Treating Endometriosis Pain: What Worked For Me

(BPT) - For years, Sarah J. assumed her period pain was normal. “When I first started experiencing pain, I had no idea what endometriosis was and just assumed other women were experiencing the same symptoms, but weren’t talking about them,” Sarah recalled.

After seeing more than 10 doctors, she was diagnosed with endometriosis - an estrogen-dependent disease that occurs when tissue similar to the endometrium – the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus – grows outside of the uterus where it doesn’t belong.1 These out-of-place growths are called lesions. Estrogen, a hormone that is naturally produced by your body, fuels the growth of endometrial lesions. During your menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels rise, these lesions can grow. And later, during your period, the lesions can break down and shed. This can cause pain throughout the month.2,3

The most common symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, pelvic pain in between periods and pain with sex.2 One way to manage common symptoms of endometriosis is to reduce the amount of estrogen your body produces.2

Endometriosis is more common than you might think. In fact, it affects an estimated one in 10 women of reproductive age.2 Yet many women, like Sarah, can suffer for up to six to 10 years and visit multiple physicians before receiving a proper diagnosis.4,5

Once diagnosed, it took Sarah several subsequent OBGYN visits to find a treatment option that was right for her. Treatment for endometriosis must be individualized and both medical and surgical treatments can be effective.3

Eventually, a doctor recommended ORILISSA® (elagolix), a pill created specifically for women 18 and over with moderate to severe endometriosis pain.6 ORILISSA does not contain hormones. It's not birth control, an injection, or surgery. ORILISSA is different in that it's a pill that works by lowering estrogen levels and comes in two dosages, each of which lowers estrogen to a different level. Lowering estrogen levels is one way to help manage endometriosis pain.6

“I tried many treatment options, yet I still experienced endo pain. With ORILISSA, my endometriosis pain has reduced. I am so happy I was persistent in seeking answers and followed my doctor’s recommendation. My endometriosis pain doesn’t cause me to miss out on as many of the activities I enjoy doing.”

ORILISSA may not be for everyone. You should not take ORILISSA if you are or may be pregnant, have osteoporosis, have severe liver disease, or take medicines such as cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.

Here are some tips that helped Sarah find a treatment option that worked for her:

  • Monitor your symptoms: Every woman with endometriosis has a unique experience and treatment must be tailored to address their specific symptoms.3 You can download the Ori for Me™ app to track your endometriosis pain. Ori for Me also offers communication, wellness tips, and life hacks for women living with endometriosis.
  • Be your strongest advocate: Talking to your doctor about endometriosis pain is important, but it’s not always easy. However, if you don’t talk about your symptoms, your doctor may assume everything is fine. ORILISSA.com has a discussion guide you can use as a tool to help explain your endometriosis pain to your doctor.
  • Know your options: While there is no cure for endometriosis, medical and surgical options can be effective in treating endometriosis pain.3 Every woman is different and what works for one woman may not work for another. Do your own research and talk with your doctor to determine the right option for you.

Visit ORILISSA.com to learn more.

Please see below for Important Safety Information

Please visit for the Full Prescribing Information including Medication Guide for ORILISSA at http://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/orilissa_pi.pdf.

USE

ORILISSA® (elagolix) is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis. It is not known if ORILISSA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about ORILISSA?

ORILISSA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Bone Loss (decreased Bone Mineral Density [BMD])

While you are taking ORILISSA, your estrogen levels will be low. This can lead to BMD loss. Your BMD may improve after stopping ORILISSA, but may not recover completely. It is unknown if these bone changes could increase your risk for broken bones as you age. Your healthcare provider (HCP) may order a DXA scan to check your BMD.

  • Effects on Pregnancy

Do not take ORILISSA if you are trying to become or are pregnant, as your risk for early pregnancy loss may increase. If you think you are pregnant, stop taking ORILISSA right away and call your HCP. ORILISSA may change your menstrual periods (irregular bleeding or spotting, a decrease in menstrual bleeding, or no bleeding at all), making it hard to know if you are pregnant. Watch for other signs of pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, weight gain, and nausea. ORILISSA does not prevent pregnancy. You will need to use effective hormone-free birth control (such as condoms or spermicide) while taking ORILISSA and for one week after stopping ORILISSA. Birth control pills that contain estrogen may make ORILISSA less effective. It is unknown how well ORILISSA works while on progestin-only birth control.

Do not take ORILISSA if you:

  • Are or may be pregnant, have osteoporosis, have severe liver disease, or take medicines known as strong OATP1B1 inhibitors, such as cyclosporine or gemfibrozil. If you are unsure if you are taking one of these medicines, ask your HCP.

What should I tell my HCP before taking ORILISSA?

Tell your HCP about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have or have had broken bones, have other conditions, or take medicines that may cause bone problems; have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; have liver problems; think you may be pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to be. It is unknown if ORILISSA passes into breast milk. Talk to your HCP about the best way to feed your baby if you take ORILISSA.

Tell your HCP about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Especially tell your HCP if you take birth control pills. Your HCP may advise you to change the pills you take or your method of birth control.

What are the possible side effects of ORILISSA?

ORILISSA can cause serious side effects including:

  • Suicidal thoughts, actions, or behavior, and worsening of mood. Call your HCP right away, or call 911 if an emergency, if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or bother you: thoughts about suicide or dying, try to commit suicide, new or worse depression or anxiety, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood. You or your caregiver should pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Abnormal liver tests. Call your HCP right away if you have any of these signs and symptoms of liver problems: yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice), dark amber-colored urine, feeling tired, nausea and vomiting, generalized swelling, right upper stomach area pain, or bruising easily.

The most common side effects of ORILISSA include: hot flashes or night sweats, headache, nausea, difficulty sleeping, absence of periods, anxiety, joint pain, depression, and mood changes.

These are not all of the possible side effects of ORILISSA. This is the most important information to know about ORILISSA. For more information, talk to your doctor or HCP.

Take ORILISSA exactly as your HCP tells you. Tell your HCP if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your HCP for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more.

Please visit for the Full Prescribing Information including Medication Guide for ORILISSA at http://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/orilissa_pi.pdf.

References

  1. Serdar B, et al. Role of Estrogen Receptor-β in Endometriosis. Semin Reprod Med. 2012;30(1):39-45.
  2. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2018). Frequently Asked Questions: Endometriosis. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometriosis.
  3. The Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Treatment of pelvic pain associated with endometriosis: a committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2014 Apr;101(4):927-935.
  4. Giudice LC. Clinical Practice. Endometriosis. N Engl J Med. 2010 Jun 24;362(25):2389-98.
  5. Nnoaham KE, et al. Impact of Endometriosis on Quality of Life and Work Productivity: A Multicenter Study Across Ten Countries. Fertil Steril. 2011 Aug;96(2):366-373.e8.
  6. ORILISSA (elagolix) [Package Insert]. North Chicago, Ill.: AbbVie Inc.

Sponsored by AbbVie

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