Low-Dose Estrogen Patch Gets FDA Nod

Menostar Patch Approved for Osteoporosis Prevention

From the WebMD Archives

June 10, 2004 -- Menostar Patch, a very-low-dose estrogen patch, is now FDA approved for prevention of bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Estrogen replacement therapy is controversial these days. But there's no argument about one effect of the female hormone. It's good for preventing bone loss due to osteoporosis.

Hormone therapy, doctors agree, should be used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time. Menostar Patch has the low-dose angle covered. The dime-sized, once-a-week patch delivers just half the estrogen of the lowest-dose estrogen patch now available.

Estrogen therapy usually has to be balanced with another hormone, progestin, to lower the risk of uterine cancer. Many experts believe that most of the risk from hormone therapy comes from the progestin component. But Menostar Patch offers such a low estrogen dose that no progestin is needed.

This dose is expected to give most women just enough estrogen to prevent bone loss. In clinical trials, two years of Menostar Patch therapy helped postmenopausal women increase bone density.

Menostar Patch is made by Berlex Inc., the U.S. affiliate of German drug giant Schering AG.