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FDA Issues Warning on Evamist Spray

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Still, some women who have severe hot flashes use HRT to help ease these menopausal symptoms.

Most HRT is in the form of a pill taken by mouth. Evamist (chemical name: topical estradiol) is a topical form of HRT, which means it's applied to the skin. Evamist is sprayed on the inside of the forearm. The hormone is then absorbed through the skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now warning women who use Evamist that children and pets shouldn't touch the skin where Evamist is applied.

The FDA issued the warning because eight children ages 3 to 5 who had regular contact with a woman using Evamist showed signs of estrogen overexposure. The girls had symptoms of puberty, including early breast development, and the boys' breast tissue was enlarged. Doctors believe the children accidentally got some of the Evamist on their skin because they had regular contact with a woman using Evamist. Other research has shown that pets also can have symptoms of estrogen overexposure if they're in a household with an Evamist user. The pets were exposed to the Evamist by licking the Evamist user's arms or being held by her.

Evamist is not the only topical HRT. Estraderm (chemical name: estradiol patch) is a patch that's stuck on the skin. Doctors aren't sure if other topical forms of HRT can accidentally expose children and pets to HRT. Still, it's a good idea to be careful if you use topical HRT. For example, always wear a long-sleeve shirt after applying the HRT to your skin to prevent accidentally exposing a child or pet to the HRT. You also might want to ask your doctor about switching to a pill form of HRT if you're very concerned about accidentally exposing others to HRT.

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