Open menu Close menu Open Search Close search

Climara Pro Transdermal System (Berlex)

  • Warnings
  • Description
  • Chemical Structure
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Clinical Studies
  • Indications and Usage
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings (2)
  • Precautions
  • Drug Interactions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Overdosage
  • Dosage and Administration
  • How Supplied
  • Patient Package Insert

    - Drugs index
    - Manufacturers
    - Feedback


    Estrogens with or without progestins should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

    The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women during 5 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5 mg) relative to placebo (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY , Clinical Studies ). Other doses of conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations and dosage forms of estrogens and progestins were not studied in the WHI and, in the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar. Because of these risks, estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.


    Climara Pro™ (Estradiol/Levonorgestrel Transdermal System) is an adhesive-based matrix transdermal patch designed to release both estradiol and levonorgestrel, a progestational agent, continuously upon application to intact skin.

    The 22 cm 2 Climara Pro system contains 4.40 mg estradiol and 1.39 mg levonorgestrel and provides a nominal delivery rate (mg per day) of 0.045 estradiol and 0.015 levonorgestrel.

    Estradiol USP has a molecular weight of 272.39 and the molecular formula is C 18 H 24 O 2 .

    Levonorgestrel USP has a molecular weight of 312.4 and a molecular formula of C 21 H 28 O 2 .

    The structural formulas for estradiol and levonorgestrel are:

    The Climara Pro system comprises 3 layers. Proceeding from the visible surface towards the surface attached to the skin, these layers are (1) a translucent polyethylene backing film, (2) an acrylate adhesive matrix containing estradiol and levonorgestrel, and (3) a protective liner of either siliconized or fluoropolymer coated polyester film. The protective liner is attached to the adhesive surface and must be removed before the system can be used.

    The active components of the system are estradiol and levonorgestrel. The remaining components of the system (acrylate copolymer adhesive and polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate copolymer) are pharmacologically inactive.


    Endogenous estrogens are largely responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. Although circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions, estradiol is the principal intracellular human estrogen and is substantially more potent than its metabolites, estrone and estriol, at the receptor level.

    The primary source of estrogen in normally cycling adult women is the ovarian follicle, which secretes 70 to 500 mcg of estradiol daily, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, most endogenous estrogen is produced by conversion of androstenedione, secreted by the adrenal cortex, to estrone by peripheral tissues. Thus, estrone and the sulfate conjugated form, estrone sulfate, are the most abundant circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women.

    Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. To date, two estrogen receptors have been identified. These vary in proportion from tissue to tissue.

    Circulating estrogens modulate the pituitary secretion of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), through a negative feedback mechanism. Estrogens act to reduce the elevated levels of these hormones seen in postmenopausal women.

    Levonorgestrel inhibits gonadotropin production resulting in retardation of follicular growth and inhibition of ovulation.

    Studies to assess the potency of progestins using estrogen-primed postmenopausal endometrial biochemistry and morphologic features have shown that levonorgestrel counteracts the proliferative effects of estrogens on the endometrium.


    Absorption:    Administration of Climara Pro to postmenopausal women produces mean maximum estradiol concentrations in serum in about 2 to 2.5 days. Estradiol concentrations equivalent to the normal ranges observed at the early follicular phase in premenopausal women are achieved within 12-24 hours after the first application.

    In one study, steady state estradiol concentrations in serum were measured during week 4 in 44 healthy, postmenopausal women during four consecutive Climara Pro applications of two formulations (0.045 mg estradiol/0.030 mg levonorgestrel and 0.045 mg estradiol/0.015 mg levonorgestrel) to the abdomen (each dose was applied for four 7-day periods). Both formulations were bioequivalent in terms of estradiol and estrone C max and AUC parameters. A summary of Climara Pro single and multiple applications estradiol, estrone and levonorgestrel pharmacokinetic parameters is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1: Summary of Mean Pharmacokinetic Parameters
    Summary of Mean (± SD) Pharmacokinetic Parameters Following a Single Application
    of Climara Pro in 24 Healthy Postmenopausal Women
    Parameter Units Estradiol Estrone Levonorgestrel
    Single application
    Week 1 Data
    C ave Pg/mL 37.7 ± 10.4 41.0 ± 15.0 136 ± 52.7
    C max Pg/mL 54.3 ± 18.9 43.9 ± 14.9 138 ± 51.8
    T max Hours 42 84 90
    C min Pg/mL 27.2 ± 7.66 32.6 ± 14.3 110 ± 41.7
    AUC Pg.h/mL 6340 ± 1740 6890 ± 2520 22900 ± 8860
    Summary of Mean (± SD) Pharmacokinetic Parameters (Week 4) Following Four Consecutive Weekly Applications
    of Climara Pro in 44 Healthy Postmenopausal Women
    Multiple application
    Week 4 Data
    C ave Pg/mL 35.7 ± 11.4 45.5 ± 62.6 166 ± 97.8
    C max Pg/mL 50.7 ± 28.6 81.6 ± 252 194 ± 111
    T max Hours 36 48 48
    C min Pg/mL 33.8 ± 28.7 72.5 ± 253 153 ± 69.6
    AUC Pg.h/mL 6002 ± 1919 7642 ± 10518 27948 ± 16426

    All mean parameters are arithmetic means except T max which is expressed as the median.

