OESTROGEL 0.06% (W/W)
(17β – estradiol)
This medicine is known by the above name but will be referred to as Oestrogel throughout the
Patient Information Leaflet
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start using this medicine because it
contains important information for you.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may
harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
• If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible
side effects not listed in this leaflet.
What is in this leaflet:
1. What Oestrogel is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you use Oestrogel
3. How to use Oestrogel
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Oestrogel
6. Contents of the pack and other information
1. WHAT OESTROGEL IS AND WHAT IT IS USED FOR
The full name of your medicine is Oestrogel Pump-Pack. It is called Oestrogel in this leaflet.
Oestrogel is a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It contains the female hormone
oestrogen. Oestrogel is used in postmenopausal women with at least 6 months since their last
Oestrogel is used for:
Relief of symptoms occurring after menopause
During the menopause, the amount of the oestrogen produced by a woman’s body drops.
This can cause symptoms such as hot face, neck and chest (“hot flushes”). Oestrogel
alleviates these symptoms after menopause. You will only be prescribed Oestrogel if your
symptoms seriously hinder your daily life.
Prevention of osteoporosis
After the menopause some women may develop fragile bones (osteoporosis). You should
discuss all available options with your doctor.
If you are at an increased risk of fractures due to osteoporosis and other medicines are not
suitable for you, you can use Oestrogel to prevent osteoporosis after menopause.
How Oestrogel works
Oestrogel works by replacing the oestrogen in your body. This is so that you have a similar
amount of oestrogen as before your menopause.
2. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU USE OESTROGEL
Medical history and regular check-ups
The use of HRT carries risks which need to be considered when deciding whether to start
using it, or whether to carry on using it.
The experience in treating women with a premature menopause (due to ovarian failure or
surgery) is limited. If you have a premature menopause the risks of using HRT may be
different. Please talk to your doctor.
Before you start (or restart) HRT your doctor will ask you about your own and your family’s
medical history. Your doctor may decide to perform a physical examination .This may include
an examination of your breasts and/or an internal examination, if necessary.
Once you have started on Oestrogel you should see your doctor for regular check-ups (at least
once a year). At these check-ups, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of continuing
Stop using Oestrogel and see a doctor immediately
If you notice any of the following when taking HRT:
• any of the conditions mentioned in the ‘Do not use Oestrogel’ section
• yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice). These may be signs of a liver disease
• a large rise in your blood pressure (symptoms may be headache, tiredness, dizziness).
• migraine-like headaches which happen for the first time.
• if you become pregnant
• if you notice signs of a blood clot, such as:
o painful swelling and redness of the legs
o sudden chest pain
o difficulty in breathing
For more information, see ‘Blood clots in a vein (thrombosis)’.
Note: Oestrogel is not a contraceptive. If it is less than 12 months since your last menstrual
period or you are under 50 years old, you may still need to use additional contraception to
prevent pregnancy. Speak to your doctor for advice.
HRT and cancer
Excessive thickening of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia) and cancer of
the lining of the womb (endometrial cancer)
Using oestrogen-only HRT will increase the risk of excessive thickening of the lining of the
womb (endometrial hyperplasia) and cancer of the womb lining (endometrial cancer).
Using a progestogen in addition to the oestrogen for at least 12 days of each 28 day cycle
protects you from this extra risk. So your doctor will prescribe a progestogen separately if you
still have your womb. If you have had your womb removed (a hysterectomy), discuss with your
doctor whether you can safely take this product without a progestogen.
In women who still have a womb and who are not using HRT, on average, 5 in 1000 will be
diagnosed with endometrial cancer between the ages of 50 and 65.
For women aged 50 to 65 who still have a womb and who take oestrogen-only HRT, between
10 and 60 women in 1000 will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer (i.e. between 5 and 55
extra cases), depending on the dose and for how long it is taken.
You may have irregular bleeding or drops of blood (spotting) during the first 3-6 months of
using Oestrogel. However, if the irregular bleeding:
• carries on for more than the first 6 months
• starts after you have been using Oestrogel for more than 6 months
• carries on after you have stopped using Oestrogel see your doctor as soon as possible.
Evidence suggests that using combined oestrogen-progestogen and possibly also oestrogenonly HRT increases the risk of breast cancer. The extra risk depends on how long you take
HRT. The additional risk becomes clear within a few years. However, it returns to normal
within a few years (at most 5) after stopping treatment.
