Prescription onlyClass: Women's health

Estrogel

(estradiol gel)

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

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Our bottom line

Estrogel (Estradiol Gel) is the only topical gel that treats hot flashes and vaginal symptoms, but it needs to be applied over your entire arm instead of one small area like other types of estrogen products.

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Upsides

  • Estrogel (Estradiol Gel) is the only estrogen gel that treats menopausal both hot flashes and vaginal symptoms.
  • It’s a popular topical estrogen that's also used in Europe and Canada.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Downsides

  • Increases your risk of endometrial and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use Estrogel (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

Estrogel (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 Estrogel (estradiol gel)

241 From clinical trials of Estrogel / Postmenopausal estrogen replacement (1.25 g/day)
  • Breast pain
  • Headache
  • Passing gas

Risks and Warnings for Estrogel (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 Estrogel (estradiol gel)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • The gel is alcohol-based and flammable, so you shouldn't smoke while applying it.
Sleep
  • I sleep better since I apply the Estrogel in the morning.
Weight
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.