esterified estrogens, Estratab (discontinued); Menest

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is esterified estrogens, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Esterified estrogens are a mixture of several estrogens, a type of female hormone. Estrogens cause growth and development of female sex organs and the maintenance of sex characteristics, including growth of underarm and pubic hair and shaping of body contours and skeleton. Estrogens also increase secretions from the cervix and promote growth of the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium).

What brand names are available for esterified estrogens?

Estratab (Discontinued in the USA), Menest

Is esterified estrogens available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for esterified estrogens?

Yes

What are the side effects of esterified estrogens?

The most common endocrine side effects are

  • breakthrough
  • bleeding or spotting,
  • loss of periods, or
  • excessively prolonged periods,
  • breast pain,
  • breast enlargement, and
  • changes in sexuality (increase or decrease in libido).

Other important side effects include:

Melasma (tan or brown patches) may develop on the forehead, cheeks, or temples. These may persist even after the estrogen is stopped. Estrogens may cause an increase in the curvature of the cornea, and, therefore, patients with contact lenses may develop intolerance to their lenses.

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