effects include:

These are some of the warning signs of serious side effects:

Call your health care provider right away if you get any of these warning signs, or any other unusual symptom that concerns you.

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

These are not all the possible side effects of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

What can I do to lower my chances of a serious side effect with Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) ?

  • Talk with your healthcare provider regularly about whether you should continue using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you have a uterus, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the addition of a progestin is right for you. In general, the addition of a progestin is recommended for women with a uterus to reduce the chance of getting cancer of the uterus.
  • See your healthcare provider right away if you get vaginal bleeding while using Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .
  • Have a breast exam and mammogram (breast X-ray) every year unless your healthcare provider tells you something else. If members of your family have had breast cancer or if you have ever had breast lumps or an abnormal mammogram, you may need to have breast exams more often.
  • If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol (fat in the blood), diabetes, are overweight, or if you use tobacco, you may have higher chances for getting heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider for ways to lower your chances for getting heart disease.

General information about safe and effective use of Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) .

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

Keep Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) out of the reach of children.

This leaflet provides a summary of the most important information about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) . If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. You can ask for information about Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) that is written for health professionals. You can get more information by calling the toll free number (1-888-237-5394) or visit www.menostar (estradiol transdermal system) -us.com.

What are the ingredients in Menostar?

The active ingredient of Menostar is estradiol. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) also contains acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing. Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) does not contain latex.

Instructions for Use

How and where do I apply the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch?

  • Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about applying the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch.
  • 1 Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is applied and worn for 7 days (1 week). The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is changed once a week.
  • Each Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is individually sealed in a protective pouch. To open the pouch, hold it upright with the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) name facing you. Tear off the top of the pouch using the top tear notch. Tear off the side of the pouch using the side tear notch. Pull the pouch open. The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch is the see-through plastic film attached to the clear thicker plastic backing. There is a silver foil-sticker attached to the inside of the pouch. Do not remove it from the pouch. The sticker contains a moisture protectant. Lift out the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch. Notice that the patch is attached to a thicker, hard-plastic backing and that the patch itself is oval and see-through.

To open the pouch, hold it upright - Illustration

  • Apply the sticky side of the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch to a clean, dry area of the lower stomach area below your belly button (see diagram below). Do not apply the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch to your breasts. The site selected should not be oily, damaged, or irritated. Avoid the waistline area, since tight clothing may rub and remove the patch. Also, do not put the patch on areas where sitting would rub it off or loosen it. Apply the patch right after opening the pouch and removing the protective liner. Press the patch firmly in place with your fingers for about 10 seconds. Make sure that it sticks all over, especially around the edges.

Press the patch firmly in place - Illustration

  • The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch should be left in place for 7 days (one week). Change the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch every 7 days (once a week). Remove the used patch. Carefully fold it in half so that it sticks to itself and safely throwaway, away from children and pets. Place a new Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch on a different clean, dry area of the lower stomach area below your belly button. The same skin site should not be used again for at least 1 week after removal of the patch.
  • If the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch falls off, the same patch may be reapplied to another area of your lower stomach. Make sure that Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch sticks well to your skin, especially around the edges. If the patch will not stick completely to your skin, remove it and safely throwaway. Apply a new patch on a different area of the lower stomach. Do not wear 2 Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patches at the same time.
  • Bathing, swimming, or showering may affect and loosen the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) patch.

Updated December 2005

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Menostar®
(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 stroke and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 6.8 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) alone per day, relative to placebo. (See Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The 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 0.625 mg) combined with medroxypro-gesterone acetate (MPA 2.5mg) per day, relative to placebo (see Clinical Studies, and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neo-plasms, Breast Cancer.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of the WHI study, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with CE 0.625 mg alone and during 4 years of treatment with 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 Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, geriatric use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and pro-gestins 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.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Menostar®, estradiol transdermal system, is designed to provide nominal in vivodelivery of 14 mcg 17β-estradiol per day continuously upon application to intact skin. The period of use is 7 days. The transdermal system has a contact surface area of 3.25 cm², and contains 1 mg of estradiol USP.

Estradiol USP (17β-estradiol) 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:

Menostar® (estradiol) Structural Formula Illustration

The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) 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 transdermal system can be used.

The Menostar transdermal system comprises three layers - Illustration

The active component of the transdermal system is 17β-estradiol. The remaining components of the transdermal system (acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing) are pharmacologically inactive.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Menostar®
(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 stroke and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 6.8 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) alone per day, relative to placebo. (See Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The 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 0.625 mg) combined with medroxypro-gesterone acetate (MPA 2.5mg) per day, relative to placebo (see Clinical Studies, and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neo-plasms, Breast Cancer.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of the WHI study, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with CE 0.625 mg alone and during 4 years of treatment with 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 Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, geriatric use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and pro-gestins 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.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Menostar®, estradiol transdermal system, is designed to provide nominal in vivodelivery of 14 mcg 17β-estradiol per day continuously upon application to intact skin. The period of use is 7 days. The transdermal system has a contact surface area of 3.25 cm², and contains 1 mg of estradiol USP.

