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Estradiol (injection)

Generic Name: estradiol (injection) (ESS tra DYE ol)
Brand Name: Depo-Estradiol

Medically reviewed on December 6, 2017

What is estradiol injection?

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

Estradiol injection is used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, burning, or irritation. It is also used to treat a lack of estrogen that is caused by ovarian failure or a condition called hypogonadism.

Some forms of estradiol injection are used in men to treat the symptoms of prostate cancer. Estradiol treats only the symptoms of prostate cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

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

Important Information

You should not use estradiol if you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, if you have major surgery, or if you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, a blood clot, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.

Do not use if you are pregnant.

Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.

Using estradiol can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Estradiol should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia. Long-term use may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use estradiol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

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

  • liver disease;

  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot; or

  • a history of hormone-related cancer, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.

Do not use estradiol if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Using estradiol can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are overweight, or if you smoke.

Estradiol should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

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

Long-term use of estradiol may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.

Estradiol lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk and can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How is estradiol injection given?

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

Estradiol is injected into a muscle. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

This medicine is usually given once every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the condition being treated. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use a disposable needle only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

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

If you need major surgery with long-term 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.

Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis 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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your estradiol injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using estradiol injection?

Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while using estradiol.

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

Estradiol injection side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain;

  • swelling or tenderness in your stomach;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • a breast lump;

  • memory problems, confusion, unusual behavior;

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

  • 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--sudden vision loss, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood, pain or warmth in one or both legs;

  • high levels of calcium in your blood--nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, lack of energy; or

  • increased blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed.

Common side effects may include:

  • breast pain;

  • headache;

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

  • 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 injection?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may interact with estradiol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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