Has anyone heard of changing the Climara patch 0.1 twice a week? My gyn recommended it for my insomnia but the pharmacist doesn't think it will increase my estrogen level (which was 53 last time checked). Waiting to check again with gyn tomorrow and tell him what the pharmacist said.
(((Karen))), the only way it'd help raise your estrogen level is if you are currently using up all the estrogen in the patch in three days or so. Otherwise, the absorption rate of the patch is pretty much the same whether you are wearing a new patch or one that is 3 days old.
Also, if your insurance company is anything like mine, you can have your prescription rewritten to change the Climara patch twice a week, so you can get 2 boxes per month, but they'll charge you a copay per box, meaning that your cost for patches per month will double.
You might want to try using two patches for a while to raise your estrogen level.... there are a few women here who do that (say a 0.1 and a .05 together, for example)... with your DR's approval of course. Or, you could try a different brand of patch to see if you absorb estrogen better with a different technology. The Vivelle dot is a good one to try.
Alternatively, if the patches don't seem to be able to raise your estrogen level, you might consider trying sublingual drops from a compounding pharmacy... you can get them with just estradiol, or bi-est, or tri-est.
I got the ok from the gyn to change the patch twice a week, and my insurance company actually paid for two boxes with only charging me one co-pay. That was a bonus for me as it cost $25 for a month supply. We'll see if my levels go up or if my insomnia improves. Keeping my fingers crossed that I will feel better soon.
Good luck with the insomnia and doubling up on the patch. Let me know if it improves. I'm having a terrible time sleeping, and would love to learn of a solution. I am also on the Climara patch 0.1 per week.
Well, I thankfully would like to report that my sleep patterns have gotten somewhat better in the last three weeks. Still not the greatest, but alot better than the last 5+ months. I guess changing the patch twice a week is helping me. Hope this gives a little bit of hope to others who may be suffering with insomnia.
I wonder if adding plant estrogens would help --- you know, drinking soy milk and eating tofu????? My pharmacist seems to think that these are viable sources of estrogen. Do any of you have any experience with this?
(((Sue))) phytoestrogens are not estrogen to us. They do have some limited ability to bind to our estrogen receptors, so in women with very mild symptoms (such as in natural perimenopause), they can be helpful... but I've not heard much in the way of success stories with them for women in full blown surgical menopause. Most pharmacists' experience with women in menopause involves women who still have (semi-working) ovaries rather than those of us who are 'ovary-challenged'
I was changing my climara patch 2x a week and my estrogen did raise. I started having very sore breasts and headaches after doing the 2x a week for a couple of weeks. So I think your estrogen does raise some from more frequently changing. I asked my endocrinologist about this and she said even though the patch is suppose to give the same amount of estrogen every day for 7 days; in actuality it gives more the first few days and then steadily decreases. So by changing it more frequently made the difference for me.