Drug Information for Vagifem (estradiol vaginal tablets) Initial U.S. Approval: 1999 (Novo Nordisk): WARNING: CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS, ENDOMETRIAL CANCER, BREAST CANCER and PROBABLE DEMENTIA

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  • Estrogen-Alone Therapy

    Endometrial Cancer

    There is an increased risk of endometrial cancer in a woman with a uterus who uses unopposed estrogens. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

    Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

    Estrogen-alone therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2),(5.4), and Clinical Studies (14.2),(14.3)].

    The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen-alone substudy reported increased risks of stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 7.1 years of treatment with daily oral conjugated estrogens (CE) [0.625 mg], relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

    The WHI Memory Study (WHIMS) estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 5.2 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) alone, relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) , Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

    In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and other dosage forms of estrogens.

    Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

    Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

    Cardiovascular Disorders and Probable Dementia

    Estrogen plus progestin therapy should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2),(5.4) and Clinical Studies (14.2),(14.3)].

    The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported increased risks of DVT, pulmonary embolism, stroke and myocardial infarction in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5.6 years of treatment with daily oral CE (0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) [2.5 mg], relative to placebo [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

    The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of the WHI, reported an increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg) combined with MPA (2.5 mg), relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Studies (14.3)].

    Breast Cancer

    The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy also demonstrated an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3),and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

    In the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar for other doses of CE and MPA, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins.

    Estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

  • Drug Information Provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).
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