    At steady state, Climara Pro maintains during the application period an average serum estradiol concentration of 35.7 pg/mL as depicted in Figure 1.

    Following the application of the Climara Pro transdermal system, levonorgestrel concentrations are maximum in about 2.5 days. At steady state, Climara Pro maintains during the application period an average serum levonorgestrel concentration of 166 pg/mL as depicted in Figure 2. The mean levonorgestrel pharmacokinetic parameters of Climara Pro are summarized in Table 1.


    The distribution of exogenous estrogens is similar to that of endogenous estrogens. Estrogens are widely distributed in the body and are generally found in higher concentrations in the sex hormone target organs. Estrogens circulate in the blood largely bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin.

    Levonorgestrel in serum is bound to both SHBG and albumin. Following four consecutive weekly applications of Climara Pro mean (± SD) SHBG concentrations declined from a predose value of 47.5 (25.8) to 41.2 (22.4) nmol/L at week 4.


    Exogenous estrogens are metabolized in the same manner as endogenous estrogens. Circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions. These transformations take place mainly in the liver. Estradiol is converted reversibly to estrone, and both can be converted to estriol, which is the major urinary metabolite. Estrogens also undergo enterohepatic recirculation via sulfate and glucuronide conjugation in the liver, biliary secretion of conjugates into the intesine, and hydrolysis in the gut followed by reabsorption. In postmenopausal women, a significant proportion of the circulating estrogens exist as sulfate conjugates, especially estrone sulfate, which serves as a circulating reservoir for the formation of more active estrogens.

    The most important metabolic pathway for levonorgestrel occurs in the reduction of the 4- and the 3-oxo-group as well as hydroxylations at positions 2(alpha), 1(beta), and 16(beta), followed by conjugation. Most of the metabolites that circulate in the blood are sulfates of 3, 5(beta)-tetrahydro-levonorgestrel, while excretion occurs predominantly in the form of glucuronides. Some of the parent levonorgestrel also circulates as the 17(beta)-sulfate. In-vitro studies on the biotransformation of levonorgestrel in human skin did not indicate any significant metabolism of levonorgestrel during skin penetration.


    Estradiol, estrone, and estriol are excreted in the urine along with glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. Following patch removal, serum estradiol concentrations decline rapidly with a mean (± SD) terminal half-life of 3.0 ± 0.67 hours.

    Levonorgestrel and its metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine. Mean (± SD) terminal half-life for levonorgestrel was determined to be 28 ± 6.4 hours.

    Drug Interactions

    In-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown that estrogens are metabolized partially by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). Therefore, inducers or inhibitors of CYP3A4 may affect estrogen drug metabolism. Inducers of CYP3A4 such as St. John's Wort preparations (Hypericum perforatum), phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and rifampin may reduce plasma concentrations of estrogens, possibly resulting in a decrease in therapeutic effects and/or changes in the uterine bleeding profile. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir and grapefruit juice may increase plasma concentrations of estrogens and may result in side effects.

    Hydroxylation of levonorgestrel is a conversion step which is mediated by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Based on in-vitro and in-vivo studies, it can be assumed that CYP3A, CYP2E and CYP2C are involved in the metabolism of levonorgestrel. Likewise, inducers or inhibitors of these enzymes may either, respectively, decrease the therapeutic effects or result in side effects.

    Special Populations

    Climara Pro has been studied only in healthy postmenopausal women.


    Effects on vasomotor symptoms

    The efficacy of 0.045 mg estradiol/0.030 mg levonorgestrel administered weekly versus placebo in the relief of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms in post-menopausal women was studied in one 12-week clinical trial (n=183, average age 52.1 ± 4.93, 82.0% Caucasian). The 0.045 mg estradiol/0.030 mg levonorgestrel dosage strength was shown to be statistically better than placebo at weeks 4 and 12 for relief of both the number and severity of moderate to severe hot flushes. See Tables 2 and 3. Climara Pro and the 0.045 mg estradiol/0.030 mg levonorgestrel dosage strength are bioequivalent in terms of estradiol delivery. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY , Pharmacokinetics .)

