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Written by Dr Rohanti Rovikulan, MD
Information last reviewed 06/21/19
As women approach menopause, there is a natural decline in the body’s estrogen levels. This deficiency in estrogen causes symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, headaches, vaginal dryness and night sweats, which are typical of menopause.
The Estradiol in your medication is structurally similar to the estradiol produced by the body. Taking Estradiol increases the estrogen levels in your body, which helps reduce or alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
It typically takes a few weeks before you start to feel the benefits of Estradiol, but it can take up to three months to experience the medication’s full effects.
If you are taking Estradiol to reduce menopausal symptoms, you should take it for two to three years. In order to get the full benefit of Estradiol in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, you need to take the medication for a minimum of five years. Talk to your doctor about the dose and duration of your Estradiol therapy.
Estradiol comes in many different forms and their medications vary depending on manufacturers. The tablet forms contain lactose monohydrate and can cause uncomfortable side effects if taken by those with a severe lactose allergy. If you are using the patches, you might get a local skin reaction as they contain silicone and alcohol. The injections contain some form of oil, some manufacturers use sesame oil. If you are allergic to sesame, this medication is not suitable for you.
The dose of Estradiol is based on the preparation form and the condition for which Estradiol is prescribed. For menopausal symptoms, the following doses are typically prescribed:
Depending on the condition for which you are being treated and your response to the treatment, your doctor may choose to change the dose and frequency of your Estradiol therapy.
Oral tablets, topical gels, and creams are usually taken once daily. Injections are administered once every three to four weeks. Patches are usually applied once a week and vaginal inserts are initially used once daily and then twice weekly. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully and use Estradiol regularly. Speak to your doctor before stopping Estradiol or changing the dose.
Oral Estradiol can be taken with or without food and is usually taken once a day. You should try to take Estradiol at around the same time every day. The frequency of Estradiol administration varies according to the preparation and the condition being treated.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose and take the next dose according to your usual schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you forget to wear or change your Estradiol patch, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next patch, wait until it is time and apply the new patch. Do not apply two patches to make up for the missed dose.
Estradiol may cause side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor if any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away with continued use of Estradiol:
Some side effects are rare but may be serious. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Estradiol or any of the ingredients in the prescribed formulation. Before using Estradiol, tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had, any of the following:
Estradiol should not be taken during pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, let your doctor know before you start taking this medication.
Do not smoke or use tobacco while taking Estradiol, as this can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, especially if you are under 35 years of age.
Before you start taking Estradiol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements. Estradiol should not be taken in combination with:
You should also inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
Take Estradiol exactly as prescribed. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of Estradiol overdose:
Estradiol is available in the following preparations:
Depending on the type of preparation, your doctor may prescribe Estradiol under different brand names, such as Estrace (Estradiol tablets) or Evamist (Estradiol spray).
Estradiol is a generic name referring to the female sex hormone. It may be prescribed under different brand names, which vary according to the preparation form.
Premarin is a brand name for a medical formulation containing many types of estrogens. Like Estradiol, Premarin is also used to treat symptoms of menopause.
Estradiol and Estriol are both forms of estrogen, the female sex hormone. Estriol is available in oral tablet and vaginal cream forms. Estradiol and Estriol are sometimes combined in a single formulation for increased effectiveness.
You should not cut your Estradiol patch, as this can affect the dose of the medication, making it ineffective. If you accidentally tear your patch when opening the pouch, discard that patch and use a new patch.
Though estradiol is a hormone that is essential for pregnancy, taking Estradiol medication will not help you get pregnant. This is because the body needs to naturally produce estradiol for pregnancy to occur and taking the medication externally tells the body that it does not need to produce any more estradiol.
Estradiol should not be taken during pregnancy. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before taking Estradiol.
Estradiol is a form of estrogen, the female sex hormone. Estrace is the brand name of an oral tablet containing Estradiol.
Estradiol valerate is a synthetic hormone that is broken down into Estradiol in the body when consumed. Estradiol valerate comes in oral and injectable forms.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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