Estradiol patch shortage

There is a global shortage of estradiol patches, which is expected to continue for quite some time.

Pharmac have more information here: pharmac.govt.nz/medicine-funding-and-supply/medicine-notices/oestradiol

  • Pharmac funds a maximum of 8 patches of each strength per month. Patients must pay for any patches dispensed over this limit.
  • All brands of estradiol patches (Estradot®, Climara®, Sandoz®, Mylan/Viatris® and Estraderm MX®) can be cut into halves, thirds, or quarters if necessary – see our previous communications:
  • If the patient’s usual dose cannot be achieved by cutting patches:
    • Discuss with the patient and prescriber whether it may be suitable to increase or decrease the dose depending on patch strength availability.
      • In most cases, increasing the dose is likely to be safe and well-tolerated.
      • Some patients may be able to decrease their dose without re-emergence of menopausal symptoms.

Alternative funded patch options if patient’s usual strength is unavailable

Patient’s usual dose (mcg/24 hours) Options if patch strength unavailable
25 Half a 50 Third a 75 Quarter a 100 Increase dose to 50
50 Half a 100 Half a 75 + half a 25 Increase dose to 75 Decrease dose to 25
75 50 + 25 25 + half a 100 Half a 100 + half a 50 Three quarters a 100  Increase dose to 100 Decrease dose to 50
100 75 + 25 Decrease dose to 75
  • Discuss with the patient and prescriber about switching to an alternative estradiol formulation.

Health professionals are welcome to contact our service for specific advice on individual patients.