- Side Effects
- Patient Information Leaflet
What is Vagifem Vaginal Tablets
During menopause, the woman's body stops producing the same oestrogen levels. In turn, women can begin to suffer from symptoms such as pain during and after sex, irregular bleeding and spotting, as well as dryness and irritation of the vagina. These issues stem from vaginal atrophy, the thinning, inflammation and drying of the vaginal walls due to the lowered oestrogen levels.
There are ways to ease these vaginal symptoms without taking oral medication. Vagifem is in tablet form and can be inserted with an easy-to-use applicator directly into the vagina and contains the naturally occurring oestrogen known as estradiol.
As of right now, Vagifem tablets are only available in 24 packs of 10mcg strength.
What is contained in Vagifem?
The active ingredient in each tablet is estradiol
The inactive ingredients are:
- lactose monohydrate
- maize starch
- magnesium stearate.
The tablet coating contains:
- macrogol 6000
If you are allergic to lactose or intolerant to it, please let your doctor know this before using this treatment.
Can I buy Vagifem online?
Vagifem can only be purchased online with a prescription because our in-house doctors need to make sure that this is the safest and most beneficial treatment for you to use. You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire, and your answers will be assessed. Once approved, you can purchase your treatment right away, and it will be sent discreetly packaged to your chosen address.
Once you have your prescription, you do not need to redo the questionnaire to buy again in the future, but it is recommended you have your HRT medication reviewed at least once a year.
Why choose Vagifem?
Although products are available to help with symptoms such as vaginal dryness and soreness without a prescription, they cannot help with the underlying cause and will offer only temporary relief. Vagifem can not only ease soreness, itching, irritation and bleeding after intercourse, but it can also help with urinary symptoms often related to vaginal atrophy, such as recurring UTIs, a burning sensation when passing water or an urgent or frequent need to urinate.
How does Vagifem work?
When the menopause begins, the level of the oestrogen hormone, which initiates certain changes within the body, including the secretion of mucus in the vagina to stop it becoming dry and sore, is depleted. Vagifem is used to replenish this lost hormone, and as the vagina absorbs the dose of estradiol directly, the distressing vaginal symptoms of menopause are eased.
What are the side effects of Vagifem?
Although this oestrogen-only pessary is not taken orally, similar side effects may still occur as HRTs taken in pill form. They can include:
- breast tenderness
- stomach pain
- vaginal itchiness
Vagifem can also cause:
Some women find they do not experience any issues from this treatment, whereas others may experience one or more and to varying degrees of severity. Most side effects from a new treatment will be mild and disappear after the first few days or weeks once the body becomes used to the medication. They should not stop you from using Vagifem, but if you feel your side effects are more severe, then contact your Click Pharmacy doctor or GP for advice. If you have an allergic response to the product, then seek medical help right away.
Other warnings to consider
Most HRTs come in a combined format with both oestrogen and progesterone together because the progesterone helps to reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and blood clots, which are all potential side effects of hormone therapies. As such, if you have had or currently have cancer of the breast or womb, then Vagifem is not recommended.
Unusual bleeding can indicate cancer, so if you have experienced this, then ensure your doctor investigates before beginning a prescription for Vagifem.
For patients who are pregnant, allergic to the ingredients or for anyone who has experienced problems with their liver, then Vagifem is not recommended.
How effective is Vagifem?
Vagifem treats vaginal symptoms connected to menopause. The hormone is absorbed directly where needed, increasing the oestrogen lost in the vagina and making it effective at easing issues such as soreness, pain during intercourse, vaginal dryness, itching and pain when urinating.
How should I take Vagifem?
Each dose of Vagifem is contained in a single tablet which can be inserted easily with a disposable, pre-filled applicator.
- Wash your hands before beginning.
- Tear off and open an applicator
- Ensure the tablet is securely inside
- If the tablet or applicator falls onto the floor, throw them away and get a new one.
- Insert the applicator into the vagina as you would a tampon
- Push the free end down, releasing the tablet where it will slowly dissolve and release the dose
- Throw the applicator away after use
You can use Vagifem at the most convenient time for you but aim to do it at the same time each day. This helps ensure that the oestrogen levels remain balanced. This will further help to stop the recurrence of your painful or uncomfortable symptoms.
What should be the dosage of Vagifem?
Initially, your primary doctor will prescribe the lowest dosage of Vagifem possible to alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor may or may not choose to alter your dose at a later point, depending upon the success rate of the current dosage. However, the usual dose of Vagifem is 1 vaginal tablet each day for the first two weeks. This should further be lowered to one vaginal tablet twice on a weekly basis.
How long can I take Vagifem for?
As hormone treatments are used at their lowest effective dose and for the shortest time possible, the patients should use Vagifem once a day for the first 14 days and then twice a week thereafter. Your doctor will advise you on how and when to take this product, and it is important you follow their direction to ensure you get the most benefit out of your prescription.
In studies, many women felt the benefits within a matter of weeks.
How long does it take for Vagifem to work?
Vagifem begins working to replenish oestrogen supplies as soon as the treatment begins. Keep in mind that you may not be able to spot any benefits during the initial stage of the treatment. The first few weeks may feel the same. It can often take up to 8 to 12 weeks to function properly. The benefits of Vagifem become apparent following the 12th week of treatment.
● Headache or migraine
● Stomach pain or sensitivity
● Vaginal bleeding
● Vaginal discharge or discomfort
● A fungal infection of the genitals (yeast infection)
● Nausea (feeling sick)
● Rash or hives
● Fluctuation in weight
● Hot flushes (sudden feeling of warmth all over your neck, face and body)
● Hypertension or high blood pressure
● Breast cancer
● Endometrial cancer
● Allergy or shock
● Fluid retention which may cause swelling in the limbs
● Insomnia or other sleeping complications
● Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg)
● Diarrhoea or bloating
● Endometrial hyperplasia (thickening of the womb lining)
● Irritation in the vagina
● Pain in the vagina
● Vaginal ulceration