    Table 2
    Summary of Mean Daily Number of Moderate to Severe Hot Flushes-ITT
    Baseline * Week 4 Week 8 Week 12
    Placebo n 88 82 73 69
    Mean (SD) 10.80
    Mean Change
    from baseline (SD)
    NA -4.23
    0.045/.030 n 92 88 80 73
    Mean (SD) 10.13
    Mean Change
    from baseline (SD)
    NA -7.40
    p-Value a NA <0.001 [*] NA <0.001 [*]
    ITT= Intent to Treat population; n= Number of subjects in a treatment group in a cycle; SD= standard deviation
    Number of subjects varied from cycle to cycle due to missing data
    a p-Value for comparison to placebo, adjusted by the method of Bonferroni; [*] p <0.025
    *A subject was included at baseline only if the subject had a post-baseline mean score. The post-baseline mean score required 3 days in one week.

    Table 3
    Summary of Mean Severity of Moderate to Severe Hot Flushes-ITT
    Baseline * Week 4
    (day 7)
    Week 8
    (day 7)
    Week 12
    (day 7)
    Placebo n 89 76 68 57
    Mean (SD) 2.42
    Mean Change from baseline (SD) NA -0.40
    0.045/.030 n 92 83 72 55
    Mean (SD) 2.48
    Mean Change from baseline (SD) NA -1.40
    p-Value a NA <0.001 [*] NA <0.001 [*]
    IITT= Intent to Treat population; n= Number of subjects in a treatment group in a cycle; SD= standard deviation
    Severity scores are : 1 = Mild, 2 = Moderate, 3 = Severe. Mean severity of hot flushes by day is [(2X number of moderate hot flushes) + (3X number of severe hot flushes)] / total number of moderate to severe hot flushes on that day. If no moderate to severe hot flush was indicated, the mean severity was 0.00.
    Number of subjects varied from cycle to cycle due to missing data
    a p-Value for comparison to placebo, adjusted by the method of Bonferroni; [*] p <0.025
    *A subject was included at baseline only if the subject had at least 1 post-baseline value.

    Effects on the endometrium

    In a 1-year clinical trial of 412 postmenopausal women (with intact uteri) treated with a continuous regimen of Climara Pro or with a continuous estradiol-only transdermal system, results of evaluable endometrial biopsies show that no hyperplasia was seen with Climara Pro. Table 4 below summarizes these results (Intent-to-Treat populations).

    Table 4
    Incidence of Endometrial Hyperplasia during Continuous Combined treatment with Climara Pro, Intent-to-Treat Population
    Climara Pro
    E 2 0.045 mg / LNG 0.015 mg
    E 2 0.045 mg
    n = 210 n = 202
    No. of Patients with Biopsies at
    >/=6 months 1
    124 139
    No. of Patients with Biopsies at
    1 year 2
    102 110
    No. (%) of Patients with Hyperplasia 3 0 (0%) 4 19 (17.3%)
    95% Confidence Interval 0-3.55% 9.75-24.79%
    n = number of intent-to-treat subjects
    1 Defined as at least 180 days of treatment
    2 Defined as >/=323 days of treatment
    3 Includes hyperplasia occurring at any time after initiation of treatment as a proportion of patients with biopsies at 1 year
    4 p < 0.0167 P-value for comparison to unopposed estradiol dose using the Fisher Exact test. P-values were adjusted by the method of Bonferroni.

    Effects on uterine bleeding or spotting

    The effects of Climara Pro on uterine bleeding or spotting, as recorded using an interactive voice response system, were evaluated in one 12-month clinical trial. Results are shown in Figure 3.

    Percent based upon the number of subjects with data

    Last non-missing cycle carried forward through cycle 13

    Bleeding associated with endometrial biopsies not included

    Women's Health Initiative Studies

    The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) enrolled a total of 27,000 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women to assess the risks and benefits of either the use of 0.625 mg conjugated estrogens (CE) per day alone or the use of 0.625 mg conjugated equine estrogens plus 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) per day compared to placebo in the prevention of certain chronic diseases. The primary endpoint was the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome studied. A "global index" included the earliest occurrence of CHD, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism (PE), endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other cause. The study did not evaluate the effects of CE or CE/MPA on menopausal symptoms.

    The CE-only substudy is continuing and results have not been reported. The CE/MPA substudy was stopped early because, according to the predefined stopping rule, the increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular events exceeded the specified benefits included in the "global index." Results of the CE/MPA substudy, which included 16,608 women (average age of 63 years, range 50 to 79; 83.9% White, 6.5% Black, 5.5% Hispanic), after an average follow-up of 5.2 years are presented in Table 5 below:

