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Innofem (Estradiol) - Summary




Close clinical surveillance of all women taking estrogens is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding. There is no evidence that "natural" estrogens are more or less hazardous than "synthetic" estrogens at equiestrogenic doses.


 There is no indication for estrogen therapy during pregnancy or during the immediate postpartum period. Estrogens are ineffective for the prevention or treatment of threatened or habitual abortion. Estrogens are not indicated for the prevention of postpartum breast engorgement.

Estrogen therapy during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of congenital defects in the reproductive organs of the fetus, and possibly other birth defects. Studies of women who received diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy have shown that female offspring have an increased risk of vaginal adenosis, squamous cell dysplasia of the uterine cervix, and clear cell vaginal cancer later in life; male offspring have an increased risk of urogenital abnormalities and possibly testicular cancer later in life. The 1985 DES Task Force concluded that use of DES during pregnancy is associated with a subsequent increased risk of breast cancer in the mothers, although a causal relationship remains unproven and the observed level of excess risk is similar to that for a number of other breast cancer risk factors.



Innofem™ (Estradiol Tablets, USP) for oral administration contains 0.5, 1 or 2 mg of micronized estradiol per tablet.

Innofem™ (Estradiol Tablets, USP) is indicated in the:

  1. Treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with the menopause. There is no adequate evidence that estrogens are effective for nervous symptoms or depression which might occur during menopause and they should not be used to treat these conditions.
  2. Treatment of vulval and vaginal atrophy.
  3. Treatment of hypoestrogenism due to hypogonadism, castration or primary ovarian failure.
  4. Treatment of breast cancer (for palliation only) in appropriately selected women and men with metastatic disease.
  5. Treatment of advanced androgen-dependent carcinoma of the prostate (for palliation only).
  6. Prevention of osteoporosis.

Since estrogen administration is associated with risk, selection of patients should ideally be based on prospective identification of risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Unfortunately, there is no certain way to identify those women who will develop osteoporotic fractures. Most prospective studies of efficacy for this indication have been carried out in white menopausal women, without stratification by other risk factors, and tend to show a universally salutary effect on bone. Thus, patient selection must be individualized based on the balance of risks and benefits. A more favorable risk/benefit ratio exists in a hysterectomized woman because she has no risk of endometrial cancer (see BOXED WARNINGS).

Estrogen replacement therapy reduces bone resorption and retards or halts post menopausal bone loss. Case-control studies have shown an approximately 60 percent reduction in hip and wrist fractures in women whose estrogen replacement was begun within a few years of menopause. Studies also suggest that estrogen reduces the rate of vertebral fractures. Even when started as late as 6 years after menopause, estrogen prevents further loss of bone mass for as long as the treatment is continued. The results of a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, dose-ranging study have shown that treatment with 0.5 mg estradiol daily for 23 days (of a 28 day cycle) prevents vertebral bone mass loss in postmenopausal women. When estrogen therapy is discontinued, bone mass declines at a rate comparable to the immediate postmenopausal period. There is no evidence that estrogen replacement therapy restores bone mass to premenopausal levels.

At skeletal maturity there are sex and race differences in both the total amount of bone present and its density, in favor of men and blacks. Thus, women are at higher risk than men because they start with less bone mass and, for several years following natural or induced menopause, the rate of bone mass decline is accelerated. White and Asian women are at higher risk than black women.

Early menopause is one of the strongest predictors for the development of osteoporosis. In addition, other factors affecting the skeleton which are associated with osteoporosis include genetic factors (small build, family history), and endocrine factors (nulliparity, thyrotoxicosis, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, Type 1 diabetes), lifestyle (cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, sedentary exercise habits) and nutrition (below average body weight, dietary calcium intake).

The mainstays of prevention and management of osteoporosis are estrogen, an adequate lifetime calcium intake, and exercise. Postmenopausal women absorb dietary calcium less efficiently than premenopausal women and require an average of 1500 mg/day of elemental calcium to remain in neutral calcium balance. By comparison, premenopausal women require about 1000 mg/day and the average of calcium intake in the USA is 400-600 mg/day, therefore, when not contraindicated, calcium supplementation may be helpful.

Weight-bearing exercise and nutrition may be important adjuncts to the prevention and management of osteoporosis. Immobilization and prolonged bed rest produce rapid bone loss, while weight-bearing exercise has been shown both to reduce bone loss and to increase bone mass. The optimal type and amount of physical activity that would prevent osteoporosis have not been established, however in two studies an hour of walking and running exercise twice or three times weekly significantly increased lumbar spine bone mass.

