What is estradiol?
Estradiol is a form of estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone necessary for many processes in the body.
Estradiol is used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation. It is also used to prevent osteoporosis in women and men. Estradiol is sometimes used as part of cancer treatment in women and men.
Estradiol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use estradiol if you have:
- a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;
- a history of stroke or circulation problems;
- abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked; or
- any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer.
Before using estradiol, tell your doctor if you have:
- high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- gallbladder disease; or
- if you have had your uterus removed (hysterectomy).
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use estradiol, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol.
Long-term estradiol treatment may increase your risk of stroke. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use estradiol if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.
Estradiol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.
There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while using estradiol unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of an estradiol overdose may include nausea, vomiting, or vaginal bleeding.
Take the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- pain or swelling in your lower leg;
- abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- a lump in your breast.
Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- swollen breasts;
- acne or skin color changes;
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;
- migraine headaches or dizziness;
- vaginal pain, dryness, or discomfort;
- swelling of your ankles or feet;
- depression; or
- changes in your menstrual periods, break-through bleeding.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before using estradiol, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- St. John's wort;
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- phenytoin (Dilantin);
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
- ritonavir (Norvir);
- cimetidine (Tagamet);
- carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or
- antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox);
If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use estradiol or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs not listed that can affect estradiol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04