For women who have had their womb removed and who are using oestrogen-only HRT for 5
years, little or no increase in breast cancer risk is shown.
Women aged 50 to 79 who are not taking HRT, on average, 9 to 17 in 1000 will be diagnosed
with breast cancer over a 5-year period. For women aged 50 to 79 who are taking oestrogenprogestogen HRT over 5 years, there will be 13 to 23 cases in 1000 users (i.e. an extra 4 to 6
• Regularly check your breasts. See your doctor if you notice any changes such as:
o dimpling of the skin
o changes in the nipple
o any lumps you can see or feel
Ovarian cancer is rare. A slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer has been reported in women
using HRT for at least 5 to 10 years.
Women aged 50 to 69 who are not using HRT, on average about 2 women in 1000 will be
diagnosed with ovarian cancer over a 5-year period. For women who have been using HRT for
5 years, there will be between 2 and 3 cases per 1000 users (i.e. up to 1 extra case).
Effect of HRT on heart and circulation
Go for regular breast screening, as recommended by your doctor.
Blood clots in a vein (thrombosis)
Do not use Oestrogel
If any of the following applies to you. If you are not sure about any of the points below, talk to
your doctor before using Oestrogel.
Do not use Oestrogel:
• If you have or have ever had breast cancer, or if you are suspected of having it,
• If you have cancer which is sensitive to oestrogen, such as cancer of the womb lining
(endometrium), or if you are suspected of having it,
• If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding,
• If you have excessive thickening of the womb lining (endometrial hyperplasia) that is not
• If you have or have ever had blood clots in a vein (thrombosis), such as in the legs (deep
venous thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism),
• If you have a blood clotting disorder (such as protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency),
• If you have or recently have had a disease caused by blood clots in the arteries, such as a
heart attack, stroke or angina,
• If you have or have ever had a liver disease and your liver function tests have not returned
• If you have a rare blood problem called “porphyria” which is passed down in families (inherited),
• If you are allergic to estradiol or any other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6).
The risk of blood clots in the veins is about 1.3 to 3- times higher in HRT users than in nonusers, especially during the first year of using it.
If any of the above conditions appear for the first time while using Oestrogel, stop using it at
once and consult your doctor immediately.
Warnings and precautions
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following problems, before you start the
treatment, as these may return or become worse during treatment with Oestrogel. If so, you
should see your doctor more often for check-ups:
• fibrosis inside your womb,
• growth of womb lining outside your womb (endometriosis) or a history of excessive growth
of the womb lining (endometrial hyperplasia),
• increased risk of developing blood clots (see “Blood clots in a vein (thrombosis)”),
• increased risk of getting a oestrogen-sensitive cancer (such as having a mother, sister or
grandmother who has had breast cancer),
• high blood pressure,
• a liver disorder, such as a benign liver tumor,
• migraine or severe headaches,
• a disease of the immune system that affects many organs of the body (Systemic Lupus
• a disease affecting the eardrum and hearing (otosclerosis),
• a very high level of fat in your blood (triglycerides),
• fluid retention due to heart or kidney problems.
Blood clots can be serious, and if one travels to the lungs, it can cause chest pain,
breathlessness, fainting or even death.
You are more likely to get a blood clot in your veins as you get older and if any of the following
applies to you. Inform your doctor if any of these situations applies to you:
• you are unable to walk for a long time because of major surgery, injury or illness (see also
section 3, If you need to have surgery)
• you are seriously overweight (BMI >30 kg/m2)
• you have any blood clotting problem that needs long-term treatment with a medicine used
to prevent blood clots
• if any of your close relatives has ever had a blood clot in the leg, lung or another organ
• you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
• you have cancer.
For signs of a blood clot, see “Stop using Oestrogel and see a doctor immediately”.
Looking at women in their 50s who are not using HRT, on average, over a 5-year period, 4 to
7 in 1000 would be expected to get a blood clot in a vein.
For women in their 50s who have been using oestrogen-progestogen HRT for over 5 years,
there will be 9 to 12 cases in 1000 users (i.e.an extra 5 cases).
For women in their 50s who have had their womb removed and have been using oestrogenonly HRT for over 5 years, there will be 5 to 8 cases in 1000 users (i.e. 1 extra case).
Heart disease (heart attack)
There is no evidence that HRT will prevent a heart attack.
