Menostar

(estradiol)

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Prevents bone loss after menopause.

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Our bottom line

Menostar (estradiol) is a weekly patch applied to help prevent bone loss after menopause, but it carries extra risks that other non-estrogen osteoporosis medicines don't.

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    $169.68
Quick facts about Menostar
  • Drug class: Women's health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Very easy to use and only needs to be applied once a week.
  • Doesn't cause digestive side effects as frequently as some of the pills used to prevent bone loss.
  • This is the lowest dose of estrogen available in a patch, so serious side effects are less likely to occur.
  • As effective and easier to use compared to oral medicines at preventing bone loss in postmenopausal women.
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What to expect from Menostar, on one page

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Downsides

  • Available as brand name only, so it can be expensive.
  • Patches can fall off when your skin gets wet, even from just regular showering.
  • Raises your risk of uterine and breast cancer.
  • Raises your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • If you still have a uterus, you may need to take another medicine, known as a progestin, to help keep your uterus healthy.
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What to expect from Menostar, on one page

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How it works

Menostar (estradiol) replaces an estrogen hormone that your body loses during and after menopause. Higher levels of the hormone help prevent bone loss.

Quick facts about Menostar
  • Drug class: Women's health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

  • Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis

Dosage forms

  • Patch
Tried Menostar? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Menostar (estradiol) for Prevention of bone thinning in postmenopausal women

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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  • Possible side effects
  • White or yellow vaginal discharge
  • Joint pain
  • Skin irritation where applied
  • Muscle pain
  • Breast pain
  • Upper respiratory infection
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Side effect rates for Menostar (estradiol)

From 417 clinical trials of Menostar when taken for prevention of bone thinning in postmenopausal women (14 mcg/day)
  • Upper respiratory infection
    16%16%
    17%17%
  • Accidental injury
    14%14%
    11%11%
  • Pain
    13%13%
    12%12%
  • Joint pain
    12%12%
    6%6%
  • White or yellow vaginal discharge
    11%11%
    1%1%
  • Skin irritation where applied
    9%9%
    9%9%
  • Stomach pain
    8%8%
    8%8%
  • Airway inflammation
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Non-cancerous growths on cervix
    6%6%
    2%2%
  • Infection
    5%5%
    5%5%
  • Constipation
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Upset stomach
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Arthritis
    5%5%
    7%7%
  • Muscle pain
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Dizziness
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Breast pain
    5%5%
    4%4%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Menostar.

Menostar (estradiol)
Placebo

People taking Menostar felt side effect more

People taking Menostar felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Menostar (estradiol)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using estrogen for more than 1 year

    Vaginal bleeding after menopause can be a warning sign of uterine (endometrial) cancer, so let your doctor know if you notice any unusual bleeding. Using medicines like Menostar (estradiol) for more than a year can increase your risk. Talk to your doctor about other medicines you can take with Menostar (estradiol) to protect yourself from cancer if you are worried.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Menostar (estradiol)

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Pain
  • Menostar (estradiol) can raise your risk of blood clots, which can be very dangerous. You're more likely to have them if you smoke tobacco, are obese, or if you or your family have ever had blood clots. Get medical care right away if you have pain in your legs or arms, bad headaches, trouble breathing, or sudden changes in your speech or vision.