EstroGel is a prescription medicine gel used by women to help reduce moderate to severe hot flashes and to treat moderate to severe vaginal dryness, itching, and burning, symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy in menopause, and hypoestrogenism.
EstroGel contains an active ingredient called Estradiol. Estradiol belongs to the class of medications known as estrogen replacement therapy. When applied to the skin, the gel is absorbed into the bloodstream and it releases estradiol into your blood, which helps to increase the levels of estrogen in the body.
EstroGel may increase the risk of endometrial cancer, breast cancer, stroke, and blood clots. It should not be used by women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, or who have a history of estrogen-sensitive cancer, blood clots, or liver problems.
Use and Dosage
Your doctor will provide specific instructions on how to use Estrogel Gel, and you should follow them carefully. Generally speaking, Estrogel Gel should be applied to clean, dry skin on the upper arm/shoulder area, usually once daily. Some brands may be applied on the arm from the wrist to the shoulder. The cap on the pump should be replaced after each use.
After applying the gel, you should wait about five minutes for the application site to dry completely before dressing. Cover the application site with clothing, such as a long-sleeve shirt, to prevent others from touching the area and being exposed to the drug. Wait at least one to two hours, depending on your brand, before allowing anyone else to touch the skin where the medication was applied.
To get the best effect, wait at least two hours before showering or swimming to allow the drug to be absorbed through the skin. You should use Estrogel Gel regularly to get the most benefit from it and try to use it at the same time each day.
Avoid getting Estrogel Gel in your eyes. If this happens, rinse your eyes right away with warm water and tell your doctor if you experience any eye irritation. As with any medication, you should only use the prescribed dosage and not increase it or use the medication more often than prescribed without consulting your doctor.
Common Side Effects of Estrogel Gel (Estradiol):
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Changes in your menstrual periods
- Cold symptoms (stuffy nose sneezing sore throat)
- Stomach cramps
- Thinning of scalp hair and
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Weight gain
Serious Side Effects of Estrogel Gel (Estradiol):
- Bone pain and
- Chest pain or pressure
- Coughing up blood
- Lack of energy
- Memory problems
- Muscle weakness
- Pain or warmth in one or both legs
- Pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
- Problems with vision or balance
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Stabbing chest pain
- Sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden severe headache
- Sudden vision loss
- Swelling or tenderness in your stomach
- Unusual behavior
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Forms and Strength
Estrogel Gel (Estradiol) is available in the following forms and strength:
Estrogel Gel: Gel
- EstroGel may increase the risk of endometrial cancer, have regular pelvic exams, and report any unusual vaginal bleeding to your healthcare provider.
- EstroGel may increase the risk of breast cancer, have regular mammograms and breast exams. Talk to your healthcare provider about your individual risk factors for breast cancer.
- EstroGel may increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as heart attack or stroke, especially in women who have pre-existing risk factors. Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider to determine if EstroGel is safe for you.
- EstroGel may increase the risk of blood clots, particularly in women who are older or overweight. Be sure to report any leg pain or swelling to your healthcare provider.
- EstroGel should not be used if you have a history of estrogen-sensitive cancer, liver problems, or blood clots.
- EstroGel may interact with other medications, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you are currently taking.
- EstroGel should not be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as it may harm the fetus or infant.
- EstroGel may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, thyroid hormones, and corticosteroids, so it is important to inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are currently taking.
- EstroGel may cause side effects, including headache, nausea, breast tenderness, vaginal discharge, and skin irritation. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any adverse effects.
- EstroGel should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible to manage your symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can EstroGel Gel be used to prevent pregnancy?
No, EstroGel is not a form of birth control and should not be used as such.
How long does it take for EstroGel to work?
The length of time it takes for EstroGel to work can vary depending on the individual and their symptoms. Some women may experience relief within a few weeks, while others may need several months.
Can EstroGel cause weight gain?
Weight gain is a possible side effect of EstroGel, but it is not a guaranteed effect. Speak with your healthcare provider if you experience any changes in your weight while using EstroGel.
Can EstroGel interact with other medications?
Yes, EstroGel may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, thyroid hormones, and corticosteroids. Speak with your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and vitamins you are taking before using EstroGel.