estradiol, Alora, Climara, Delestrogen, Depo-Estradiol, Divigel, Elestrin, Estrace, and Others

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

    Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • 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.

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PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Estradiol is available in several forms.

  • Tablets, micronized: 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg;
  • Vaginal cream: 0.01%;
  • Continuous release skin patch: 14 mcg/day, 0.025 mg/day, 0.0375 mg/day, 0.05 mg/day, 0.1 mg/day, 0.06 mg/day, 0.075 mg/day;
  • Topical emulsion: 4.35 mg/1.74 g; Topical Gel: 0.25 mg/0.25 g, 0.5 mg/0.5 g, 1 mg/g;
  • Intramuscular oil: 5 mg/mL, 10 mg/mL, 20 mg/mL, 40 mg/mL; Vaginal Ring: 0.05 mg/24 hr, 0.1 mg/24 hr.

STORAGE: All forms of estradiol should be stored between 15 C (59 F) and 30 C (86 F).

DOSING: The dose of estradiol can vary depending on the condition that is being treated. Estradiol tablets are given daily or they can be prescribed to be taken in a cyclic regimen, wherein estradiol is given daily for 3 weeks followed by 1 week of no medication, after which the cycle resumes. The tablets can also be given more than once a day for some conditions. The topical gel or the topical emulsions are applied to the skin daily at the same time. The vaginal ring is inserted in the vagina and left without removal for 3 months at a time. The intramuscular dose and the frequency it is given can differ depending on the product.

The adhesive part of patches should be applied to a dry, hairless, clean part of the trunk, but not on the breasts. It should not be placed onto irritated or damaged skin. Sites of application should be rotated, with at least one week between repeated applications to any one site. The patch should be applied immediately after removing the protective layer, and pressure should be applied to the patch when it is attached for about 10 seconds.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Estrogens can inhibit the metabolism of cyclosporine, resulting in increased cyclosporine blood levels. Such increased blood levels can result in kidney and/or liver damage. If this combination cannot be avoided, cyclosporine concentrations can be monitored, and the dose of cyclosporine can be adjusted to assure that its blood levels are not elevated.

Estrogens appear to increase the risk of liver disease in patients receiving dantrolene through an unknown mechanism. Women over 35 years of age and those with a history of liver disease are especially at risk. Estrogens increase the liver's ability to manufacture clotting factors. Because of this, patients receiving warfarin (Coumadin) need to be monitored for loss of anticoagulant (blood thinning) effect if an estrogen is added when warfarin is already being taken.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014

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