    Event c Relative Risk
    CE/MPA vs placebo
    at 5.2 Years
    (95% CI * )
    n = 8102
    n = 8506
    Table 5
    Absolute Risk per 10,000
    CHD events
              Non-fatal MI
          CHD death
    1.29 (1.02-1.63)
    1.32 (1.02-1.72)
    1.18 (0.70-1.97)
    Invasive breast cancer b 1.26 (1.00-1.59) 30 38
    Stroke 1.41 (1.07-1.85) 21 29
    Pulmonary embolism 2.13 (1.39-3.25) 8 16
    Colorectal cancer 0.63 (0.43-0.92) 16 10
    Endometrial cancer 0.83 (0.47-1.47) 6 5
    Hip fracture 0.66 (0.45-0.98) 15 10
    Death due to causes other than the events above 0.92 (0.74-1.14) 40 37
    Global Index c 1.15 (1.03-1.28) 151 170
    Deep vein thrombosis d 2.07 (1.49-2.87) 13 26
    Vertebral fractures d 0.66 (0.44-0.98) 15 9
    Other osteoporotic fractures d 0.77 (0.69-0.86) 170 131
    a adapted from JAMA, 2002; 288:321-333
    b includes metastatic and non-metastatic breast cancer with the exception of in situ breast cancer
    c a subset of the events was combined in a "global index", defined as the earliest occurrence of CHD events, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes
    d not included in Global Index
    *nominal confidence intervals unadjusted for multiple looks and multiple comparisons

    For those outcomes included in the "global index," absolute excess risks per 10,000 person-years in the group treated with CE/MPA were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 8 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while absolute risk reductions per 10,000 person-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures. The absolute excess risk of events included in the "global index" was 19 per 10,000 person-years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of all-cause mortality. (See BOXED WARNING , WARNINGS , and PRECAUTIONS .)


    In women with an intact uterus, Climara Pro is indicated for the following:

    • Treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause


    Estrogens/progestins combined should not be used in women with any of the following conditions:

    1. Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding.
    2. Known, suspected, or history of cancer of the breast.
    3. Known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia.
    4. Active deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or a history of these conditions.
    5. Active or recent (e.g. within the past year) arterial thromboembolic disease (e.g., stroke, myocardial infarction).
    6. Liver dysfunction or disease.
    7. Climara Pro should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to its ingredients.
    8. Known or suspected pregnancy. There is no indication for Climara Pro in pregnancy. There appears to be little or no increased risk of birth defects in women who have used estrogens and progestins from oral contraceptives inadvertently during early pregnancy. (See PRECAUTIONS .)



    1. Cardiovascular disorders
      Estrogen and estrogen/progestin therapy have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke, as well as venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (venous thromboembolism or VTE). Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogens should be discontinued immediately.
      Risk factors for cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) should be managed appropriately.
      1. Coronary heart disease and stroke
        In the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, an increase in the number of myocardial infarctions and strokes has been observed in women receiving oral CE compared to placebo. These observations are preliminary, and the study is continuing. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY , Clinical Studies .)
        In the CE/MPA substudy of WHI an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as non-fatal myocardial infarction and CHD death) was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (37 vs 30 per 10,000 person-years). The increase in risk was observed in year one and persisted.
        In the same substudy of WHI, an increased risk of stroke was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo (29 vs 21 per 10,000 person-years). The increase in risk was observed after the first year and persisted.
        In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n = 2,763, average age 66.7 years) a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study; HERS) treatment with CE/MPA-0.625 mg/2.5 mg per day demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE/MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established coronary heart disease. There were more CHD events in the CE/MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand three hundred and twenty-one women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE/MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.
        Large doses of estrogen (5 mg conjugated estrogens per day), comparable to those used to treat cancer of the prostate and breast, have been shown in a large prospective clinical trial in men to increase the risks of nonfatal myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and thrombophlebitis.
      2. Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
        In the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, an increase in VTE has been observed in women receiving CE compared to placebo. These observations are preliminary, and the study is continuing. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY , Clinical Studies .)
        In the CE/MPA substudy of WHI, a 2-fold greater rate of VTE, including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo. The rate of VTE was 34 per 10,000 woman-years in the CE/MPA group compared to 16 per 10,000 woman-years in the placebo group. The increase in VTE risk was observed during the first year and persisted.
        If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.
    2. Malignant neoplasms
      1. Endometrial cancer
        The use of unopposed estrogens in women with intact uteri has been associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2- to 12-fold greater than in non-users, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than one year. The greatest risk appears associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15- to 24-fold for five to ten years or more and this risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.
        Clinical surveillance of all women taking estrogen/progestin combinations is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding. There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.
      2. Breast cancer
        Estrogen and estrogen/progestin therapy in postmenopausal women has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. In the CE/MPA substudy of the Women's Health Initiative study (WHI), a 26% increase of invasive breast cancer (38 vs 30 per 10,000 woman-years) after an average of 5.2 years of treatment was observed in women receiving CE/MPA compared to women receiving placebo. The increased risk of breast cancer became apparent after 4 years of treatment with CE/MPA. The women reporting prior postmenopausal use of estrogen and/or estrogen with progestin had a higher relative risk for breast cancer associated with CE/MPA than those who had never used these hormones. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY , Clinical Studies .)
        In the WHI, no increased risk of breast cancer in CE-treated women compared to placebo was reported after an average of 5.2 years of therapy. These data are preliminary and that substudy of WHI is continuing.
        Epidemiologic studies have reported an increased risk of breast cancer in association with increasing duration of postmenopausal treatment with estrogens with or without a progestin. This association was reanalyzed in original data from 51 studies that involved various doses and types of estrogens, with and without progestins. In the reanalysis, an increased risk of having breast cancer diagnosed became apparent after about 5 years of continued treatment, and subsided after treatment had been discontinued for 5 years or longer. Some later studies have suggested that postmenopausal treatment with estrogens and progestin increase the risk of breast cancer more than treatment with estrogen alone.
        A postmenopausal woman without a uterus who requires estrogen should receive estrogen-alone therapy, and should not be exposed unnecessarily to progestins. All postmenopausal women should receive yearly breast exams by a healthcare provider and perform monthly self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age and risk factors.
    3. Gallbladder disease
      A 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in post-menopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.
    4. Visual abnormalities
      Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be discontinued.



