What is Livial?
Livial is a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), used to treat women who have started to show signs of the menopause.
How does Livial work?
During a woman’s menopause, natural levels of oestrogen production begin to drop. There are many different types of HRT medication, most containing the hormones oestrogen, or oestrogen with progestogen. Livial acts differently in that the active substance is tibolone, which your body breaks down to make the hormones itself. This works to replenish a woman’s natural levels and offset the effects of menopause.
What are the benefits of taking Livial?
Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes (of the face, neck and chest), irregular menstrual cycle, night sweats, weight gain, thinning of hair and mood changes.
These symptoms can often disrupt daily life so using HRT medication, such as Livial, can restore the natural hormone balance.
How do I use Livial?
Livial is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet. Your doctor will aim to prescribe you as lower dose as possible in order to treat your symptoms.
Take one tablet each day, at approximately the same time of day, by swallowing whole with a drink of water. As soon as you finish a pack, you should immediately start the next one. The packets are marked with the days of the week to assist you in taking the tablets correctly.
You can start taking Livial on any convenient day, but if you are still having periods then you should wait for the bleeding to end and then start your treatment straight after.
Livial contains the active ingredient tibolone; each tablet contains 2.5 mg. Your doctor will prescribe you the weakest dose possible to treat your symptoms.
If you forget to take your Livial tablet then you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s more than 12 hours late. In this case, you should dispose of the missed tablet and resume taking the medication as normal; do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Livial than you should, then contact your doctor, as you may start to feel (or be) sick.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Livial, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Livial if any of the following apply to you:
- If you have ever had breast cancer or are suspected of having it
- If you have cancer that is sensitive to oestrogens
- If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- If you have excessive thickening of the womb lining
- If you have or have ever had a blood clot in a vein
- If you have a blood clotting disorder
- If you have ever had a disease caused by blood clotting in the arteries
- If you have ever had a liver disease
- If you have a rare blood problem called porphyria
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication
- If you are pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
Your prescription of Livial may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- If you’ve ever had fibroids inside the womb
- If you’ve ever had growth of the womb lining outside of your womb
- If you have an increased risk of developing blood clots
- If you have an increased risk of oestrogen-sensitive cancer (ie family history)
- If you have high blood pressure
- If you have a liver disorder
- If you have diabetes
- If you have gallstones
- If you suffer with migraines or severe headaches
- If you have a disease of the immune system that affects many organs
- If you have epilepsy
- If you have asthma
- If you have a disease affecting the eardrum and hearing
- If you have a very high level of fat in your blood
- If you have fluid retention due to cardiac or kidney problems
Like many medications with active ingredients, Livial can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- Medicines for epilepsy
- Medicines for tuberculosis
- Medicines for HIV infection
- Herbal remedies containing St John’s Wort.
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Livial will be the best course of action for you.
Taking HRT medication can increase your chances of excessive thickening of the lining of the womb, cancer of the womb lining, and breast cancer so be sure to pay attention to your body, inspect your breasts regularly and notify your doctor of any changes you notice.
Blood clots are higher in HRT users than in non-users, especially during the first year of taking it. Again, you should keep an eye out for any possible signs of a blood clot and contact your doctor if you notice anything different.
The upside to Livial is that the risk of developing these conditions is noticeably lower, than the risks associated with other types of HRT medication.
The most common side effects of using Livial include:
- breast pain
- stomach or pelvic pain
- unusual hair growth
- vaginal bleeding or spotting
- vaginal problems such as more secretions, itching, irritation and thrush
- thickening of the lining of the womb or the lining of the cervix
- weight gain
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor immediately if you experience any serious side effects.