Vivelle-Dot is an estrogen medication that can be prescribed to treat menopause symptoms. It is also approved to treat hormone deficiency in younger women whose ovaries do not produce enough estrogen and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Vivelle-Dot comes as a skin patch that is applied to the lower abdomen twice a week. It is the smallest estrogen patch currently available.
Vivelle-Dot® (estradiol patch) is a prescription hormone replacement medication. It comes as a patch that is applied to the skin two times a week. It is the smallest estrogen patch currently available. The medication is approved for the following uses:
- Treating menopausal symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and irritation, night sweats, and hot flashes
- Replacing estrogen in younger women whose ovaries do not produce enough hormones (or who have had their ovaries removed)
- Preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who are at significant risk for the condition.
Vivelle-Dot is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
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, Vivelle-Dot patches help decrease "first pass metabolism," when the liver metabolizes a drug before it reaches the bloodstream. Since the liver metabolizes estradiol into estrone, taking estradiol by mouth results in high levels of estrone (and low levels of estradiol). With Vivelle-Dot, 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.