Menopause can bring about bodily changes that range from mildly irritating to severely uncomfortable. Many women experience hot flashes, night sweats, tiredness, and irritability. In some cases, the symptoms can be overwhelming — about a fourth of women experience extreme menopause.
Lifestyle and diet changes can ease milder symptoms. But you may benefit from menopause medicine if you have moderate to severe symptoms.
What’s the Best Menopause Medicine for You?
If you choose to take medication for menopause symptoms, there are several to choose from — and they each work in different ways. One of the most common treatments is estradiol medication.
During menopause, your estrogen levels fall. Estradiol is the main form of estrogen that your body naturally produces; it’s responsible for proper sexual function and bone health.
An estradiol medicine provides low doses of estrogen to counteract menopause symptoms. This relief can come in pills, patches, or tablets, among other forms. Estrace, Divigel, Estrogel, and Vivelle Dot or Minivelle patches are some of the most common names for estradiol.
If you still have your uterus, you’ll need to take a dose of Progesterone in addition to estrogen. Progesterone would balance the estrogen in the body and may help prevent uterine cancer.
Some women can’t take estrogen for health reasons. If you’ve had a stroke, heart attack, clots, breast cancer, or uterine cancer, hormone medication can increase the risk of having dangerous side effects. But there are other medications to help you reduce your hot flashes and night sweats. Some include gabapentin (known as Neurontin) and clonidine (known as Catapres).
Here’s a breakdown.
Estrace is estrogen in a pill form, topical gel or Vaginal Cream. This menopause medicine can help reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and vaginal inflammation. Naturally, the estrogen is absorbed through your stomach. Oral Estardiol might not be right for you if you’re only experiencing dryness or athrophy. In this case, you might need to use Vaginal Estradiol.
Estradiol (Minivell, Vivelle Dot, Divigel and Estrogel)
Minivelle, Vivelle Dot and Climara are estrogen in a patch form. Minivelle and Vivelled Dot are the newer Estradiol patches, and usually changed twice a week. Climara is and older version of the Estradiol pacth and is usually changed once a week.
Divigel and Estrogel are topical Estradiol gel. The hormone is absorbed through the skin to counteract moderate to severe menopause symptoms. You may find a patch easier to use versus taking a daily pill.
Gabapentin is a non-hormone medication for symptoms of menopause. It is commonly used for patients who have epilepsy. But multiple studies have shown that this medicine is effective for treating hot flashes. On average, this tablet is taken multiple times daily.
Another non-hormone medication, Clonidine is a tablet often used for high blood pressure. Similar to gabapentin, research shows that clonidine helps manage hot flashes. On average, this tablet is taken 2 to 3 times daily.
Fill Your Menopause Medicine Prescription
Work with your doctor to find the best medication and brand for you. You’ll likely need to work with your doctor on an ongoing basis to determine the best dosage for you.
And because NO One Size Does Not Fit All, we can also, work with your doctor to compound your hormones to fulfill your particular needs.
We can help you fill your prescription afterward. Call our compounding Pharmacist Sonia E. Martinez if you have additional questions about compounded Bio-Identical Hormones or Hormone Replacement Therapy.