Vagifem (Estradiol) is used to treat hot flushes ('hot flashes'; sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating) in women who are experiencing menopause ('change of life', the end of monthly menstrual periods). Some brands of estrogen are also used to treat vaginal dryness, itching, or burning, or to prevent osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become thin and weak and break easily) in women who are experiencing or have experienced menopause. However, women who need medication only to treat vaginal dryness or only to prevent osteoporosis should consider a different treatment. Some brands of estrogen are also to relieve symptoms of low estrogen in young women who do not produce enough estrogen naturally. Some brands of estrogen are also used to relieve the symptoms of certain types of breast and prostate (a male reproductive gland) cancer. Estrogen is in a class of medications called hormones. It works by replacing the estrogen that is normally produced by the body.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Your doctor may prescribe a progestin to help lower this risk. Call your doctor at once if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding.
Wash your hands before and after inserting Vagifem.
Use the applicator provided to measure the prescribed dose of estradiol vaginal cream. Take apart the cream applicator and wash it with mild soap and warm water after each use.
Each Vagifem tablet is supplied in a single-use disposable applicator. Throw the tablet applicator away after one use.
You should not be able to feel the vaginal ring once it is in place. Leave the vaginal ring in place for 90 days, then remove it. Your doctor may want you to replace it with a new ring. The ring does not need to be removed during sexual intercourse. If the ring is bothersome, you may remove it, rinse it with warm water, and reinsert it after intercourse.
To remove the ring, loop a finger through the ring and gently pull it from the vagina. Call your doctor if you have trouble removing a vaginal ring.
Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis and have a mammogram every year while using estradiol.
If you need major surgery or will be on long-term bed rest, you may need to stop using Vagifem for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using estradiol.
Estrogen may cause side effects including but not limited to:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
Q: Why is Estradiol prescribed?
A: Estradiol is for "local" (physical) treatment of vaginal menopause symptoms.
Q: Does Estradiol have a generic alternative?
A: Estradiol is available in its brand name Vagifem.
Q: Will Estradiol be uncomfortable?
A: No, you should not be able to feel the medication once it is in place.
Q: How should I store this medication?
A: Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).