Estradiol

Generic Name: Estradiol

  • What is Estradiol?

    Estradiol is an estrogen hormone used to treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or severe dryness, itching, and burning in or around your vagina. Also, estradiol is used to treat certain conditions in which a young woman's ovaries do not produce enough estrogens naturally, certain prostate cancers in men, certain breast cancers in selected women and men, and to reduce your chances of getting postmenopausal osteoporosis (thin, weak bones).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Estradiol?

    Estrogens increase your risk of developing cancer of the uterus. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are using estradiol.

    Do not take estradiol to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using Estradiol can increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.

    Estradiol can also increase your risk of dementia, gallbladder disease, ovarian cancer, visual abnormalities, high blood pressure, pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas), or thyroid problems. Talk regularly with your doctor about whether you still need treatment with estradiol.

    You can lower your chances of serious side effects with estradiol by having a breast exam and mammogram (breast x-ray) every year, unless directed by your doctor to have it more often. See your doctor immediately if you get vaginal bleeding while you are taking estradiol. Also, ask your doctor for ways to lower your chances of getting heart disease, especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, if you are overweight, or if you use tobacco.

  • Who should not take Estradiol?

    Do not take estradiol if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

    Do not take estradiol if you have a history of stroke or heart attack, blood clots, liver problems, unusual vaginal bleeding, or certain cancers, including cancer of your breast or uterus.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Estradiol?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with estradiol. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have any unusual vaginal bleeding, asthma, seizures, diabetes, migraine headaches, endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain), lupus (disease that affects the immune system), high blood calcium levels, or problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, or kidneys. Also, tell your doctor if you are going to have surgery or will be on bedrest.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Your doctor might prescribe different doses than those listed below based on your condition and will adjust your dose according to your individual response to the medication.

    Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 1-2 milligrams (mg) a day for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of no medication, then return to the normal cycle.

    Attempts to taper or discontinue the medication should be made at specific intervals, through the guidance of your doctor.

    Treatment of Low Estrogen Levels

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 1-2 mg a day.

    Treatment of Breast Cancer

    Adults: The recommended dose is 10 mg three times a day for at least 3 months.

    Treatment of Androgen-Dependent Prostate Cancer

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1-2 mg three times a day.

    Prevention of Osteoporosis

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you.

  • How should I take Estradiol?

    Take estradiol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor regularly (every 3-6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with estradiol.

  • What should I avoid while taking Estradiol?

    Do not take estradiol for conditions for which it was not prescribed.

    Grapefruit juice can increase your risk of side effects with estradiol. Talk to your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking estradiol.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Estradiol?

    If estradiol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining estradiol with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Estradiol?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, bloating, breast pain, fluid retention, hair loss, headache, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, liver problems, nausea, spotty darkening of your skin, vaginal yeast infections, vomiting

    If you experience symptoms of breast lumps, changes in your speech, changes in your vision, chest pain, dizziness and faintness, pain in your legs, severe headaches, shortness of breath, unusual vaginal bleeding, vomiting, or yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Can I receive Estradiol if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Do not take estradiol if you are pregnant. Estradiol can be found in your breast milk if you take it while you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Estradiol?

    If you miss a dose of estradiol, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Estradiol?

    Store at room temperature.