    1. Addition of a progestin when a woman has not had a hysterectomy
      Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration, or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.
      There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include a possible increased risk of breast cancer, adverse effects on lipoprotein metabolism (e.g., lowering HDL, raising LDL) and impairment of glucose tolerance.
    2. Elevated blood pressure
      In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen. Blood pressure should be monitored at regular intervals with estrogen use.
    3. Familial hyperlipoproteinemia
      In patients with familial defects of lipoprotein metabolism, oral estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis and other complications.
    4. Impaired liver function
      Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in patients with impaired liver function. For patients with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.
    5. Hypothyroidism
      Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Patients with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T 4 and T 3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Patients dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogens may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These patients should have their thyroid function monitored in order to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.
    6. Fluid retention
      Because estrogen and estrogen/progestin therapy may cause some degree of fluid retention, patients with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as a cardiac or renal dysfunction, warrant careful observation when estrogens are prescribed.
    7. Hypocalcemia
      Estrogens should be used with caution in individuals with severe hypocalcemia.
    8. Ovarian cancer
      Use of estrogen-only products, in particular for ten or more years, has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer in some epidemiological studies. Other studies did not show a significant association. Data are insufficient to determine whether there is an increased risk with estrogen/progestin combination therapy in postmenopausal women.
    9. Exacerbation of endometriosis
      Endometriosis may be exacerbated with administration of estrogens.
    10. Exacerbation of other conditions
      Estrogens may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine or porphyria and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.


    Physicians are advised to discuss the PATIENT INFORMATION leaflet with patients for whom they prescribe Climara Pro.


    Estrogen administration should be initiated at the lowest dose for the approved indication and then guided by clinical response, rather than by serum hormone levels (e.g., estradiol, FSH).


    1. Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, II-VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of antifactor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity; increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.
    2. Increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T 4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay) or T 3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T 3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T 4 and free T 3 concentrations are unaltered. Patients on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.
    3. Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum (i.e., corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)) leading to increased circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free or biologically active hormone concentrations are unchanged. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/renin substrate, alpha-l-antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).
    4. Increased plasma HDL and HDL 2 subfraction concentrations, reduced LDL cholesterol concentration, and in oral formulations increased triglycerides levels.
    5. Impaired glucose tolerance.
    6. Reduced response to metyrapone test.
    7. Reduced serum folate concentration.


    Long-term continuous administration of natural and synthetic estrogens in certain animal species increases the frequency of carcinomas of the breast, uterus, cervix, vagina, testis, and liver. (See BOXED WARNING , CONTRAINDICATIONS , and WARNINGS .)


    Climara Pro should not be used during pregnancy. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS .)


    Estrogen administration to nursing mothers has been shown to decrease the quantity and quality of the milk. Detectable amounts of estrogen and progestin have been identified in the milk of mothers receiving these drugs. Caution should be exercised when Climara Pro is administered to a nursing woman.


    Climara Pro is not indicated in children.


    There have not been sufficient numbers of geriatric patients involved in studies utilizing Climara Pro to determine whether those over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to Climara Pro.



    Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

    Table 6
    All Treatment Emergent Events Regardless of Relationship Reported at a Frequency of > 3% with Climara Pro in the 1 year Endometrial Hyperplasia Study
    Climara Pro
    0.045 / 0.015
    N = 212
    E 2
    N = 204
    Body as a whole
       Abdominal pain 9 (4.2) 11 (5.4)
       Accidental Injury 7 (3.3) 6 (2.9)
       Back pain 13 (6.1) 12 (5.9)
       Flu syndrome 10 (4.7) 13 (6.4)
       Infection 7 (3.3) 10 (4.9)
       Pain 11 (5.2) 13 (6.4)
       Hypertension 7 (3.3) 9 (4.4)
       Flatulence 8 (3.8) 11 (5.4)
    Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
       Edema 8 (3.8) 5 (2.5)
       Weight gain 6 (2.8) 10 (4.9)
       Arthralgia 9 (4.2) 10 (4.9)
       Depression 12 (5.7) 7 (3.4)
       Headache 11 (5.2) 14 (6.9)
       Bronchitis 9 (4.2) 7 (3.4)
       Sinusitis 8 (3.8) 12 (5.9)
       Upper Respiratory
    28 (13.2) 26 (12.7)
    Skin and Appendages
       Application site reaction 86 (40.6) 69 (33.8)
       Breast pain 40 (18.9) 20 (9.8)
       Rash 5 (2.4) 10 (4.9)
       Urinary Tract Infection 7 (3.3) 8 (3.9)
       Vaginal Bleeding 78 (36.8) 44 (21.6)
       Vaginitis 4 (1.9) 6 (2.9)
    N = total number of subjects in a treatment group;
    n = number of subjects with event

    Irritation potential of Climara Pro was assessed in a 3-week irritation study. The study compared the irritation of a Climara Pro placebo patch (22 cm 2 ) to a Climara® placebo (25 cm 2 ). Visual assessments of irritation were made on Day 7 of each wear period, approximately 30 minutes after patch removal using a 7-point scale (0 = no evidence of irritation; 1 = minimal erythema, barely perceptible; 2 = definite erythema, readily visible, or minimal edema, or minimal papular response; 3-7 = erythema and papules, edema, vesicles, strong extensive reaction).

    The mean irritation scores were 0.13 (week 1), 0.12 (week 2), and 0.06 (week 3) for the Climara Pro placebo. The mean scores for the Climara placebo were 0.20 (week 1), 0.26 (week 2), 0.12 (week 3). There were no irritation scores greater than 2 at any timepoint in any subject.

    In controlled clinical trials, withdrawals due to application site reactions occurred in 6 (2.1%) of subjects in the 12-week symptom study and in 71 (8.5%) of subjects in the 1-year endometrial protection study.

    The following additional adverse reactions have been reported with estrogen and/or estrogen/progestin therapy:

    1. Genitourinary system
      Changes in vaginal bleeding pattern and abnormal withdrawal bleeding or flow; breakthrough bleeding; spotting; increase in size of uterine leiomyomata; vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis; change in amount of cervical secretion; changes in cervical ectropion; ovarian cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; endometrial cancer.
    2. Breasts
      Tenderness, enlargement, pain, nipple discharge, galactorrhea; fibrocystic breast changes; breast cancer.
    3. Cardiovascular
      Deep and superficial venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; thrombophlebitis; myocardial infarction; stroke; increase in blood pressure.
    4. Gastrointestinal
      Nausea, vomiting; abdominal cramps, bloating; cholestatic jaundice; increased incidence of gallbladder disease; pancreatitis.
    5. Skin
      Chloasma or melasma, which may persist when drug is discontinued; erythema multiforme; erythema nodosum; hemorrhagic eruption; loss of scalp hair; hirsutism; pruritus, rash.
    6. Eyes
      Retinal vascular thrombosis; steepening of corneal curvature; intolerance to contact lenses.
    7. Central nervous system
      Headache; migraine; dizziness; mental depression; chorea; nervousness; mood disturbances; irritability; exacerbation of epilepsy.
    8. Miscellaneous
      Increase or decrease in weight; reduced carbohydrate tolerance; aggravation of porphyria; edema; arthalgias; leg cramps; changes in libido; anaphylactoid/anaplylactic reactions including urticaria and angioedema; hypocalcemia; exacerbation of asthma; increased triglycerides.


    Overdosage may cause nausea, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in females. Serious ill effects have not been reported following acute ingestion of large doses of estrogen/progestin-containing oral contraceptives by young children.


    When estrogen is prescribed for a postmenopausal woman with a uterus, progestin should also be initiated to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. A woman without a uterus does not need progestin. Use of estrogen, alone or in combination with a progestin, should be limited to the lowest effective dose available and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman. Patients should be reevaluated periodically as clinically appropriate (e.g., 3-month to 6-month intervals) to determine if treatment is still necessary. (See BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS .) For women who have a uterus, adequate diagnostic measures, such as endometrial sampling, when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding.

    One Climara Pro transdermal system is available for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with the menopause. Climara Pro delivers 0.045 mg of estradiol per day and 0.015 mg of levonorgestrel per day. The lowest effective estradiol/levonorgestrel dose for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms has not been determined. (See BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS .)

