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Your Health

Managing Your Hot Flashes

Posted: 2/9/2012

Dr. William Koltun, Medical Director for the Medical Center for Clinical Research
Dr. William Koltun, Medical Director for the Medical Center for Clinical Research.

(NAPSI)—If you’re a woman in your 40s or 50s beginning to experience symptoms associated with menopause, you may have some questions. Up to 40 percent of women suffer from the symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.1 The severity of hot flashes may vary from woman to woman. For some, hot flashes greatly impact daily activities while for others, they’re barely bothersome.1 So how do you determine the right course of action for managing your hot flashes? Dr. William Koltun, Medical Director for the Medical Center for Clinical Research offers up some facts to help you understand your changing body.

Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest.2 Sometimes hot flashes can include night sweats (episodes of drenching sweats at nighttime), which may lead to awakening.1 Depending on the person, hot flashes may occur a few times a week or several times a day.2 Eighty percent of women will stop experiencing hot flashes after five years while only 10 percent will experience symptoms for up to 10 years.1

Women have found relief from their hot flashes with a variety of self-care methods such as drinking a cool beverage as the hot flash begins, dressing in layers that can be removed when the temperature rises, and using sheets and clothing in breathable materials like cotton.3 If hot flashes become particularly bothersome, there are some treatment options that you and your physician can explore.

Treatment options like prescription estrogens continue to be the most effective for relieving the discomfort of hot flashes, including night sweats, associated with menopause.4 Your doctor may prescribe a bioidentical4 and FDA-approved estradiol gel, such as DIVIGEL® (estradiol gel) 0.1%, that can be applied to the skin. Due to certain risk factors, estrogen therapy should be used at the lowest dose for the shortest time possible to treat symptoms. For more information about hot flashes, talk to your doctor, and visit www.divigel.com to learn more about this treatment.

DIVIGEL® is a prescription medication indicated for the relief of moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause.

Important Safety Information

The following are not all the possible risks for DIVIGEL®. Please read the full Patient Information leaflet and talk to your health care provider.

Estrogens increase the chance of getting cancer of the uterus. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are taking estrogens. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb). Your health care provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause. In general, the addition of a progestin is recommended for women with a uterus to reduce the chance of getting cancer of the uterus.

Do not use estrogens, with or without progestins, to prevent heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. Using estrogens, with or without progestins, may increase your chance of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer and blood clots. Do not use estrogens, with or without progestins, to prevent dementia. Using estrogens, with or without progestins, may increase your risk of dementia. Do not use estrogen products, including DIVIGEL®, if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, currently have or have had certain cancers, had a stroke or heart attack in the past year, currently have or have had blood clots, currently have or have had liver problems, are allergic to any DIVIGEL® ingredients or think you may be pregnant.

The most common side effects for all estrogen products are headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, stomach/abdominal cramps and bloating, nausea and vomiting, and hair loss. The less common but serious side effects include breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, stroke, heart attack, blood clots, dementia, gallbladder disease and ovarian cancer.

In DIVIGEL® clinical trials, the most common side effects were inflammation of the nasal passages and pharynx, upper respiratory tract infection, vaginal yeast infection, breast tenderness and vaginal bleeding. Call your health care provider right away if you have any symptoms that concern you.

Estrogen products should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment and only as long as needed. You and your health care provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with DIVIGEL®.

For more information, call (800) 654-2299.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including black box and other warnings, at www.divigel.com.

DIVIGEL® is marketed in the U.S. by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

©2011 Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., Maple Grove, MN 55369

 

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1. Medicine Net. Introduction to Menopause and Hot Flashes. http://www.medicinenet.com/alternative_treatments_for_hot_flashes/article.htm.  Accessed July 18, 2011.

2. Mayo Clinic. Hot Flashes: Definition. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hot-flashes/DS01143. Accessed July 19, 2011.

3. National Institute on Aging. What You Can Do for Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/Menopause/what.htm. Accessed July 18, 2011.

4. North American Menopause Society. Menopause Guidebook. 6th ed. Cleveland, OH: North American Menopause Society; 2006.

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