What are Evorel Conti patches?
Evorel Conti patches contain the active ingredients estradiol hemihydrate (3.2mg per patch), and norethisterone acetate (11.2mg per patch).
Evorel Conti patches are a form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and are prescribed to women after the menopause as a replacement for the oestrogen that isn't being produced anymore. The treatment helps to relieve the symptoms of the menopause, and builds up the protective effect oestrogen has against the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How do Evorel Conti patches work?
Estradiol is a synthetic form of the oestrogen that is naturally found in the body, and norethisterone is a synthetic form of progesterone (a “progestogen” hormone found in the body). Estradiol helps eradicate your menopausal symptoms, and norethisterone protects the lining of your womb.
Both the active ingredients of Evorel are administered during the treatment. Most women will not have a monthly bleed whilst using the patches, although some bleeding is common in the first few months.
How to use Evorel Conti patches
Carefully read the enclosed leaflet before using Evorel Conti patches.
Apply each Evorel Conti patch to your skin twice a week on an area of clean, dry, healthy skin, on the trunk below the waistline. Place on a different area of skin each time and be sure not to apply the patches on or near the breasts.
When you have a bath or shower, keep the patches on. You might find the patch falls off, but if this happens, dry the skin and apply another one to replace it. If the patch falls off at any other time, replace it with a new one immediately. You can use baby oil to remove any glue that remains on the skin after you’ve taken a patch off.
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Are Evorel Conti patches suitable for me?
Evorel Conti patches are for women who have a uterus (that is, those who have not had a hysterectomy). A different form of HRT that does not contain a progestogen should be used if your uterus has been removed, such as Evorel patches.
There are some situations where Evorel Conti patches may not be recommended or it will be advised they’re used cautiously. Women over the age of 65, or with cancer or a history of cancer, for example, may be offered a different treatment. If you've suffered from undiagnosed genital bleeding; have either liver or kidney problems; untreated endometrial hyperplasia (an excessive growth of tissue in the womb); deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism (either a current or previous condition), you will need to discuss this with the doctor. This also applies to women who have, or have had, blood clotting; circulation issues such as angina; porphyria; and allergies to any of the ingredients – you may find a different treatment is prescribed.
Tell the online doctor if you have now, or have ever had, any of these conditions: endometriosis, risk factors for thromboembolic disorders (such as major surgery, prolonged immobilisation, obesity, cancer, smoking and excessive drinking) or risk factors for oestrogen dependent tumours (first-degree heredity for breast cancer for instance) or hypertension. You’ll also need mention if you’ve ever had problems with your liver or kidney (for example liver adenoma), diabetes mellitus with or without vascular involvement, cholelithiasis, migraine or (severe) headache and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). If you’ve got a history of endometrial hyperplasia, epilepsy, asthma, or otosclerosis, this will also need to be discussed.
Please tell the doctor about any other medicines you are taking during the consultation, either from your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy without a prescription. Evorel Conti patches may cause issues if used at the same time as certain other medicines. This includes some medicines for epilepsy, infections (rifampicin, rifabutin, nevirapine and efavirenz for instance), HIV/AIDS, warfarin and other anticoagulants, and herbal remedies such as St John's Wort.
During the consultation, it’s vitally important you give a full picture of your health, to make sure the doctor has all the information required to assess the suitability of Evorel Conti patches for you.
What are the side effects of Evorel Conti patches?
As with all medical treatments, Evorel Conti patches may cause side effects. However, it is worth noting that not everyone will experience them. A rash or other skin irritation where the patches have been placed on the body tend to be the most common side effects.
Some side effects are potentially serious – should you experience any of the following, you will need to stop using Evorel Conti patches and tell your local doctor immediately:
- Sudden feelings of pain in the chest
- Experiencing vaginal or breakthrough bleeding (also known as spotting)
- Pain caused by menstrual periods
- Redness of the legs and painful swelling
- Difficulties when breathing
- Pain in your chest that moves to your neck or arm
- Jaundice – a yellowing of your eyes and face
- An increase in your blood pressure
- Getting migraine-like headaches with no explanation
- Breast changes, including noticeable changes to the nipple, skin dimpling around the breast, and lumps that you can see or feel.
Vaginal discharge, headache, dizziness, increased libido, breast pain and the increased risk of breast cancer are also associated with this particular treatment. You may also find you feel depressed, have an increased blood pressure, indigestion and other type of stomach discomfort. Also take note if you suffer from any hair loss, weight gain, palpitations, fluid retention, nose bleeds, itching, skin rashes, sweating, and if you feel faint after eating.
Stroke thrombosis, and endometrial, breast and ovarian cancer can be increased if you undergo HRT. If you begin treatment more than 10 years after the start of your menopause, there is also an increased risk of heart disease. Only the minimum effective dose of HRT should be used, and for the shortest length of time.
You'll find a full list of potential side effects and all other patient information in the leaflet provided with the pack – be sure to before fully read it before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.