    Initiation of Therapy:

    Women not currently using continuous estrogen or combination estrogen/progestin therapy may start therapy with Climara Pro at any time. However, women currently using continuous estrogen or combination estrogen/progestin therapy should complete the current cycle of therapy, before initiating Climara Pro therapy. Women often experience withdrawal bleeding at the completion of the cycle. The first day of this bleeding would be an appropriate time to begin Climara Pro therapy.

    Therapeutic Regimen:

    A Climara Pro 0.045 mg / 0.015 mg (22 sq cm) matrix transdermal system is worn continuously on the lower abdomen. A new system should be applied weekly during a 28-day cycle.

    Application of the System:    Site Selection: Climara Pro should be placed on a smooth (fold free), clean, dry area of the skin on the lower abdomen. Climara Pro should not be applied to or near the breasts. The area selected should not be oily (which can impair adherence of the system), damaged, or irritated. The waistline should be avoided, since tight clothing may rub the system off or modify drug delivery. The sites of application must be rotated, with an interval of at least one week allowed between applications to the same site.

    Application of the system:    After opening the pouch, remove one side of the protective liner, taking care not to touch the adhesive part of the transdermal delivery system with the fingers. Immediately apply the transdermal delivery system to a smooth (fold free) area of skin on the lower abdomen. Remove the second side of the protective liner and press the system firmly in place with the hand for at least 10 seconds, making sure there is good contact, especially around the edges.

    Care should be taken that the system does not become dislodged during bathing and other activities. If a system should fall off, the same system may be reapplied to another area of the lower abdomen. If necessary, a new transdermal system may be applied, in which case, the original treatment schedule should be continued. Only one system should be worn at any one time during one week dosing interval.

    Once in place, the transdermal system should not be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time.

    Removal of the System:    Removal of the system should be done carefully and slowly to avoid irritation of the skin. Should any adhesive remain on the skin after removal of the system, allow the area to dry for 15 minutes. Then gently rubbing the area with an oil-based cream or lotion should remove the adhesive residue.

    Used patches still contain some active hormones. Each patch should be carefully folded in half so that it sticks to itself before throwing it away.


    Climara Pro (Estradiol/Levonorgestrel Transdermal System) 0.045 mg/day estradiol and 0.015 mg/day levonorgestrel - each 22 cm 2 system contains 4.40 mg of estradiol and 1.39 mg of levonorgestrel.

       NDC 50419-491-04

       Individual Carton of 4 systems

    Storage Conditions:

    Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F); excursions permitted to 15-30°C (59-86°F) [See USP controlled Room Temperature].

    Do not store unpouched.


    Updated November 19, 2003

    Climara Pro™

    (Estradiol/Levonorgestrel Transdermal System)

    Read this PATIENT INFORMATION before you start taking Climara Pro and read what you get each time you refill Climara Pro. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

    What is the most important information I should know about Climara Pro (combination of estrogen and a progestin)?

    Do not use estrogens with or without progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

    Using estrogens with or without progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and blood clots. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Climara Pro.

    What is Climara Pro?

    Climara Pro is a medicine that contains two kinds of hormones, estrogen and a progestin.

    What is Climara Pro used for?

    Climara Pro is used after menopause to:

    • reduce moderate to severe hot flashes. Estrogens are hormones made by a woman's ovaries. The ovaries normally stop making estrogens when a woman is between 45 to 55 years old. This drop in body estrogen levels causes the "change of life" or menopause (the end of monthly menstrual periods). Sometimes, both ovaries are removed during an operation before natural menopause takes place. The sudden drop in estrogen levels causes "surgical menopause."
      When the estrogen levels begin dropping, some women develop very uncomfortable symptoms, such as feelings of warmth in the face, neck, and chest, or sudden strong feelings of heat and sweating ("hot flashes" or "hot flushes"). In some women, the symptoms are mild, and they will not need estrogens. In other women, symptoms can be more severe. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Climara Pro.

    Who should not use Climara Pro?

    Do not use Climara Pro if you have had your uterus removed (hysterectomy).

    Climara Pro contains a progestin to decrease the chances of getting cancer of the uterus. If you do not have a uterus, you do not need a progestin and you should not use Climara Pro.

    Do not start using Climara Pro if you:

    • have unusual vaginal bleeding.
    • currently have or have had certain cancers. Estrogens may increase the chances of getting certain types of cancers, including cancer of the breast or uterus. If you have or had cancer, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you should use Climara Pro.
    • had a stroke or heart attack in the past year.
    • currently have or have had blood clots.
    • are allergic to Climara Pro or any of its ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a list of ingredients in Climara Pro.
    • think you may be pregnant.

    Tell your healthcare provider:

    • if you are breastfeeding. The hormones in Climara Pro can pass into your milk.
    • about all of your medical problems. Your healthcare provider may need to check you more carefully if you have certain conditions, such as asthma (wheezing), epilepsy (seizures), migraine, endometriosis, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, kidneys, or have high calcium levels in your blood.
    • about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Climara Pro works. Climara Pro may also affect how your other medicines work.
    • if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest. You may need to stop using Climara Pro.

