What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Vagifem (Estradiol)


Vagifem (Estradiol)

Prescription Required


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Generic Equivalent - Vagifem (Estradiol)

Prescription Required


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  • Product Details


    Vagifem is a topical estrogen used for the treatment of atrophic vaginitis due to menopause. Atrophic vaginitis symptoms include drying, inflammation, and thinning of the vaginal walls.

    Vagifem is available by prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.

    During menopause, the body's natural levels of estrogen decrease, causing changes in the vaginal walls. Vagifem helps to restore levels of estrogen and relieve the symptoms of vaginal atrophy.

    Fact Table




    EU EMA


    Oral: less than 5%

    Legal status

    RX Only

    Chemical Name


    Elimination half-life

    Oral: 13–20 hours, Sublingual: 8–18 hours, Topical (gel): 36.5 hours

    Dosage (Strength)

    10mcg (18 tablets), 10mcg (36 tablets)


    Consult a doctor



    Protein binding


    PubChem CID






    ATC code






    Routes of administration



    Vagifem is inserted intravaginally using the included applicator.

    Insert one 10 or 25 mcg tablet vaginally once daily for two weeks, followed by one tablet twice weekly.


    The active ingredient in Vagifem is Estradiol. The generic name for Vagifem is also Estradiol.


    Vagifem is a topical medication, so very little absorbs into the bloodstream, and drug-drug interactions are unlikely. However, they can still occur under certain conditions. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:

    • Anastrazole
    • Anticoagulants
    • Apalutamide
    • Carbamazepine
    • Enzalutamide
    • Exemestane
    • Fosphenytoin
    • Growth hormone analogs
    • Mitotane
    • Ospemifene
    • Phenobarbital
    • Phenytoin
    • Pomalidomide
    • Primidone
    • Tipranavir
    • Tizanidine


    Keep Vagimen out of reach of children.

    You should not use Vagifem if you have any of the following:

    • Known or suspected pregnancy
    • Liver problems
    • Active clotting disorder
    • Known or suspected history of breast cancer
    • Undiagnosed genital bleeding

    This is not a full list of warnings. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist to learn if any precautions apply to you.

    Side Effects

    The most common Vagifem side effects may include:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Arthralgia
    • Arthritis
    • Back pain
    • Bacterial vaginosis
    • Diarrhea
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Genital candidiasis
    • Headache
    • Hot flash
    • Hypersensitivity reaction
    • Insomnia
    • Leukorrhea
    • Mastalgia
    • Migraine
    • Nausea
    • Pharyngitis
    • Sinusitis
    • Skeletal pain
    • Stress
    • Upper respiratory tract infection
    • Urinary tract infection
    • Urticaria
    • Vaginal discomfort
    • Vaginal hemorrhage
    • Vaginal pain
    • Vaginitis
    • Vulvovaginal pruritus


    Vagifem [package insert]. Princeton, NJ: Novo Nordisk; 2009.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Vagifem (Estradiol)

    What is Vagifem (Estradiol)?

    Vagifem is a prescription medication that contains the hormone estradiol. It is used to treat certain symptoms of menopause, particularly vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort.

    How does Vagifem work?

    Vagifem works by providing a low dose of estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. It helps to replenish estrogen levels in the vaginal tissues, relieving symptoms caused by the natural decrease in estrogen that occurs during menopause.

    What are the common symptoms that Vagifem can help relieve?

    Vagifem is primarily used to relieve vaginal symptoms of menopause, including vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and painful intercourse.

    How is Vagifem administered?

    Vagifem comes in the form of vaginal tablets or inserts. It is typically administered by placing the tablet deep into the vagina using the applicator provided. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on how to use it.

    How long does it take to see improvements in symptoms with Vagifem?

    Some women may experience relief from symptoms within a few weeks of starting Vagifem, but it may take up to 12 weeks for the full effects to be realized. Individual responses can vary.

    Are there any side effects associated with Vagifem?

    Like all medications, Vagifem may have side effects. Common side effects may include vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding or spotting, breast tenderness, and headache. It's important to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider.

    Can Vagifem be used for contraception?

    No, Vagifem is not a contraceptive. It is prescribed to treat specific menopausal symptoms and should not be relied upon as a method of birth control.

    Is Vagifem suitable for all women experiencing menopausal symptoms?

    Vagifem may not be suitable for all women, especially those with certain medical conditions or a history of certain health problems. Your healthcare provider will assess your individual health status and determine if Vagifem is safe and appropriate for you.

    How often should I use Vagifem?

    The recommended dosing and frequency of Vagifem use will be determined by your healthcare provider based on your specific symptoms and needs. It is important to follow their instructions carefully.

    Can Vagifem interact with other medications?

    Vagifem may interact with certain medications, so it's crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 2347

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