Vagifem is a medication used to relieve vaginal dryness, itching, and burning in postmenopausal women. This prescription medication works by replacing the estrogen that the ovaries no longer produce. Prior to beginning treatment, talk to your healthcare provider about other medical conditions you have and other medications you are taking. Side effects of Vagifem can include headaches, back pain, and vaginal yeast infections.
What Is Vagifem?Vagifem® (estradiol vaginal tablets) is a prescription medication that contains an estrogen hormone. It is used to treat dryness, itching, and burning in and around the vagina, usually in postmenopausal women. It is inserted vaginally using a special applicator.
How Does Vagifem Work?Vagifem tablets contain estradiol, the main estrogen hormone produced by the ovaries before menopause. This medication helps relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing the estradiol that the ovaries no longer produce. It is a good alternative to hormone replacement therapy taken by mouth, especially in women who only have vaginal menopausal symptoms. Vagifem does not provide enough estrogen to treat other non-vaginal menopause symptoms (such as hot flashes) in most women.
When and How to Use ItGeneral considerations for when and how to use Vagifem include the following:
- Each tablet comes packaged in a single-use, disposable applicator tube. The applicator is inserted vaginally (much like a tampon), and the tablet is released by pushing the plunger.
- Your Vagifem package comes with detailed instructions on how to use the tablets.
- Dispose of the applicator just as you would a plastic tampon applicator (do not flush it).
- Vagifem is typically used daily for the first two weeks; after that, it is usually used just twice a week.
- If you accidentally release the tablet from the applicator before inserting it vaginally, do not try to replace the tablet into the applicator. Simply throw it away and use a new one.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.