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I cut my Vivelle-dot in half, but this is highly controversial. I believe even the experts disagree. Some say that the remaining piece does not store well and loses effectiveness. I store the extra piece in the pouch with the end rolled down tightly. I don't think the regular Vivelle will work properly if cut because the drug delivery system gets messed up.
Hi (((Lauren))) it is good to see you! While the manufacturers don't put it into their package inserts or on their websites, any of the patches that use the newer matrix system can be cut. I have cut many a dot and in fact am doing it now... an oncologist asked me to reduce my dosage due to a recent bc diagnosis, and she suggested I start by cutting 1/4 off each patch for a few weeks, then cutting them in half... and then switching to the half sized patch if it works out well.
My GYN and internist have also told me it's OK, as has my pharmacist, although he said it in a whisper, like ("shh, yes, you can... I only recommend it as a temporary measure when you're changing dosages and want to try a new one before officially getting a script for the new dosage, but theoretically you could do it indefinitely with the matrix patches").
The Survivor's Guide site also mentions cutting the matrix patches but not the reservoir ones (duh ).
I store my unused patch pieces for no more than two weeks, in the original foil wrapper with the air squeezed out and the edge folded over a couple of times. I've never had any problem when I've subsequently used them, although I have heard some DRs don't recommend their patients cut their patches primarily because of carelessness in storage which could result in loss of effectiveness.
A few weeks ago when I picked up my V.Dot patch I asked my Pharmacist about cutting them in half. She was very busy & adamant that "no it's not recommend." In any event my DR called in a lower dose of the V.Dot. Three years ago I started on the V.Dot .05 but needed to increase the dose about a year ago to .075 because night sweats returned. Today is the first day back to .05. Wish me luck.
In the matrix patches, which is the newer technology, the estradiol is evenly dispersed in a "matrix" of adhesive. So, if you cut the backing of the patch, you reduce the amount of estrogen by the same as the fraction of backing you are cutting off. I hope I explained that in a way that's understandable... I mean, if you cut 1/4 of the area of the patch off, you will be getting 1/4 less estrogen.
The reservoir patches have the estrogen concentrated in a pool, usually in the middle of the patch. This is the older style. These patches cannot be cut.
Some examples of matrix patches are: Vivelle dot, regular Vivelle, Climara, Alora, Esclim, Fempatch and Mylan.
Estraderm is an example of a reservoir patch.
Here's a link to a discussion by an engineer from Noven, who market the Vivelle dot, explaining better than I ever could how the Vivelle dot's special 'dot matrix' technology enables it to be smaller than the other matrix patches:
I think they did change the look of the backing on the Vivelle dot slightly a while back (I want to say a few months ago, but it's hard to say because of how long it takes new patches to filter through the distribution system to the pharmacies and into our hot little hands ). My current patches look like they have faint "stripes" but the "stripes" are actually made up of the name of the patch over and over plus the dosage. I think the "stripes" were always there but maybe in an even fainter ink color? Is that what you are seeing?
Your patch is in a dusty mauve-ish colored box saying "Vivelle dot" right? And they are rectangular with rounded corners?
The regular Vivelle patch is half-dollar sized and round, like Climara.