Estradiol USP (17β-estradiol) 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:

Menostar® (estradiol) Structural Formula Illustration

The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) 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 transdermal system can be used.

The Menostar transdermal system comprises three layers - Illustration

The active component of the transdermal system is 17β-estradiol. The remaining components of the transdermal system (acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing) are pharmacologically inactive.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Menostar®
(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 stroke and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 6.8 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) alone per day, relative to placebo. (See Clinical Studies and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders.)

The 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 0.625 mg) combined with medroxypro-gesterone acetate (MPA 2.5mg) per day, relative to placebo (see Clinical Studies, and WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neo-plasms, Breast Cancer.)

The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of the WHI study, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with CE 0.625 mg alone and during 4 years of treatment with 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 Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Dementia, and PRECAUTIONS, geriatric use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and pro-gestins 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.

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Menostar®, estradiol transdermal system, is designed to provide nominal in vivodelivery of 14 mcg 17β-estradiol per day continuously upon application to intact skin. The period of use is 7 days. The transdermal system has a contact surface area of 3.25 cm², and contains 1 mg of estradiol USP.

Estradiol USP (17β-estradiol) 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:

Menostar® (estradiol) Structural Formula Illustration

The Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) 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 transdermal system can be used.

The Menostar transdermal system comprises three layers - Illustration

The active component of the transdermal system is 17β-estradiol. The remaining components of the transdermal system (acrylate copolymer adhesive, fatty acid esters, and polyethylene backing) are pharmacologically inactive.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Menostar Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Alora, Climara, Estraderm, Estradiol Patch, Menostar, Vivelle, Vivelle-Dot

Generic Name: estradiol transdermal (Pronunciation: ess tra DYE ol tranz DERM al)

What is estradiol transdermal (Menostar)?

Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone the regulates many processes in the body.

Estradiol transdermal skin patches are used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as dryness, burning, and itching of the vaginal area. Estradiol transdermal also reduces urgency or irritation of urination.

Estradiol skin patches are also used to treat ovarian disorders, infertility, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Some estradiol skin patches are used to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Transdermal skin patches release the drug slowly, and it is absorbed through your skin.

Estradiol transdermal may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • pain or swelling in your lower leg;
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • a lump in your breast.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • swollen breasts;
  • acne or skin color changes;
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;
  • migraine headaches or dizziness;
  • vaginal pain, dryness, or discomfort;
  • swelling of your ankles or feet;
  • depression; or
  • changes in your menstrual periods, break-through bleeding.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Menostar (estradiol transdermal system) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

What is the most important information I should know about estradiol transdermal?

Do not use this medication if you have any of the following conditions: a history of stroke or blood clot, circulation problems, a bleeding disorder, a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol transdermal.

Long-term estradiol treatment may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using estradiol transdermal.

The estradiol transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.

Menostar Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using estradiol transdermal?

Do not use estradiol transdermal if you have:

  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;
  • a history of stroke or circulation problems;
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked; or
  • any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer.

To make sure you can safely use estradiol transdermal, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • asthma;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • migraines;
  • diabetes;
  • depression;
  • gallbladder disease; or
  • if you have had your uterus removed (hysterectomy).

Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol transdermal.

Long-term estradiol treatment may increase your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use estradiol transdermal if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.

Estradiol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use estradiol transdermal?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Apply the skin patch to clean, dry skin on your stomach, lower back, or buttocks. Choose a different spot within these skin areas each time you apply a new patch. Avoid skin that is oily, irritated, or damaged.

Press the patch in place firmly for about 10 seconds, especially around the edges.

Do not apply a skin patch to your breasts. Do not apply a patch where it might be rubbed off by tight clothing, such as under an elastic waistband.

If a patch falls off, try putting it back on to a different skin area, pressing the patch into place for 10 seconds. If the patch will not stick you may apply a new one.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using estradiol transdermal.

The estradiol transdermal patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Remove the patch before undergoing such a test.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Menostar Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply a skin patch as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra patches to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.

What should I avoid while using estradiol transdermal?

Avoid using other estrogen products without your doctor's advice.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with estradiol and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

What other drugs will affect estradiol transdermal?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol);
  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
  • St. John's wort;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane), or telithromycin (Ketek);
  • antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend); or
  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra) and other HIV/AIDS medications.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with estradiol transdermal. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about estradiol transdermal.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01. Revision date: 8/4/2011.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read,understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement,which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

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