Menopause Home > Minivelle Side Effects

Headaches, back pain, and breast tenderness are some the possible side effects of estrogen medications like Minivelle. However, most women tolerate the medicine well; if side effects occur, they are often minor and easily treated. Some reactions may lead to potentially serious complications and require immediate medical attention, such as sharp chest pain, vision changes, or a severe headache.


An Introduction to Minivelle Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Minivelle™ (estradiol patch) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most women tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Minivelle. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of Minivelle

Minivelle has not been studied in clinical trials. Instead, it was approved based on the fact that it is equivalent to Vivelle® (an older estrogen patch that was replaced by Vivelle-Dot®), and Vivelle has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials.
In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of women given the drug were documented and then compared to those that occurred in another group of women given a placebo (a patch that does not contain any active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not using the medicine.
In these studies, the most common Vivelle side effects included:
  • Headaches -- in up to 50 percent of women
  • Breast tenderness -- up to 12.9 percent
  • Sinus infection -- up to 13.1 percent
  • Sinus headache -- up to 10.9 percent
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold) -- up to 10.7 percent
  • Back pain -- up to 10.6 percent
  • Unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting -- up to 10.6 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 5 percent to 10 percent of women, included:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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