See all Innofem indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Innofem (Estradiol)

Sexual function in women on estradiol or venlafaxine for hot flushes: a randomized controlled trial. [2014]
estradiol or venlafaxine for hot flushes... CONCLUSION: Overall sexual function among nondepressed midlife women experiencing

Effect of estradiol valerate on endometrium thickness during clomiphene citrate-stimulated ovulation. [2014]
CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that the addition of 6 mg/day EV following the CC

[Efficacy and safety of a combined oral contraceptive containing drospirenone 3 mg and ethinylestradiol 20 µg in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a randomized, double blind placebo-controlled study]. [Article in Chinese] [2014]
with placebo in reducing symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)... CONCLUSIONS: YAZ could improve symptoms of PMDD better than placebo, while

Effects of tibolone or continuous combined oestradiol/norethisterone acetate on glucose and insulin metabolism. [2013]
insulin metabolism in postmenopausal women... CONCLUSIONS: Tibolone reduces insulin sensitivity. Healthy postmenopausal women

Impact of estradiol valerate/dienogest on work productivity and activities of daily living in women with heavy menstrual bleeding. [2013]
estradiol valerate/dienogest (E2V/DNG; Qlaira(®)/Natazia(®)) compared to placebo... CONCLUSIONS: E2V/DNG was shown to have a consistent positive impact on work

more studies >>


Based on a total of 5 ratings/reviews, Innofem has an overall score of 9.20. The effectiveness score is 8.80 and the side effect score is 9.60. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.

Innofem review by 50 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Considerably Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Hormone replacement
Dosage & duration:   1 mg taken twice a day for the period of 1 year
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   vitamins
Reported Results
Benefits:   continuation of hormone replacement after stopping birth control pills No hot flashes or night sweats.
Side effects:   Break-through bleeding or spotting, breast pain and changes in sexuality(decrease in libido). Fluid retention. Brown patcheson the forehead,temples.
Comments:   Oral dose taken in the morning and evening. Tried the estrogen patch, but did not like the sticky 'bandaid' on my skin.It would get sticky on the edges and be a magnet for clothes fibers.


Innofem review by 50 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Menopause symptoms
Dosage & duration:   .025 (dosage frequency: daily (patch applied 1x week)) for the period of ongoing
Other conditions:   acid reflux
Other drugs taken:   Nexium
Reported Results
Benefits:   Benefits: Patch applied 1x weekly assured consistent delivery of dosage. No skin irritation reported by patient but recommended that site used be rotated weekly. Patch can come off if not applied correctly to clean dry skin - no lotions or creams s/b present. May not be metabolized through liver as much as oral estrogen - advantage.
Side effects:   Slight irritation at application site of patch. If mfrs. directions followed and site rotated, this can be reduced or eliminated. No other notable side effects.
Comments:   Patch is applied 1x weekly. Treatment continued to alleviate hot flashes. Original dosage was higher and company has come out with smaller dosages. Patient can be slowly "weaned" to smaller dosages until no longer needed.


Innofem review by 54 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Moderately Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   hot flashes, unable to sleep
Dosage & duration:   1 mg taken daily for the period of 1 year
Other conditions:   high blood pressure
Other drugs taken:   dyazide
Reported Results
Benefits:   I did get relief from the hot flashes and this did contribute to a good nights sleep. I had a hystirectomy a year before I was put on the hormones. I say an increase in wrinkles in that first year. I can not say that I have seen a slowing in the aging process but I am sleeping better and that of course will bennefit the skin.
Side effects:   I have not experienced any side effects to my knowledge. I feel as if an increase in the dose would maybe last longer as I seem to be waking at least once a night with a hot flash. I take it in the morning so maybe by the time I hit the sheets it is out of my system. I do not miss a day and always take it at the same time each morning.
Comments:   As I stated I had a hystirectomy at 50 years old. I went over a year w/out any homone treatment and the hot flashes got so severe I was waking about 5 to 6 times a night. I was using over the counter sleep aids and did not like them. I got the doctor to prescribe the hormones and the benefits were almost immediate. I have been on the same dose for over a year now and feel I might benefit from an increased dose. I am 54 now and am looking not quite my age but the aging process is speeding up I feel.

See all Innofem reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2015-08-10

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