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.
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.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 11, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed November 13, 2012.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click