Intrarosa (prasterone) is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse) due to menopause in women.

The active ingredient in Intrarosa is prasterone, also known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Prasterone is a precursor hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes. In the body, prasterone is converted into other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, which play crucial roles in maintaining vaginal tissue health and lubrication.

By providing exogenous prasterone directly to the vaginal tissues, Intrarosa helps replenish levels of this hormone, which may decline during menopause. This, in turn, can improve vaginal moisture, elasticity, and overall comfort during sexual activity, reducing the discomfort associated with dyspareunia.

Precautions and Warnings with Intrarosa

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Intrarosa is not indicated for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of Intrarosa have not been established in pediatric populations. This medication is intended for use by postmenopausal women only.
  • Elderly Population: Use caution when prescribing Intrarosa to elderly patients, as they may be more susceptible to certain side effects.
  • Prescription Only: Intrarosa is available only with a prescription from a healthcare provider.
  • Vaginal Bleeding: Do not use Intrarosa if you experience unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • Renal or Hepatic Impairment: Patients with renal or hepatic impairment may require dosage adjustments or close monitoring while using Intrarosa.

Intrarosa Side Effects

While Intrarosa is generally well-tolerated, like any medication, it may cause side effects in some individuals. Side effects associated with Intrarosa may include:

Common Side Effects

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal pap smear

Serious Side Effects

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

Intrarosa Strengths and Dosages

Follow the guidance of your prescriber when it comes to dosing and strengths you should take with Intrarosa

Available Strengths

  • 5 mg prasterone per insert

Recommended Dosages

  • Initial Dosage: The typical recommended dosage of Intrarosa is one vaginal insert administered once daily at bedtime.
  • Administration Instructions: The vaginal insert should be inserted into the vagina using the applicator provided with the medication.
  • Duration of Treatment: The duration of treatment with Intrarosa may vary depending on individual patient factors and treatment response.

Cost of Intrarosa in the USA

At this time of writing, reports the cost for Intrarosa vaginal insert 6.5 mg to be approximately $294 for a supply of 28 inserts.

Patients are encouraged to check with their local pharmacies, insurance providers, or explore patient assistance programs to determine the most cost-effective option for obtaining Intrarosa.

Why Is Intrarosa So Expensive?

  • Research and Development: The development of Intrarosa involved extensive research and clinical trials to establish its safety and efficacy for various indications. The costs associated with research and development are often reflected in the price of the medication.
  • Manufacturing Costs: Manufacturing pharmaceutical products like Intrarosa involves complex processes and quality control measures, which contribute to the overall cost of production.
  • Marketing and Distribution: Pharmaceutical companies invest significant resources in marketing and distributing their products to healthcare providers and patients, which can contribute to the overall cost of the medication.
  • Patent Protection: Intrarosa may be protected by patents that prevent generic competition, allowing the manufacturer to set higher prices for the medication until the patents expire.

Alternatives to Intrarosa

While Intrarosa is an effective treatment option for dyspareunia due to menopause, alternative approaches or medications may be considered for individuals who prefer different treatment options or who do not respond well to Intrarosa. Some alternatives to Intrarosa include:

Other Hormone Replacement Therapies

  • Estrogen-based treatments
  • Combination estrogen and progestin therapies
  • Vaginal estrogen products (such as Vagifem or Divigel)

Non-Hormonal Treatments

  • Vaginal moisturizers
  • Vaginal lubricants
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)

Complementary Therapies

  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, stress reduction)

FAQs About Intrarosa

What is Intrarosa used for?

Intrarosa is used to treat moderate to severe dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse) due to menopause in women.

How long does it take to see results with Intrarosa?

Individual responses to Intrarosa may vary, but some women may begin to experience improvement in symptoms within a few weeks of starting treatment.

Can Intrarosa be used during pregnancy?

Intrarosa is not indicated for use during pregnancy.

Is Intrarosa suitable for menopausal symptoms other than dyspareunia?

Intrarosa is specifically approved for the treatment of dyspareunia due to menopause and is not indicated for the management of other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Intrarosa?

If a dose of Intrarosa is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. In such cases, the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule resumed. Double doses should not be taken to make up for a missed dose.

Can Intrarosa interact with hormonal contraceptives?

There are no known interactions between Intrarosa and hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills.

How should Intrarosa be stored?

Intrarosa vaginal inserts should be stored at room temperature (between 68°F to 77°F or 20°C to 25°C) in a dry place away from moisture and heat.

Are there any dietary restrictions while taking Intrarosa?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Intrarosa use.

Can Intrarosa be used with vaginal lubricants?

Intrarosa is designed to improve vaginal health and moisture levels. While some women may still choose to use vaginal lubricants for additional comfort during sexual activity, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before using Intrarosa with other vaginal products to avoid potential interactions.

Does Intrarosa have any effect on hormone levels in the body?

Intrarosa contains prasterone, a precursor hormone that is converted into estrogen and testosterone in the body. While Intrarosa is not intended to replace systemic hormone therapy, it may contribute to local hormone levels in the vaginal tissues, leading to improvements in vaginal health and comfort.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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