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Cougar alert: Keep your hands to yourself!


The FDA has put out a warning telling menopausal women, “hands off!” It seems a hormonal spray meant to curb the effects of hormone displacement is actually transferring to children and animals. Once in the little critters’ systems, premature puberty and other unfortunate side effects occur.

Evamist is a drug sprayed on the skin to treat hot flashes caused by menopause. It contains the estrogen hormone estradiol. Women are instructed to spray the drug on the forearms between the elbow and wrist. “Women using Evamist need to be aware of the potential risks to children who come in contact with the area of skin where this drug is applied,” said Julie Beitz, MD, a director of drug evaluation with FDA.

For now, the FDA is issuing a warning while they investigate reports of the adverse side effects on the children and pets of women using Evamist. Some of the side effects are premature puberty, nipple swelling and breast development in girls. . . and boys.

But wait, there’s more: Pets may exhibit similar nipple enlargement and vulvar swelling. As if experiencing menopause on your own isn’t difficult enough, now all the little creatures around you get to go through it too. Good times.

The FDA recommendations are to keep children away from the area where the medication is applied, not to let animals lick the skin on the forearms, and the use of long sleeve shirts may prevent transfer. If contact occurs wash the child’s skin with soap and water asap. Contact the child’s pediatrician to document the contact and then report any symptoms should they occur. “It is important that people know to keep both children and pets away from the product to minimize exposure,” advised Beitz.

If you have already experienced side effects from Evamist, the FDA would love to hear from you. The MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program can be reached online at www.fda.gov/MedWatch/ or by phone at 800-332-1088.

Source: FDA/Consumer Health Information


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