    How The Patch Works

    The Climara Pro patch releases two hormones, estradiol and levonorgestrel, which flow through the skin into the bloodstream.

    How and Where to Apply the Climara Pro Patch

    Each Climara Pro patch is individually sealed in a protective pouch. To open the pouch, hold it up with the Climara Pro name facing you. Tear left to right using the top tear notch. Tear from bottom to top using the side tear notch. Pull the pouch open. Carefully remove the Climara Pro patch. You will notice that the patch is attached to a thicker, hard-plastic liner and that the patch itself is oval.

    Apply the adhesive side of the Climara Pro patch to a clean, dry area of the lower abdomen. Do not apply the Climara Pro patch to your breasts. The sites of application must be rotated, with an interval of at least 1 week allowed between applications to a particular site. The area selected should not be oily, damaged, or irritated. Avoid the waistline, since tight clothing may rub and remove the patch. Application to areas where sitting would dislodge the patch should also be avoided. Apply the patch immediately after opening the pouch and removing the protective liner. Press the patch firmly in place with the fingers for about 10 seconds, making sure there is good contact, especially around the edges.

    The Climara Pro patch should be worn continuously for one week. You may wish to experiment with different locations when applying a new patch, to find ones that are most comfortable for you and where clothing will not rub on the patch.

    When to Apply the Climara Pro Patch

    The Climara Pro patch should be changed once weekly. Remove the used patch. Carefully fold it in half so that it sticks to itself because used patches still contain active hormones and discard it. Any adhesive that might remain on your skin can be easily rubbed off. Then place the new Climara Pro patch on a different skin site. (The same skin site should not be used again for at least 1 week after removal of the patch.)

    Contact with water when you are bathing, swimming, or showering may affect the patch. If the patch falls off, the same patch may be reapplied to another area of the lower abdomen. Make sure that there is good contact, especially around the edges. If the patch will not stick completely to your skin, put a new patch on a different area of the lower abdomen. Do not apply two patches at the same time.

    Once in place, the transdermal system should not be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time.

    Estrogens should be used only as long as needed. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) about whether you still need treatment with Climara Pro.

    What are the possible side effects of estrogens?

    Less common but serious side effects include:

    • Breast cancer
    • Cancer of the uterus
    • Stroke
    • Heart attack
    • Blood clots
    • Gallbladder disease
    • Ovarian cancer

    These are some of the warning signs of serious side effects:

    • Breast lumps
    • Unusual vaginal bleeding
    • Dizziness and faintness
    • Changes in speech
    • Severe headaches
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Pains in your legs
    • Changes in vision
    • Vomiting

    Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of these warning signs, or any other unusual symptom that concerns you.

    Common side effects include:

    • Headache
    • Breast pain
    • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
    • Stomach/abdominal cramps, bloating
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Hair loss

    Other side effects include:

    • High blood pressure
    • Liver problems
    • High blood sugar
    • Fluid retention
    • Enlargement of benign tumors of the uterus ("fibroids")
    • Vaginal yeast infection

    These are not all the possible side effects of Climara Pro. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

    What can I do to lower my chances of a serious side effect with Climara Pro?

    • Talk with your healthcare provider regularly about whether you should continue using Climara Pro.
    • See your healthcare provider right away if you get vaginal bleeding while using Climara Pro.
    • Have a breast exam and mammogram (breast X-ray) every year unless your healthcare provider tells you something else. If members of your family have had breast cancer or if you have ever had breast lumps or an abnormal mammogram, you may need to have breast exams more often.
    • If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol (fat in the blood), diabetes, are overweight, or if you use tobacco, you may have higher chances for getting heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider for ways to lower your chances for getting heart disease.

    General information about safe and effective use of Climara Pro

    Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use Climara Pro for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Climara Pro to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

    Keep Climara Pro out of the reach of children.

    This leaflet provides a summary of the most important information about Climara Pro. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. You can ask for information about Climara Pro that is written for health professionals. You can get more information by calling the toll free number (1-888-237-5394).

    What are the ingredients in Climara Pro?

    The active ingredients in Climara Pro are estradiol and levonorgestrel. Climara Pro also contains acrylate copolymer adhesive and polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate copolymer.

    Do not store above 86°F (30°C).

    Do not store unpouched.

    © 2005, Berlex. All rights reserved.

    Made In USA

    Manufactured for:


    Berlex, Montville, NJ 07045

    Manufactured by:

    3m Pharmaceuticals

    St. Paul, MN 55144

    6050701-635100                                February 2005

    - To bookmark this page (add it to your favorites), please click the image to the left.
    - If you wish to link to this page, you can do so by referring to the URL address below this line.

    This page was last modified 30-JUN-07
    Copyright © 1995-2021 ITA all rights reserved.