Women over the age of 60 years who use oestrogen-progestogen HRT are slightly more likely
to develop heart disease than those not using any HRT.
For women who have had their womb removed and are using oestrogen-only therapy there is
no increased risk of developing a heart disease.
The risk of getting stroke is about 1.5 times higher in HRT users than in non-users. The
number of extra cases of stroke due to use of HRT will increase with age.
Looking at women in their 50s who are not using HRT, on average, 8 in 1000 would be
expected to have a stroke over a 5-year period. For women in their 50s who are using HRT,
there will be 11 cases in 1000 users, over 5 years (i.e. an extra 3 cases).
HRT will not prevent memory loss. There is some evidence of a higher risk of memory loss in
women who start using HRT after the age of 65. Speak to your doctor for advice.
4. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Other medicines and Oestrogel
Some medicines may interfere with the effect of Oestrogel. This might lead to irregular
bleeding. This applies to the following medicines:
• Skin cleansers and detergents e.g. products containing benzalkonium chloride or sodium
• Other skin products containing alcohol e.g. astringents or sunscreens.
• Products to treat skin and scalp disorders e.g. products to cure warts, acne or dandruff.
• Other skin medications which change how skin is made, e.g. anti-cancer products.
• Medicines for epilepsy (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and carbamazepine).
• Medicines for tuberculosis (such as rifampicin, rifabutin)
• Medicines for HIV infection (such as nevirapine, efavirenz, ritonavir and nelfinavir).
• Herbal products containing St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
The following diseases are reported more often in women using HRT compared to women not
• breast cancer,
• abnormal growth or cancer of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia or cancer),
• ovarian cancer,
• blood clots in the veins of the legs or lungs (venous thromboembolism),
• heart disease,
• probable memory loss if HRT is started over the age of 65.
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using or have recently used any other
medicines including medicines obtained without a prescription, herbal medicines or other
Side effects observed with HRT products used in menopause are reported below:
If you need a blood test, tell your doctor or the laboratory staff that you are using Oestrogel,
because this medicine can affect the result of some tests.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Oestrogel is for use in postmenopausal women only. If you become pregnant, stop using
Oestrogel and contact your doctor.
3. HOW TO USE OESTROGEL
Always use Oestrogel exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or
pharmacist if you are not sure.
Using this medicine
• If you have never used any other HRT medicines or you are switching to Oestrogel from a
period-free HRT product, you can start using Oestrogel on any convenient day.
• If you are currently using another type of HRT where you have a period, finish your current
medicine pack before you start using Oestrogel.
• Do not ask anyone else to apply the gel. Only you should apply your medicine.
• Do not use strong skin cleaners or detergents when washing the area where you will apply
• Avoid close skin contact with your partner for one hour after application.
• Do not wash the skin or apply other skin care products until at least one hour after
• If the prescribed dose does not provide relief, tell your doctor. Do not use more than the
Your doctor will aim to prescribe the lowest dose to treat your symptoms for as short as
necessary. Speak to your doctor if you think this dose is too strong or not strong enough.
Preparing your new Pump Pack
Before using your new Pump Pack for the first time, you need to prepare it for use as
• Remove the cap from the canister.
• Remove the stopper from the spout.
• Press the plunger down a few times until the gel comes out.
• Do not use the first dose of gel from your Pump Pack. This dose should be discarded.
• Your Pump Pack is now ready to use.
How much to use and when to use
• Apply the gel once a day, either in the morning or evening.
• Try to use the gel at about the same time each day.
• Your doctor will prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest time to treat your symptoms.
• The usual daily dose is 2 measures of gel. The Pump Pack will last four weeks.
• If 4 measures of gel have been prescribed, the Pump Pack will last two weeks.
• Spread the gel on a large area of skin on each shoulder, outer arm or each mid-inner thigh.
How to apply the gel
1. Make sure that your hands and the skin where you are going to apply the gel are clean, dry
2. Remove the canister cap to reveal the plunger.
3. Remove the stopper from the spout.
4. Hold the Oestrogel Pump Pack in one hand and place your other hand under the spout,
ready to collect the gel.
5. Push the plunger down firmly. This will dispense one measure of the gel.
6. Apply the gel to either:
o the outer arm and shoulder of both arms,
o the mid-inner thigh of both legs.
