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estradiol topical

Pronunciation

Generic Name: estradiol topical (for use on skin) (ess tra DYE ol TOP ik al)
Brand Name: Divigel 0.25 mg/packet, Divigel 0.5 mg/packet, Divigel 1 mg/packet, Elestrin Pump, Estrasorb, EstroGel Pump, Evamist

What is estradiol topical?

Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone that regulates many processes in the body.

Estradiol topical (for the skin) is used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation.

Estradiol topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about estradiol topical?

You should not use this medicine if you have any of the following conditions: a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot (especially in your lung or your lower body), a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, liver disease, abnormal vaginal bleeding, history of an allergic reaction to estradiol topical, or a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer.

Estradiol topical can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Do not use estradiol topical if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Topical estradiol is absorbed through the skin and can cause premature puberty in a child who comes into contact with this medicine or with skin where the medicine was applied. Call your doctor if a child who has close contact with you develops swollen nipples or enlarged breasts.

Children should avoid coming into contact with skin areas where you have applied estradiol topical. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water right away. Cover treated areas with clothing to protect others from coming into contact with the skin where you apply this medicine.

Estrogens will not prevent heart disease, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or dementia, and may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Estrogens may also increase your risk of uterine or ovarian cancer.

Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using estradiol topical?

Estrogens will not prevent heart disease, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or dementia, and may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Estrogens may also increase your risk of uterine or ovarian cancer.

Talk with your doctor about your individual risks before using estradiol long-term. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.

You should not use estradiol topical if you have:

  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot (especially in your lung or your lower body);

  • liver disease;

  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;

  • unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;

  • any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer; or

  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to estradiol topical.

To make sure you can safely use estradiol topical, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;

  • kidney disease;

  • asthma;

  • hereditary angioedema;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • migraines;

  • endometriosis;

  • diabetes;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • depression;

  • porphyria;

  • lupus;

  • gallbladder disease; or

  • low levels of calcium in your blood.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use estradiol topical if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.

Estradiol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. This medication may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Estradiol increases your risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a condition that may lead to cancer of the uterus. Taking progestins while using estradiol may lower this risk. If your uterus has not been removed, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take while you are using estradiol topical.

How should I use estradiol topical?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Apply estradiol topical only to clean, dry, unbroken skin. Do not apply to skin that is red or irritated. Never apply this medicine to the breasts.

To use the topical gel (such as Estrogel):

  • Apply estradiol topical gel to the outside of your arm, from wrist to shoulder. Use the gel at the same time each day.

  • Do not rub the gel in, but allow it to dry on your skin for at least 5 minutes before you dress.

  • The gel form of this medicine is flammable. Avoid using near open flame, and do not smoke until the gel has completely dried on your skin.

To use the topical emulsion (such as Estrasorb):

  • Apply this medicine while you are sitting down. You will use two foil pouches each time you apply this medication, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

  • Cut or tear open the foil pouch and place the pouch on top of your left thigh, with the open end of the pouch pointing toward your knee.

  • Hold the pouch with one hand and use the fingers of your other hand to gently push all of the medicine out of the pouch and onto your thigh.

  • Spend at least 3 minutes rubbing the gel into your entire left thigh and calf. Rub any excess medicine onto your buttocks.

  • Cut or tear open the second pouch and apply the medicine to your right leg using the same method described above.

To use the topical spray (such as Evamist):

  • Apply the spray to the skin on the inside of your forearm, just below the elbow. Use the spray at the same time each day.

  • Place the cone of the spray applicator directly to your skin and hold the pump upright. Press the pump fully one spray. If your doctor has prescribed more than one spray, choose a different place on your inside forearm for the second spray. Use only the number of sprays your doctor has recommended.

  • Do not rub the spray in, but allow it to dry on your skin for at least 2 minutes before you dress. Do not wash your arm for at least 30 minutes after applying the spray.

Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the gel or emulsion. Avoid allowing other people to get this medicine on their skin. If this happens, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.

Children should avoid coming into contact with skin areas where you have applied estradiol topical. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water right away. Cover treated areas with clothing to protect others from coming into contact with the skin where you apply this medicine.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using estradiol topical.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you are less than 12 hours late in using your medicine, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, breast tenderness, drowsiness, and vaginal bleeding.

What should I avoid while using estradiol topical?

Do not apply sunscreen to your skin at the same time you apply estradiol topical.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this does happen, rinse with water.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with estradiol and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Estradiol topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using estradiol topical and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding;

  • pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • a lump in your breast.

Topical estradiol is absorbed through the skin and can cause premature puberty in a child who comes into contact with this medicine or with skin where the medicine was applied. Call your doctor if a child who has close contact with you develops swollen nipples or enlarged breasts.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • swollen breasts;

  • acne or skin color changes;

  • vaginal pain, dryness, or discomfort, decreased sex drive, or difficulty having an orgasm;

  • swelling, weight gain;

  • migraine headaches, dizziness, depression; or

  • break-through bleeding, vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Estradiol topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Postmenopausal Symptoms:

Oral:
0.45 mg to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
1 to 5 mg of estradiol cypionate IM every 3 to 4 weeks or 10 to 20 mg of estradiol valerate IM every 4 weeks.

