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What Is Estraderm?

The term "Estraderm" refers to the words "estrogen" and "skin". As such, Estraderm is a patch that containing the female hormone estrogen that is applied to the skin. Most commonly prescribed to women suffering from menopause symptoms, the patch may also be prescribed to women of reproductive age who have low estrogen levels due to a hormonal imbalance or premature ovarian failure. 

How Is Estraderm Used?

Estraderm is available in several doses, as determined by your healthcare provider, and supplied by several manufacturers. The patches are designed to remain on the skin for multiple days, typically being replaced twice a week. They should not be applied to the breasts, to oily skin (where it may come loose), or over injured skin. Areas that are subject to friction, such as the hands, should also be avoided. The buttocks, hips, lower abdomen or back are the most common places where you would apply an Estraderm patch. 

Estraderm patches should be applied to clean, dry skin and you should press onto the patch to ensure it does not come off. 

Who Is A Candidate For Estraderm?

This is a prescription medication; women who are prescribed Estraderm by their healthcare providers will be suitable candidates. It is important to note that women who are dealing with vaginal dryness as their sole bothersome menopause symptom have other, more localized, products available to them that are less likely to lead to side effects. 

Your doctor will declare you to be an unsuitable candidate for Estraderm if you have breast cancer, have had it, have a family history of breast cancer, or may have it — some breast cancers are estrogen-receptive. Estraderm should also not be used if you are pregnant or may be pregnant, or if you are currently breastfeeding. Women with blood clotting disorders, migraines, and liver disorders can also not use Estraderm. The list of women who are not suitable candidates for Estraderm goes on, which is why it is so very important to only take this medication if prescribed by your doctor. 

What Side Effects Can Estraderm Cause?

Like all other medications, Estraderm has potential side effects. They include loss of libido, bloating, headaches, vision changes and dry eyes, breast tenderness, excessive hair growth or on the other hand hair loss, an increase in vaginal discharge, mood changes, nausea, and irritation at the site of application. 

More serious side effects about which you should warn the healthcare provider who prescribed Estraderm to you immediately include breast lumps and discharge from the nipples, edema, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, fever, depression, urinary and bowel movement changes, easy bruising, and abnormal menstruation. 

It is very important to note that most women will not experience these side effects. 

A recent and very widely reported study noted that hormone replacement therapy, under which Estraderm patches falls, comes with risks that were previously unrecognized. Your risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots goes up with the use of HRT. That is why it is important to use the lowest possible dose for as short a time as possible, and never for longer than five years. Consult your healthcare provider about the advantages and risks of Estraderm in detail before you commence using the patches.

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