Menopause Home > Minivelle

Minivelle is licensed to treat certain symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes. It comes in the form of a patch that is applied to the skin twice a week. The strength you are prescribed will depend on how you respond to the medicine and other medical conditions you have, among other factors. Side effects can include headaches and breast tenderness.

What Is Minivelle?

Minivelle™ (estradiol patch) is a prescription hormone replacement medication. It comes as a patch that is applied to the skin twice a week. This product is approved for treating menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes.
(Click Minivelle Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medicine?

Minivelle is made by Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Minivelle Work?

During and after menopause, women experience a drop in estrogen levels, as well as a shift in the balance of estrogens that the body produces. Before menopause, the main source of estrogen is the ovaries, and the main type of estrogen produced is known as estradiol. After menopause, the main estrogen is androstenedione, which is produced by the adrenal gland and is converted into an estrogen known as estrone. Menopausal symptoms and changes result from both the decrease in estrogen and the shift from estradiol to estrone.
By providing estradiol through the skin instead of by mouth, Minivelle patches help decrease "first-pass metabolism," when then liver metabolizes a drug before it reaches the bloodstream. Because the liver metabolizes estradiol into estrone, taking estradiol by mouth results in high levels of estrone and low levels of estradiol. With Minivelle, the estradiol reaches the bloodstream (and the rest of the body) before it is metabolized into estrone by the liver. This helps to mimic the hormone balance normally seen in premenopausal women.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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