ESTRADIOL (es tra DYE ole) reduces the number and severity of hot flashes due to menopause. It may also help relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal irritation, dryness, or pain during sex. It can be used to prevent osteoporosis after menopause. It is also used to reduce the symptoms of late-stage breast or prostate cancer. It works by increasing levels of the hormone estrogen in the body. This medication is an estrogen hormone.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have or ever had any of these conditions:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Blood vessel disease or blood clots
Breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, liver, or uterine cancer
Heart disease or recent heart attack
High blood pressure
High level of calcium in the blood
Protein C deficiency
Protein S deficiency
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
An unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, other hormones, medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. To reduce nausea, this medication may be taken with food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medication at the same time each day and in the order directed on the package. Do not take your medication more often than directed.
Contact your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
A patient package insert for the product will be given with each prescription and refill. Read this sheet carefully each time. The sheet may change frequently.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
Aromatase inhibitors like aminoglutethimide, anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole, testolactone
This medication may also interact with the following:
Certain antibiotics used to treat infections
Certain barbiturates or benzodiazepines used for inducing sleep or treating seizures
Medications for fungus infections like itraconazole and ketoconazole
Raloxifene or tamoxifen
Rifabutin, rifampin, or rifapentine
St. John's Wort
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
Breast tissue changes, new lumps, redness, pain, or discharge from the nipple
Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
Increase in blood pressure
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Vaginal bleeding after menopause, pelvic pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Breast pain or tenderness
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. You will need a regular breast and pelvic exam and Pap smear while on this medication. You should also discuss the need for regular mammograms with your care team, and follow their guidelines for these tests.
This medication can make your body retain fluid, making your fingers, hands, or ankles swell. Your blood pressure can go up. Contact your care team if you feel you are retaining fluid.
If you have any reason to think you are pregnant, stop taking this medication right away and contact your care team.
Smoking increases the risk of getting a blood clot or having a stroke while you are taking this medication, especially if you are more than 35 years old. You are strongly advised not to smoke.
If you wear contact lenses and notice visual changes, or if the lenses begin to feel uncomfortable, consult your eye care specialists.
This medication can increase the risk of developing a condition (endometrial hyperplasia) that may lead to cancer of the lining of the uterus. Taking progestins, another hormone medication, with this medication lowers the risk of developing this condition. Therefore, if your uterus has not been removed (by a hysterectomy), your care team may prescribe a progestin for you to take together with your estrogen. You should know, however, that taking estrogens with progestins may have additional health risks. You should discuss the use of estrogens and progestins with your care team to determine the benefits and risks for you.
If you are going to have surgery, you may need to stop taking this medication. Consult your care team for advice before you schedule the surgery.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.