Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

Estrogen Patch May Have Lower Clot Risk

Estrogen Patches, Gels Linked to Fewer Blood Clots Than Other Forms of HRT

WebMD Health News

Aug. 7, 2003 -- Women who receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT) from an estrogen patch or gel may have a much lower risk of potentially dangerous blood clots than women who get their hormones from pills.

Oral estrogen is known to increase the risk of venous thromboembolism (or blood clots) especially in the lung, which often leads to death. But researchers say little is known about the effects of HRT delivered through the skin on the blood clotting process.

In this study, published in the Aug. 9 edition of The Lancet, French researchers compared 155 women who suffered a venous thromboembolism with 381 similar, healthy women.

After accounting for other risk factors, the study showed that the odds of having a venous thromboembolism for users of oral HRT was more than three times greater than the risk found among estrogen patch and gel users or women who weren't on HRT.

The study also showed there was no difference in venous thromboembolism risk between users of estrogen-only therapies and estrogen-plus-progestin HRT.

Researcher Pierre-Yves Scarabin of the INSERM Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit in Villejuif, France, and colleagues say these results suggest that oral HRT may be associated with a higher risk of venous thromboembolism in postmenopausal women, and delivering HRT through the skin might be safer than oral HRT with regard to this particular risk.

But researchers say more research on the effects of estrogen patches and gels on other risk factors and health outcomes is needed.

SOURCE: The Lancet, Aug. 9, 2003.

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat
mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
estrogen gene

WebMD Special Sections