Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Elestrin

(Estradiol Gel)

Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
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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.
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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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Pregnancy
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  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.