7. Do not apply on or near the breasts, or near the genital area.
8. Spread the gel over a large area of skin on each shoulder, outer arm or mid-inner thigh.
9. If your doctor has prescribed 2 measures of gel, spread 1 measure over each outer arm
and shoulder, or each mid-inner thigh. If 4 measures of gel have been prescribed, spread 2
measures over each outer arm and shoulder or each mid-inner thigh. (See steps 4-8).
10. Cover the spout using the attached stopper.
11. Replace the cap.
12. Leave to dry for 5 minutes before covering with clothes.
How you know when your Pump Pack is empty
• The Pump Pack is nearly empty when the plunger does not return back to its original
position after you have pushed it down.
• When this happens, do not use the Pump Pack any longer. Start using a new Pump Pack.
If you use more Oestrogel than you should
The effects of overdosing are generally: breast tension, abdominal and pelvic swelling, nausea
and vaginal bleeding. These symptoms disappear when treatment is stopped or the dose is
reduced. In case of the accidental using of an excessive dose of the medicine tell your doctor
If you forget to use Oestrogel
• If it is more than 12 hours until your next dose, apply the gel as soon as you remember and
apply the next dose at the normal time.
• If it is less than 12 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and apply the next
dose at the normal time.
• Do not use a double dose (two doses at the same time) to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you forget a dose you may have breakthrough bleeding or spotting.
If you need to have surgery
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon that you are using Oestrogel. You may need
to stop using Oestrogel about 4 to 6 weeks before the operation to reduce the risk of a blood
clot (see section 2, Blood clots in a vein). Ask your doctor when you can start using Oestrogel
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
HRT will not prevent memory loss.
For more information about these side effects, see Section 2.
Common: may affect up to 1 in 10 people
• Nausea, abdominal pain.
• Breast swelling or pain, breast enlargement, menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding,
unexpected vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge endometrial hyperplasia.
• Weight change (increase or decrease), water retention with peripheral oedema.
Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people
• Depression, mood swings.
• Vertigo, migraine.
• Venous thromboembolic disease.
• Flatulence, vomiting.
• Itching (pruritus).
• Benign breast or uterine neoplasm, increased volume of uterine, vaginitis or vaginal
• Feeling weak (asthenia).
Rare: may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people
Change in libido.
Aggravation of epilepsy.
Liver function tests abnormalities.
Skin decoloration, acne.
Appearance of milk secretion (galactorrhea).
Anaphylactic reaction (in women with past history of allergic reaction).
The following side effects have been reported with other HRTs:
• gall bladder disease
• various skin disorders:
o painful reddish skin nodules (erythema nodosum)
o rash with target-shaped reddening or sores (erythema multiforme)
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible
side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow
Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. HOW TO STORE OESTROGEL
Keep out of the sight and reach of children
Do not use after the expiry date printed on the carton or canister. The expiry date refers to the
last day of that month.
Do not store above 25°C.
If your doctor tells you to stop using the gel, we suggest you take it back to the pharmacist for
safe disposal. Only keep the gel if your doctor tells you to.
If the gel becomes brittle or discoloured on dispensing you should ask your doctor before
Do not throw away via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw
away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.
6. CONTENT OF THE PACK AND OTHER INFORMATION
What Oestrogel contains
The active ingredient is 17β - estradiol, which is the main oestrogen (female sex hormone)
produced by the human ovary. Each metered dose (1.25g) contains 0.75mg 17ß Oestradiol
(estradiol). The gel is a clear non-greasy, non-staining odourless hydro-alcoholic transdermal gel.
Oestrogel also contains carbomer, triethanolamine, ethanol and purified water.
Oestrogel is available as an 80g pump action container which delivers 64 metered doses.
Manufactured by Laboratories Besins International, 13 rue Perier, Montrouge, 92120, France.
Procured from within the EU by the Product Licence holder: Caseview (PL) Ltd., 20 Alliance
Court, Alliance Road, London W3 0RB.
Repackaged by: OPD Laboratories Ltd., Unit 6 Colonial Way, Watford, Herts WD24 4PR.
Oestrogel® 0.06% W/W / Estradiol 0.06% W/W Gel
Leaflet revision date (ref) 12/12/2014
Oestrogel is a registered trademark of Besins Healthcare Luxembourg S.A.R.L, Luxembourg.
To request a copy of this leaflet in Braille, large print or audio please call 01923 332 796.