Women who have gone through menopause and experience painful intercourse may benefit from Osphena. This prescription medicine comes as a tablet that is taken once daily and works to treat painful intercourse by acting like estrogen in the vaginal tissue. Although most women tolerate the medicine well, side effects are possible and may include hot flushes, vaginal discharge, and muscle spasms.
What Is Osphena?
Osphena™ (ospemifene) is a prescription medication approved to treat painful intercourse, known medically as dyspareunia, in women who have gone through menopause. It belongs to a group of medicines known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Osphena is made by Penn Pharmaceutical Services, Ltd., for Shionogi, Inc.
How Does Osphena Work?
As mentioned, Osphena belongs to a group of medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators. SERMs work by binding to estrogen receptors in the body. Estrogen receptors are slightly different in various areas of the body. Therefore, in some body tissues, SERMs bind to the estrogen receptor and have actions like estrogen. In other body tissues, however, SERMs bind to estrogen receptors and block the effects of estrogen.
During menopause, a woman's body makes less estrogen. As a result, estrogen levels drop. This causes changes to occur in and around the vagina, including thinning of the vaginal tissue and dryness. These changes can lead to painful intercourse.
Osphena works to treat painful intercourse by acting like estrogen in the vaginal tissue. As a result, the changes in the vagina that occurred from low estrogen levels improve, which reduces the amount of pain a woman experiences during sex.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Osphena [package insert]. Florham Park, NJ: Shionogi, Inc.;2013 February.
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 16, 2013.
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