Prescription onlyClass: Women's health

Elestrin

(estradiol gel)

Prescription onlyClass: Women's health
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Relieves hot flashes due to menopause.

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Our bottom line

Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is easy to use, absorbs well into your skin, and is a good option if you don’t want to use estrogen pills or patches.

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Upsides

  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • The pre-measured packets are easy to use and can be taken anywhere.
  • Fewer side effects than pills since there are lower amounts of estrogen in topical gels.
  • In studies, when people used low doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel), their symptoms started to improve in 5 weeks and they felt continued improvement over 8 to 12 weeks. People using the highest doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) felt better in just 2 weeks.
  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is available in 3 strengths.
  • Very few women (less than 1%) had skin irritation from the medicine.
  • Can lower your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy. Make sure you also get enough calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.

Downsides

  • Increases your risk of endometrial and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
  • It's possible to expose other people to the estrogen before it's absorbed by your skin.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
How it works

Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replaces estrogen hormones in your vagina that your body loses during menopause. Estrogen helps relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal problems.

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Side effect rates for Elestrin (estradiol gel)

279 From clinical trials of Elestrin / Postmenopausal estrogen replacement (1.7 g/day)
  • Metrorrhagia
  • Common cold
  • Breast tenderness
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection

Risks and Warnings for Elestrin (estradiol gel)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using estrogen for more than one year

    Vaginal bleeding after menopause can be a warning sign of uterus (endometrial) cancer, so let your doctor know if you notice any unusual bleeding. When estrogen is prescribed to women after menopause who still have a uterus, progestin should be used with it to lower the risk of cancer. Low-dose vaginal estrogen products are often a better choice than oral pills for women 65 years or older who have vaginal symptoms.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Elestrin (estradiol gel)

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  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.