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hormone patches
galei1946 posted:
I just recently quit my patches which I have used for many years. I have been on some kind of estrogen since the 80's. It has been almost a month and the hot flashes seem to be getting worse plus my sleep has been disturbed. Don't feel very good. Was hoping to get off some of this middle age spread. I am 67 and just retired and have been trying to lose 20 lbs. Has anyone had experience with patches after so many years - as what to expect. Will be seeing a new gyn next mo.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear Galei1946,
Alas, about 10-15% of women have persistent significant hot flashes for beyond 10 years into menopause; we don't know why, but some folks are unfortunate that way. One option would be to resume your estrogen patches, at the lowest dose that keeps your hot flashes under control. Another would be to try some over the counter remedies, like the black cohosh product Remifemin, or its companion product Remifemin good night, which has some sleep benefits as well. The product Icool which is basically like the active ingredients of soy (isoflavones) can be helpful, and you can take it in conjunction with the black cohosh.
A new medication is available with a prescription-it is called Brisdelle, and it is a very low dose of the antidepressant Paroxetine. Because of its low dose, it does not have the nasty potential side effects of weight gain and loss of libido, but it does have efficacy against hot flashes.
So those are the things I would discuss with your new gyn; you may want to try the Remifemin and Icool now, as you don't need a prescription, and you can then report to your new doc how you are doing with them.
Good luck,
Mary Jane

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