|0.01%||1 x 15g tube||£27.00|
Ovestin Cream (generic name Estriol Cream) is a treatment for symptoms of menopause which are local to the vaginal area, including vaginal dryness, inflammation or itching, discomfort or pain during sex, vaginal tightness, spotting, painful urination, and recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI).
Ovestin Cream is a type of hormone therapy (HRT) and contains estriol, a bioidentical form of oestrogen produced naturally by the body. When women reach menopause, the amount of oestrogen produced by the their ovaries begins to decrease, resulting in symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, and vaginal dryness and irritation. Ovestin Cream is a local treatment which supplements the level of oestrogen in the vaginal region, reducing and often preventing the impact of symptoms such as dryness and discomfort.
The active ingredient in Ovestin Cream is estriol (0.01%).
The inactive ingredients in Ovestin Cream are chlorhexidine dihydrochloride, octyldodecanol, cetyl palmitate, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, sorbitan stearate, lactic acid, sodium hydroxide and purified water.
A doctor will begin by prescribing you the lowest dose of Ovestin Cream possible for your symptoms, but may may chose to increase the dose later one. The usual starting dose of Ovestin Cream is 1 full applicator (0.5g) once daily for 2 to 3 weeks, after which you will need to lower your dose to 1 full applicator (0.5g) twice weekly, at the same times each week.
Ovestin Cream can be started at any time if you have had a hysterectomy, have never used HRT before, or are switching from a form of HRT that does not cause a withdrawal bleed. If you are switching from a form of HRT that does cause a withdrawal bleed, you will need to wait a week after finishing the calendar pack of your previous HRT before starting Ovestin Cream.
Always use Ovestin Cream as instructed by your doctor. It is best to use this treatment before going to bed at night, as you will need to insert a full applicator of cream into the vagina. Unscrew the cap from the tube of cream and turn the cap over. Use the sharp point on the top of the cap to pierce the covering of the tube opening. Screw the end of the applicator onto the opening of the tube and squeeze the tube to fill the applicator up to the red line - the plunger will stop when the applicator is full. Unscrew the applicator and replace the cap onto the tube. Lie on your back with your legs apart and place the end of the applicator as deep into your vagina as possible, then slowly push the plunger all the way down to release the cream. Once you have carefully removed the applicator, keeping the plunger pressed down as you do so, remove the plunger from the barrel and wash both parts in warm, soapy water. You may wish to use a sanitary towel overnight to protect your underwear and bed sheets from stains.
If you miss a dose of Ovestin Cream, apply the dose as soon as possible within 12 hours. If 12 hours has already passed, skip the dose and apply your next one at the normal time. Never apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Do NOT use Ovestin Cream if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, might be pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant.
Like all medicines, Ovestin Cream can cause side effects in some patients. If you experience any of the following side effects, stop using Ovestin Cream and consult your doctor immediately:
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, including swelling, irritation or rash at the area of application
A rise in blood pressure
Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
Signs of a blood clot, including swelling of the leg or legs, sudden chest pain, or difficulty breathing
Other side effects are usually harmless, but you should inform your doctor if they are affecting you. These include:
Irritation or itching of the skin around the vagina, which usually gets better within a few weeks
Increase in vaginal discharge
Bleeding or spotting
Rash or hypersensitivity to sunlight
Swelling or tender breasts
Nausea or vomiting
Do NOT use Ovestin Cream if:
You are allergic to estriol or to any of the other ingredients in this treatment
You have had angina or a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
You have had a blood clot (thrombosis)
You have had breast cancer or suspect that you have breast cancer
You have had cancer of the sex organs, such as endometrial cancer or ovarian cancer
You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
You have excessive thickening of the womb lining (endometrial hyperplasia)
You have had a liver disease, or your liver is not working properly
You have a rare blood problem known as porphyria
Tell your doctor and take particular care with Ovestin Cream if you have or have ever had:
Problems caused by growth of the womb lining outside of the womb (fibroids or endometriosis)
Problems with your heart or circulation
A family history of blood clots
Migraines or severe headaches
Liver or kidney problems
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
A hearing disorder known as otosclerosis
Before using Ovestin Cream, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medications, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, inform your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any of the following:
Medicines for epilepsy, including barbiturates, hydantoins and carbamazepine
Medicines for infection, including griseofulvin and rifamycins
Medicines for viral infections, including nevirapine, efavirenz, ritonavir, or nelfinavir
Herbal preparations including St John’s wort
Corticosteroids, succinylcholine, theophyllines, or troleandomycin
Regimen ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, for Hepatitis C
Topical treatments such as Ovestin, Estriol and Premarin Cream, and vaginal suppositories such as Vagifem are often a first choice for women who are approaching menopause and wish to try HRT, but are only effective in relieving symptoms local to the vaginal area. However, because they are not digested, they are less likely to cause side effects. It is important to remember that these creams can have a weakening effect on latex condoms and diaphragms, so you should speak to a doctor about alternative forms of contraception while using them.
