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Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot? Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

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Unread 05-28-2007, 12:21 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

My pharmacy made a mistake...I've been on the Vivelle Dot for more than 2 years, and when I went to refill, the pharmacist gave me the regular Vivelle and just said the "box changed". I didn't think anything about it until when I was ready to put my patch on (last Sunday morning, and saw it was bigger). It wasn't until a few days later that I realized that I was unintentionally put on the regular Vivelle.

Had this been a pill, I would be really, really upset! I'm trying to see if maybe this will work better for me. In the last year, I've lost about 15-20 pounds (50 more to go!!), my skin has gotten oiler with mild acne, more facial hair and now I think I'm noticing my hair is thinning!! I've never had to take testosterone and did have my levels checked a few months ago (everything normal).

Any advice, besides changing pharmacies?
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Unread 05-28-2007, 02:11 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

One difference between the Vivelle and the Vivelle Dot is the size. The other is that the Vivelle is meant to change once a week, while the Dot is changed twice weekly. Did you call the pharmacy as soon as you noticed the mixup? I would think that they would've swapped them out with no problems. If they didn't, than I do think you should change pharmacies.

Unread 05-28-2007, 08:18 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

Hi Pat,

Another difference between the two patches is the adhesives. There are different chemicals in them so I guess it’s possible to have a skin reaction to one but not the other. Here are the ingredients. I don’t understand the differences, but I’ll list them:
Vivelle has: acrylic adhesive, polyisobutylene, ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, 1,3 butylene glycol, styrene-butadiene rubber, oleic acid NF, lecithin, propylene glycol, bentonite NF, mineral oil and dipropylene glycol (1)

The Dot has: acrylic adhesive, silicone adhesive, oleyl alcohol, NF, povidone and dipropylene glycol (2)
When you had your testosterone levels tested, did they do “free” testosterone or total? Free testosterone is active. It’s called “free” because it’s not bound-up to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). SHBG makes testosterone inactive so bound testosterone is inactive. Total testosterone is free + bound, active + inactive.

It’s possible that your total could be normal, but your free, high. The symptoms you describe sound like you have high levels of free. If it is high and you decrease it, I think your symptoms would improve or not worsen. You can decrease free testosterone by increasing your SHBG levels.

Oral estrogens increase SHBG. If you smoke, it’s best to stop smoking if you take orals. There is one called ethinyl estradiol. I think it's the closest one to the patch. It doesn’t get converted to estrone like the other orals do—it enters your blood as is. It’s synthetic, not bioidentical like the patch.

SHBG levels are affected by weight, too. Weight loss increases SHBG.
1. Novartis Pharmaceuticals USA – Vivelle Prescribing Info (see page 2):
2. Vivelle-Dot Prescribing Info (page 2):
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Unread 05-29-2007, 08:12 AM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

Thanks for the input, ladies. I knew about the size differences and that's one reason I liked going from the Climara to the Vivelle Dot (I changed about 1 year after being on Climara because you change the Vivelle 2X a week and Climara seemed to be losing effectiveness for me at the end of the week). The regular Vivelle has 8 patches (to change 2X a week...I, too, thought regular Vivelle was changed just 1X a week like Climara) and I was wondering if maybe the different adhesives will make the estradiol work better for me.

Thanks for the input on the "free" testosterone, Karen. I didn't know that and don't know which my doctor tested for and not sure what to do next. I didn't call the pharmacist to complain because I wanted to see how regular Vivelle did on my acne. My doctor suggested I go to a dermatologist, but I don't want to be put on acne meds at 46. I guess I need to research more on increasing my SHBG levels. You wrote losing weight increases SHBG levels? I guess it's diet and more exercise for me!!!
Unread 05-29-2007, 07:44 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

Hi Pat,

Yes, losing weight will increase SHBG toward normal levels. Diet and exercise are the best ways to increase it.
Unread 05-29-2007, 11:51 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

This article, written by an engineer at Noven, explains how the dot matrix technology in the Vivelle dot is different from the technology used in the regular Vivelle patch:

I would insist that the pharmacy take back the incorrect box of Vivelle patches and supply you with a box of Vivelle dots. That pharmacist needs to know that the two products are not interchangeable.

Unread 05-30-2007, 06:04 AM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

Thanks, Linda. I tried researching the difference on my own and should have come here first!!

I'm not only going to tell the pharmacist about the mistake, but I'm also changing pharmacies. They're just not very professional and I've tried to give them a chance (a female pharmacist in a very small town), but this is the 2nd time a mistake has occurred and the employees smoke outside the entrance.
Unread 05-30-2007, 11:03 PM
Any difference between Vivelle and Vivelle Dot?

Thanks for the article, Linda. It's excellent!

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