Osphena belongs to a group of medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). It works 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.
Osphena is not approved for use in children, and has not been studied in this age group. It is only approved for use in postmenopausal women.
Osphena can be used in older adults. In clinical studies, no differences were seen in how well the medication worked or how well it was tolerated between women older than age 65 and those younger than age 65.