Other forms of HRT can be taken orally as tablets, or applied to the skin as transdermal patches. Oestrogen-only supplements are only suitable for women who have had a hysterectomy, or who have an IUD (mirena coil) fitted, as a progesterone supplement is necessary to prevent a build-up of the womb lining. Premarin and Elleste Solo are tablets that are taken orally, while Elleste Solo MX80, Elleste Solo MX40 and Evorel are transdermal patches which need to be changed twice weekly. Transdermal patches have the benefit of bypassing the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream, which reduces the likelihood of side effects.
For women who have not had a hysterectomy, or who do not have an IUD fitted, a combined form of HRT containing both an oestrogen or progesterone supplement is more suitable. These include Climesse, Elleste Duet Conti, and Prempak-C, as well as Kliovance and Elleste Duet, which allow for a withdrawal bleed in each 28 day cycle and are therefore more appropriate for women who have had a natural period within the last 12 months. A non-hormonal alternative is Tibolone (brand name Livial), a synthetic steroid which mimics the action of both oestrogen and progesterone in the body and is thought to carry less health risks.
HRT is the most effective treatment for the symptoms of menopause, and is widely accessible through the NHS or online at Dr Felix. Some herbal remedies are thought to relieve menopause symptoms such as mood swings and hot flushes, but there is little evidence to support their effectiveness. It is important to consult a doctor or pharmacist about the contents and effects of a herbal product before trying it out.
Menopause can be a difficult time for many women, but you can significantly increase your quality of life by making a few lifestyle changes. Cutting down on caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods, and quitting smoking can all help to reduce the impact of hot flushes, and exercising regularly and increasing your intake of Vitamin D will help to keep your bones strong and healthy. There is little evidence to suggest that an oestrogen-rich diet will help reduce the symptoms of menopause, but some women do try increasing their intake of plant-based foods which contain phytoestrogens. These include sesame and flaxseed, nuts, dried fruits, and other fruits such as oranges, strawberries and apricots.
Ovestin Cream is a safe and effective treatment for the vaginal symptoms of menopause and is particularly popular among women who are approaching menopause but do not feel ready to begin using oral or transdermal forms of HRT.
Ovestin Cream is widely considered by health professionals to be a safe treatment. Before use, check through the contraindications and drug interaction listed in the patient information leaflet to make sure this treatment is suitable for you. HRT is thought to cause a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer of about 1 to 5 cases in 1,000 dependent on age and to other facts, and has also been linked to a very slight increase in the risk of ovarian cancer, blood clots and stroke. For most women, the benefits of HRT far outweigh these risks, but be sure to read the patient information leaflet carefully and discuss any concerns with a doctor.
As a local treatment, Ovestin Cream carries less risk of side effects or complications than oral or transdermal forms of HRT. It contains estriol, which is a bioidentical hormone and one of the 3 principle oestrogens produced naturally in the body. It is a less potent form of oestrogen which, despite being an effective treatment for menopause symptoms, is thought to be safer in terms of health complications.
The effects of Ovestin Cream are usually felt within 2 to 3 weeks, during which time the cream should be used once daily. After 2 to 3 weeks, you should reduce application to twice weekly for as long as your doctor deems necessary.
Many women take HRT for many years, though not necessarily for the rest of their lives. The effects of Ovestin Cream will wear off when you stop using it, but you may choose to switch to an oral or transdermal form of HRT to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. At a later age, many women chose to come off of HRT altogether.
There is no evidence to suggest that Ovestin Cream causes weight gain.
If you are planning on undergoing surgery, tell your doctor in advance that you are using Ovestin Cream. They may tell you to stop using HRT 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your procedure in order to reduce the risk of blood clots.
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