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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Estradiol
Estradiol
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(es tra DYE ole)

Brand Names
Alora® Transdermal; Climara® Transdermal; Delestrogen® Injection; depGynogen® Injection; Depo®-Estradiol Injection; Depogen® Injection; Esclim™ Transdermal; Estrace® Oral; Estrace® Vaginal Cream; Estraderm® Transdermal; Estra-L® Injection; Estring®; Estro-Cyp® Injection; Gynodiol™; Gynogen®; Gynogen L.A.® Injection; VAGIFEM®; Valergen®; Vivelle-Dot™ Transdermal; Vivelle® Transdermal

Foreign Brand Names
Ginedisc® (Mexico); Oestrogel (Mexico); Systen (Mexico)

Therapeutic Categories
Estrogen Derivative

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

  • Estrogens, when used in women after menopause, may increase the risk of cancer of the uterus. Unusual vaginal bleeding may be a warning sign for this type of cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding to your healthcare provider. Do not take estrogens if you are pregnant. Estrogens may cause birth defects to your unborn child. Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may be pregnant.


Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to estradiol or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you have any of the following conditions: Porphyria, vaginal bleeding of an unknown cause, known or suspected breast cancer except where the cancer has spread, a history of blood clots caused by estrogen use, a tumor where estrogen makes it grow.
  • If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to stop/reduce the symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes, vaginal dryness, itching, or burning.
  • It helps help prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones; can lead to breaks) in women past menopause. This medicine works best when used with calcium/vitamin D supplements, weight-bearing exercises like walking, or physical therapy. May also be used to lower high cholesterol in women who have gone through menopause.
  • It may be used vaginally as a cream to treat irritation and itching in the vagina caused by menopause.
  • It is used as an estrogen replacement.
  • It rarely is used for the treatment of certain types of cancer (breast/prostate).


How does it work?

  • After menopause, when the body no longer produces estrogen, estradiol is used as a simple replacement of estrogen.


How is it best taken?

  • Tablet:
    • Take with food at a similar time every day or as directed by your healthcare provider. There may be days when you will not take the medicine.
  • Cream:
    • Use the cream vaginally only.
  • Skin patch:
    • Place skin patch (sticky side) on clean, dry area of the skin (butt, stomach, upper inner thigh or upper arm). Follow direction on prescription for how often to replace. There may be days when you will not apply the medicine. Move new patch site around.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.
  • Do not change dose or stop taking medicine without talking with healthcare provider.
  • Replace patch as soon as possible.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Limit alcohol intake (includes wine, beer, and liquor). May increase risk.
  • Use caution if you have a weakened heart or high blood pressure. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you have ever had any circulation problems or blood clots in your legs, arms, or lungs.
  • There may be a higher risk of endometrial/breast cancer. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Do not use if you have had breast or uterine cancer or if someone in your family (sister, mother) has had breast cancer. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • This medicine does not treat depression or nervous problems.
  • Do not use if you have unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been examined by your healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust during use of medicine and for 1 month after stopping it.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Belly pain and cramps.
  • Breast enlargement/tenderness.
  • For women, vaginal bleeding (breakthrough bleeding, spotting) may occur.
  • Change in sexual ability or desire. This can return to normal after medicine is stopped. Talk with healthcare provider about other medicines without this side effect.


What should I monitor?

  • For women, periodic breast (monthly self-exams) and gynecologic exams are important.
  • Follow diet plan (calcium supplementation) and exercise program as recommended by healthcare provider.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider at least yearly. Talk about duration of treatment.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe headache.
  • For women, unusual vaginal bleeding. This includes lots of bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between cycles.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
  • Swelling/pain of a leg or arm, sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain.
  • A lump in the breast.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a dry place at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Read the package insert for more details (given with the medicine).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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