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Efficacy of a new 7-day transdermal sequential estradiol/levonorgestrel patch in women.

Author(s): von Holst T, Salbach B

Affiliation(s): University Gynecological Clinic, Ruprecht-Karl University, Vossstrasse 9, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany.

Publication date & source: 2002-03-25, Maturitas., 41(3):231-42.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy and tolerability of a new 7-day transdermal sequential estradiol/levonorgestrel patch (Fem7 Combi; Merck KGaA; Germany), versus placebo, as hormone replacement therapy in menopausal women. METHODS: A multicentre, randomized, clinical study consisting of a 3-week screening phase, a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment phase, and a 12-week open, follow-up phase. Women aged 40-65 years with an intact uterus and menopausal complaints were randomized to either 2 weeks of an estradiol mono patch (50 microg per 24 h) followed by 2 weeks of an estradiol/levonorgestrel combination patch (50 microg/10 microg per 24 h), or a placebo patch, for three 28-day cycles. Changes in the Kupperman Index and the frequency of hot flushes were assessed. RESULTS: The sequential use of a 7-day estradiol patch and a 7-day estradiol/levonorgestrel patch was superior to placebo in reducing menopausal symptoms, and was well tolerated. At the end of the treatment phase, there was a statistically significant reduction in the Kupperman Index score versus placebo (P<0.0001), and a statistically significant difference between groups in the proportion of patients with a reduction in the number of hot flushes (at least 50% versus baseline). During the open follow-up phase, there was a marked reduction in the Kupperman Index score and the number of hot flushes for patients switched from placebo to active study medication. The active medication was effective throughout the 1-week application period. CONCLUSIONS: The new 7-day transdermal sequential estradiol/levonorgestrel patch was well tolerated, providing rapid and effective relief of menopausal symptoms. The addition of low-dose levonorgestrel did not influence the beneficial effects of estradiol.

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