The FDA recently warned consumers that exposure to the menopause drug Evamist may  have harmful side effects. However, these side-effects don’t just affect the woman taking the drug. Instead, they can have serious consequences for children and pets in the same household.
 
Evamist is made by the Ther-Rx Corporation. The drug is a prescription hormone replacement medication approved for treating hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause. It comes as a skin spray containing estradiol, an estrogen hormone. Evamist is sprayed onto the forearm of the patient between the elbow and the wrist.
 
Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that exposure to Evamist may be associated with early puberty and early breast development in young children. The FDA has received reports of eight children between the ages of three and five who experienced premature puberty, nipple swelling, breast development and breast enlargement after casual exposure to Evamist. This unintended exposure included simple actions such as hugging.
 
The FDA also received reports of two dogs who experienced mammary or nipple enlargement and swelling of the vulva after exposure to Evamist.
 
These side-effects are caused by exposure to the female hormone estrogen. They are similar to effects experienced by children who ingest estrogen-containing products such as birth control pills.  Even a small amount of estrogen can cause breast enlargement.
 
Women who use Evamist are asked to take precautions. Women should avoid spraying the drug if children or pets are in the area. They should keep the skin covered.
 
The makers of Evamist say that in many cases the side-effects are reversible.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.