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Patch or Pills? Patch or Pills?

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Unread 03-15-2005, 06:39 PM
Patch or Pills?

Ladies, I need some advice...

I started HRT three weeks ago with the Climara patch. I was feeling pretty good, no flashes, got my mental clarity back so I could actually do my was great! Well the patches just wouldn't stay on...I went through two patches in the first week! I called the Dr and explained the situation and she said that she wanted to switch me to the pill anyway b/c my cholesterol level was elevated. So I switched to Estrace pills. Now I can't sleep, the flashes are back and I can't remember from the kitchen to the living room! It is my busy season at work so I really need to have my mind back! I was told I had to wait two weeks before I can up the dose on the pills. So this weekend, I put the patch back on b/c I had a big project at work and didn't have time to lose my mind.

Why does the patch work so much better than the pills? If I need to take the pills, does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for all of your wisdom!

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Unread 03-15-2005, 07:00 PM
Patch or Pills?

Your post caught my eye because I have been thinking of switching from the Climara Pro patch to a pill as well. I have wondered if the progesterone in my patch is the cause for my breasts to have gotten a size bigger. (NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT)

I have had more luck with getting the Climara patch to stick if when I apply it I smooth out any wrinkles and then press down on it with my hand for at least 30 seconds.

When I take a bath, I have resorted to covering the patch with a bit larger square of saran wrap taped down with waterproof medical tape. This keeps the patch clean and stuck on but is a bit of a pain.
Unread 03-15-2005, 08:27 PM
Patch or Pills?

I love the Climara patch; It gave me back my memory and helps with libido. I don't have any problems with the patch staying on and I take hot baths every day. I've found best spot on my bottom to place it (right above the fatty area). I peel off both sides and gently place it on my rear and then with my index finger using a circle like motion, smoothe the outer edges of the patch then press firmly with your palm for about 30 seconds and for added adhesion I then buff it with baby powder. My patch adheres so well that I actually have to tug sometimes to remove it.

I have tried Estradiol (generic) 1mg, Cenestin (1mg) Estraseth(spelling) and Vivelle and by far Climara has worked the best for my body, also I like that I only have to replace it every seven days and sometimes I can go more than seven days without changing the patch. If you have extras you might want to give it another try..It is really, really good for the memory-brain fog thing...Good Luck
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Unread 03-16-2005, 06:59 AM
Patch or Pills?


What does the baby powder do? Do you think the buttocks location works better for baths than the front? Did you experience any bloating in tummy or breasts - or is this just me?
Unread 03-16-2005, 10:22 AM
Patch or Pills?

I agree, the patch does seem to work best. Thanks for all of the tips on getting it to stick. So on the buttocks, is that closer to the lower back?

My other delima is that my Dr. says that with my elevated cholesterol level she would rather have me on the pills (apparently they help in lowering cholesterol). Why do you think the patch works so much better?

I haven't noticed a change in my breast, they are bigger but I am pretty much bigger all over since the surgery. My Climara is only estrogen not a combination. That may be the difference.
Unread 03-16-2005, 10:56 AM
Patch or Pills?

The powder is used to keep the sticky area surrounding the patching from attaching to your clothes; it helps it to stay on. Yes, I have a bloated stomach, but I had that before the surgery; however, it does seem to be more so. I am really bloathed all over. I have gained about 30lbs since 2000. It hasn't affected my cholesteral levels; they always check normal. For me I would rather deal with the swelly belly rather than the dementia. I haven't really focused on diet and exercise, so that is probably a lot of the reason for the excess weight. Finally, I found that absorption is better on the buttock about an inch or 2 below the pelvic bone.
Unread 03-16-2005, 11:28 AM
Patch or Pills?

Hi JCB1029
What dosage of Estrace are you on? I take .25 in the AM and .5 in the PM. I used to swallow it and had the same symptoms that you are having ( hot flashes, brain fog etc.). I learned on this site to disolve the pill, either under my tongue or in my cheek. It works better for me this way. I think that's because you lose some of the Estrace when you swallow it because it has to pass through the liver before it gets into your blood. If you do it sublingually or transbucally it goes right to your blood. The hot flashes and brain fog can be signs of low estrogen. Anyway, it may be worth the try.
Unread 03-16-2005, 01:32 PM
Patch or Pills?

Thanks Nanfal, that dissolving the pills makes perfect sense!

I can't remember what the dosage on my Estrace was...Im at work and don't have it with me. I know it was very low starting out.

How did you arrive at taking the lower dose in the am and the higher in the pm? How much trial and error did you go through?

Thanks again for the input!
Unread 03-16-2005, 01:36 PM
Patch or Pills?

Hi Fonda,
I used to take .5 in the AM and .5 in the PM. My doctor wants me on the lowest dosage. I tried dropping the AM completely, but started with the brain fog right away. I would forget people I work with names. I always know when I've forgotten the morning dose because I can't even remember how to do something simple on the computer. I also noticed that when I was on the lower dosage I lost more hair. This .75 seems to work fine for me. I also take 100mg of Prometrium at night. It helps me sleep. Good Luck

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