Vaginal Ring:
0.05 mg/day or 0.1 mg/day vaginal ring. The ring should remain in place for 3 months and then be replaced by a new ring if therapy is to continue.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.
0.05 mg/day (2 foil pouches of transdermal emulsion) applied topically to both legs each morning.
0.25 mg unit dose packet (0.1% transdermal gel) applied topically once daily to the upper right or left thigh at the same time daily.
1.25 g (one spray) EstroGel (0.75 mg/1.25 gm - 0.06% transdermal gel) applied topically to the arms at the same time daily.
1.53 mg (one spray) Evamist (1.53 mg/spray transdermal spray) applied topically to the forearm at the same time daily.
0.87 g (one spray) Elestrin (0.52 mg/1.087 g - 0.06% transdermal gel) applied topically to the upper arm at the same time daily.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

In general, the duration of hormone therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms should be limited. Treatment for one to five years is generally sufficient. However, long-term therapy (for the treatment/prophylaxis of osteoporosis and for risk reduction of cardiovascular disease) may be considered during the time in which the patient is being treated for postmenopausal symptoms.

Because of the potential increased risks of cardiovascular events, breast cancer and venous thromboembolic events, use should be limited to the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman, and should be periodically reevaluated. When used solely for the treatment of symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.

Usual Adult Dose for Atrophic Urethritis:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
10 to 20 mg of estradiol valerate IM every 4 weeks.

Vaginal Ring:
0.05 mg/day or 0.1 mg/day vaginal ring. The ring should remain in place for 3 months and then be replaced by a new ring if therapy is to continue.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.
1.25 g/day (estradiol gel) applied topically at the same time daily. If used solely for the treatment of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

Because of the potential increased risks of cardiovascular events, breast cancer and venous thromboembolic events, use should be limited to the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman, and should be periodically reevaluated. When used solely for the treatment of symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.
In general, the duration of hormone therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms like atrophic vaginitis, kraurosis vulvae, or atrophic urethritis should be limited. Treatment for one to five years is generally sufficient.

Usual Adult Dose for Atrophic Vaginitis:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
10 to 20 mg of estradiol valerate IM every 4 weeks.

Vaginal Ring:
0.05 mg/day or 0.1 mg/day vaginal ring. The ring should remain in place for 3 months and then be replaced by a new ring if therapy is to continue.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.
1.25 g/day (estradiol gel) applied topically at the same time daily. If used solely for the treatment of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

Because of the potential increased risks of cardiovascular events, breast cancer and venous thromboembolic events, use should be limited to the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman, and should be periodically reevaluated. When used solely for the treatment of symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy, topical vaginal products should be considered.
In general, the duration of hormone therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms like atrophic vaginitis, kraurosis vulvae, or atrophic urethritis should be limited. Treatment for one to five years is generally sufficient.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypoestrogenism:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
1.5 to 2 mg of estradiol cypionate IM once a month or 10 to 20 mg estradiol valerate IM every 4 weeks.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.

Dosages should be titrated according to patient response. Therapy should be maintained with the minimum dosage that will achieve the desired clinical effect.

Usual Adult Dose for Oophorectomy:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
10 to 20 mg of estradiol valerate by IM every 4 weeks.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Primary Ovarian Failure:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally once a day.

Parenteral:
10 to 20 mg of estradiol valerate by IM every 4 weeks.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer--Palliative:

10 mg orally 3 times a day for at least 3 months. Estrogen therapy for breast cancer should be considered only for palliation in the treatment of metastatic disease in select patients

Usual Adult Dose for Osteoporosis:

Oral:
0.5 mg orally once a day.

Topical:
0.025 to 0.1 mg/day (transdermal film) applied topically 1 or 2 times a week. Systems should not be applied to the breasts.
14 mcg/day weekly (transdermal film) applied topically once a week.

Application sites vary according to manufacturer formulation and include the lower abdomen, upper thigh, buttocks, or upper arm.

In addition to hormonal therapy, adequate calcium intake is important for postmenopausal women who require treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. The average diet of older American women contains 400 to 600 mg of calcium per day. A suggested optimal intake is 1500 mg per day. If dietary intake is insufficient to achieve 1500 mg per day, supplementation may be useful in women who have no contraindication to calcium supplementation.

Long-term therapy (for more than 5 years) is generally necessary in order to obtain substantive benefits in reducing the risk of bone fracture. Maximal benefits are obtained if estrogen therapy is initiated as soon after menopause as possible. The optimal duration of therapy has not been definitively determined.

Women currently on oral estrogen therapy and changing to a transdermal estradiol system should initiate transdermal therapy 1 week following discontinuation of oral estrogens (sooner if menopausal symptoms reappear). Changes between transdermal systems may be initiated without interruption of therapy.

When used solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, approved non-estrogen treatments should carefully be considered, and estrogen and combined estrogen-progestin products should only be considered for women with significant risk of osteoporosis that outweighs the risks of the drug.

Usual Adult Dose for Prostate Cancer:

Oral:
1 to 2 mg orally 3 times a day.

Parenteral:
Estradiol valerate 30 mg IM every 1 to 2 weeks.

An apparent response should be noted within 3 months of initiation of therapy. Estrogen therapy for prostate cancer should be considered only for palliation in the treatment of metastatic disease in select patients.

What other drugs will affect estradiol topical?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • St. John's wort;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);

  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane); or

  • an antifungal medication such as ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal) or itraconazole (Sporanox).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with estradiol topical. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about estradiol topical.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2012-06-13, 1:50:54 PM.

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