Pharmacokinetics of estradiol and of estrone during application of three strengths of an estradiol transdermal patch with active matrix

Arzneimittelforschung. 1997 Jul;47(7):859-65.


The pharmacokinetic pattern of estradiol (CAS 50-28-2) and of estrone (CAS 53-16-7) during and after application of three strengths of a new transdermal estradiol patch (Dermestril) with active matrix was investigated in a cross-over study in 24 women in natural or surgical menopause. Free estradiol and estrone were assayed by GC-MS on plasma samples obtained during a 4-day application on the upper buttocks of the patches with 3 strengths and release rates of 25, 50 and 100 micrograms/day estradiol. The estradiol concentrations in plasma increased from 0-10 pg/ml typical of menopause to average concentrations of 23, 40 and 79 pg/ml during the application of the new estradiol transdermal patches with the three strengths. The concentrations of estradiol are in the range of those during the early follicular phase in women in fertile age. The increases were linearly related with the strength of the patches. Upon removal of the patches the estradiol concentrations returned to the basal low values in 8-24 h. Retarded with regard to estradiol, there was also an increase of estrone, from basal average concentrations of 22-32 pg/ml up to 31, 39 and 60 pg/ml. The increase of estrone was less pronounced than that of estradiol. Also estrone returned to its basal concentrations 24 h after removal of the patches. The estradiol/ estrone ratio from very low values typical of postmenopause increased to values of about 1, i.e. in the range of those found during the fertile age of woman. The adhesion of the patches was satisfying, provided that direct rough frictions were avoided. The patches were locally well tolerated, with rare mild and transient irritating effects on the skin. Also the systemic tolerability was good, with occasional mild or moderate side effects typical of estradiol (headache, mastodynia and pelvic heaviness) which in the practical use can be easily avoided by the application of patches of lower strength.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Estradiol / administration & dosage
  • Estradiol / adverse effects
  • Estradiol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Estrone / blood
  • Estrone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis


  • Estrone
  • Estradiol