Estradiol Topical Gel
What is this medication?
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 works by increasing levels of the hormone estrogen in the body. This medication is an estrogen hormone.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Divigel, Elestrin, EstroGel
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Blood vessel disease or blood clots
- Breast, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, liver, or uterine cancer
- Gallbladder disease
- Heart disease or recent heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- High level of calcium in the blood
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Migraine headaches
- Protein C/S deficiency
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- Tobacco smoker
- Thyroid disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, other hormones, soy, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Follow the directions that come with your prescription. Spread the gel into a thin layer. It is not necessary to rub or massage the gel into the skin. Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the gel. Allow the gel to dry for up to 5 minutes before dressing. Avoid fire, flame or smoking until gel has dried. Do not apply to the breast, face or in or around the vagina. Do not use your medication more often than directed.
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.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use 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:
- Antibiotics used to treat tuberculosis like rifabutin, rifampin and rifapentine
- Raloxifene or tamoxifen
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
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. You should also discuss the need for regular mammograms with your care team, and follow their guidelines.
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 at once and contact your care team.
Tobacco smoking increases the risk of getting a blood clot or having a stroke, 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 specialist.
If you are going to have elective surgery, you may need to stop taking this medication beforehand. Consult your care team for advice prior to scheduling the surgery.
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 these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Hair loss
- Stomach pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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