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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, 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.

Slideshow: Memos on Menopause - What Every Woman Needs to Know

Do not use if you are pregnant.

Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Call your doctor at once if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding while using this medicine.

Children should avoid coming into contact with skin areas where you have applied estradiol topical. Topical estradiol is absorbed through the skin and can cause side effects in a child who comes into contact with this medicine or with skin where the medicine was applied.

Estradiol should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Long-term use may also increase your risk of breast cancer or blood clot.

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

You should not use estradiol topical if you have:

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

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

  • 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;

  • if you are pregnant or may become pregnant; or

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

Estradiol will not prevent heart disease, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, or dementia, and may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Estradiol may also increase your risk of uterine or ovarian cancer. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks.

To make sure estradiol topical is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding;

  • heart disease;

  • asthma;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • hereditary angioedema;

  • endometriosis;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • lupus;

  • high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia);

  • migraines;

  • gallbladder disease; or

  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as diabetes, smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40, or if you have had a hysterectomy).

Do not use estradiol topical if you are pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

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

How should I use estradiol topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Your doctor may prescribe a progestin to take while you are using estradiol, to help lower this risk. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. 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. 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. Cover treated areas with clothing to protect others from coming into contact with the skin where you apply this medicine.

Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis, and have regular mammograms while using estradiol.

If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using estradiol.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 12 hours late, skip the missed 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 medicine 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 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:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding;

  • a lump in your breast;

  • confusion, problems with memory or concentration;

  • heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • signs of a blood clot in the lung--chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; or

  • signs of a blood clot in your leg--pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Topical estradiol is absorbed through the skin of a child who comes into contact with this medicine. Call your doctor if a child who has close contact with you develops swollen nipples or enlarged breasts.

Common side effects may include:

  • breast pain;

  • headache;

  • vaginal itching or discharge, changes in your menstrual periods, light vaginal bleeding or spotting;

  • thinning scalp hair; or

  • nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps.

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)

What other drugs will affect estradiol topical?

Other drugs may interact with estradiol topical, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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: 8.01. Revision Date: 2015-06-26, 10:28:18 AM.