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Old 03-31-2006, 10:38 AM   #1
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Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

I had my hysterectomy (ovaries out) in January and after nine weeks my hot flashes were pretty constant. Yesterday, my OB/GYN gave me samples of Climara estradiol patches, and she also gave me a prescription for generic estradiol tablets so I could try both to see which I like better. She said they were both comparable in the strength of estrogen.

My question is the tablets say they are .5 mg. of estradiol per day and the patch says it is .06 mg. of estradiol per day. Does anyone know if this really is comparable? It doesn't sound like it to me, but maybe I'm just not familiar with the patch delivery system...it sounds significantly less than the pills.

Last edited by SRMom; 03-31-2006 at 10:39 AM.

 
Old 03-31-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

hey SRMom -

I haven't had any experience with the pills, but from my experience that dose of the patch was enough to make a difference. Also, the patch delivers the medicine to you on a constant level so that might be why the doses are different.

I'd try the patch, unless there is a significant different in cost. Like I said, you'll be getting a constant level of hormones which is better than once a day (like the bc patch vs bc pills... and i'm on the patch for my endometriosis for this very reason) and so its likely to better help with the hot flashes. And you don't have to think about it but once a week!

This is just my opinion/educated guess. I bet if you called your pharmacist and asked what the differences are they'll better be able to explain. In the mean time, stick your head in the freezer

 
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

LOL...thanks Jules Your educated guess makes sense and I hadn't thought of it that way. I'll ask the pharmacist when I see him...they know me by name now because I've been going there so often! Thanks for checking in on me...I'll be in the freezer...OR under a bunch of blankets.

 
Old 04-03-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

another plus to a patch is that the estrogen goes directly into the blood stream from the skin, rather than passing through the liver. I have heard taking estrogen orally can sometimes be hard on the liver, so the patch is better for that as well as a steady supply to the blood stream.

 
Old 04-03-2006, 11:24 AM   #5
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

I like the convenience, I just wish they were covered by my insurance the way the pills are.

My patch almost came off the yesterday after my shower. It stuck back down after it dried and it's still there. Perhaps I didn't put it on very well? I'm still having tons of hot flashes after four days on this patch. How soon should I notice it working?

 
Old 04-03-2006, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

It depends on where you put it. If you put it somewhere where you skin doesn't bunch up, you should be okay.

I notice mine working within the first week.

You could also try getting some Black Cohash like I was telling Jen on the Womens Health Board. I stopped taking it after I started the Climara because I didn't need it, but my mom took it and she said it helped a lot.

Can you look into why the patches aren't covered by your insurance? Thats ridiculous, especially if the pills are!

 
Old 04-03-2006, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

Don't get me started on insurnace companies....lol! I think, technically they are covered, but my insurance has two levels of copayments. Name brand medications cost more than generic...that's the difference. There are no patches that are generic, to my knowledge. I'm just going by the insurance company formulary. It would be fine if it was the only medicine I need, but I have several prescriptions and the copayments add up. My doctor says I would need to be on estrogen for at least a year, so I think I'll end up taking the generic.

Last edited by SRMom; 04-03-2006 at 12:31 PM.

 
Old 04-03-2006, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

are the pills big enough to break in half and talk twice a day?

Its the same way with the ortho evra patch. I have to be on it continuously for my endometriosis, and it costs me $10/patch. thats $520 a year!

 
Old 04-03-2006, 05:23 PM   #9
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Unhappy Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

I know the cost of these pathces are expensive. My insurance does cover it but it cost me $40.00 almost a month for these. AND THAT IS CO_PAY. That is $480 a year. I couldnt even imagine if my insurance didnt cover it. And my doc said I will be on it for a few years or so due to my age, because I had a hyst so young.

SR mom have you tried the Xanax like we discussed at all??
I tell yah I REALY needed it bad this whole weekend. It was real rough for me. It was warm here in NY this weekend, In the low 70's and I was DYING..Hot as hell (at least to me) I couldnt bear it and I was a few days off till I could change my patch !! I had alot of crying fits too. Today it is rainy and chilly and I have been real bitchy !! GOD DOES IT EVER GET BETTER!! I feel like a total LOON!!

 
Old 04-04-2006, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

Jules: That is a good idea about cutting the pills...I guess that way I might get more consistent delivery. What do you think about just taking it before bed? I am the most bothered by waking up with night sweats and missing out on my sleep. I guess I could try half before bed and half in the morning.

djl: I have been taking Xanax at night, but I hate to do it because if I build a tolerance to it, I don't think it will work as well when I need it for panic attacks. I don't get panic attacks very often, but when I do, Xanax is my life saver.

It's been cold and rainy here in the Bay Area and when I have a hot flash I am freezing afterward because I am sweaty. I thought I'd be turning my heater down, but instead, I keep turning it up. This whole thing is costing me a bunch of money...but I'm still glad my uterus is gone I had some crying fits myself last week. I get stressed out when I'm going to have company (we did over the weekend). I want everything to be perfect, and of course something always changes my plan. My husband is so patient and just listens to me cry. He knows if I can just get it out, I'll feel better and we can all get on with our lives. Anyway, I know how you feel...I hope this week is going better for you.

 
Old 04-07-2006, 02:20 PM   #11
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

FYI...I found out from the pharmacist today that estradiol pills need to be stronger than the patch because of how it is absorbed. The dose needs to be stronger to go through the stomach. He said the patch is much better and more efficient in delivering consistent medication. Pretty much what you said Jules I can't wait until it costs less. I'm trying the pills this week, but I thought the patch worked pretty well...I'd say it cut my hot flashes by 40-50% and they were less intense.

 
Old 04-07-2006, 03:04 PM   #12
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

Did you ask him about cutting them in half to get a more steady dosage! I'm glad the patches are working for you Good luck with the pills!

 
Old 04-09-2006, 02:19 PM   #13
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

I forgot to ask about cutting them, darn it. I decided I would take them in the evening so I have a better chance of sleeping through the night without hot flashes waking me up.

It seems like even with the estrogen I'm taking, I still have plenty of hot flashes, but they are reduced. So, now I'm wondering...does anyone take estrogen and not have hot flashes at all?

 
Old 04-10-2006, 11:31 AM   #14
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

Honestly
I know I still suffer from the hot flashes on HRT, but I realy dont want to go on anything stronger than I am on now.
Actualy so far the night sweats have gotten better, I am not waking up in the middle of the night, but the hot flashes during the day have gotten more frequent due to the weather getting warmer. I am nervous that the night sweats will eventualy come back. I have a feeling it is gonna be a tough summer for me.

Also my mind!!!!!!!!! MY GOD I cant remeber ANYTHING !! I swear when they took my uteris and ovaries out they gave me a Labodomy too !! I feel like I am crazy !!

 
Old 04-10-2006, 11:40 AM   #15
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Re: Climara (estradiol) patch vs. estradiol tablets?

I feel the same way...lol! Actually, I've felt like part of my brain went missing when my son was born (my friend jokingly says we give half our brain cells to our kids), but now that I've had this hysterectomy, my memory is even worse...so I know how you feel djl! I bought the economy pack of Post It notes at Costco to help me remember things. I have sticky notes all over my house. They crack up my husband...but when he sees them, he actually tries to help me do some of the things...try Post Its...they are my new brain.

 
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