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What condition does Estradiol treat?

Estradiol is a gel medication used by women to help lessen a certain symptom of menopause or hot flushes. This medication is estrogen which is a female hormone. It is absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream.

Certain brands may also help to reduce vaginal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itching, or burning. These symptoms are caused by the body making less estrogen. 

Estradiol Gel is supplied as a hydro-alcoholic gel for topical administration. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medication.

How does Estradiol work?

Estradiol delivers estradiol to the bloodstream evenly over time in a painless and non-invasive manner. Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. They are secreted by a woman’s ovaries. They are also responsible for the maintenance and development of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. The ovaries stop making estrogens when a woman is between the ages of 45 and 55. This drop-in estrogen level causes the symptoms commonly seen in menopause, including hot flashes. The application of this medication raises the circulating estrogen levels. It also relieves the vasomotor symptoms of menopause.

How to use Estradiol?

Use this medication exactly as it is directed by your doctor. Wash your hands first before applying the gel.

Apply the medication to clean and dry skin on the upper arm/shoulder area. It is usually applied once a day. For some brands, it may be applied on the arm from the wrist to the shoulder.

Replace the cap after each use. Wash your hands properly after applying the medication. Wait for at least 5 minutes for the application site to dry completely before dressing. Cover the application site with clothing to prevent others from touching the application area. Before letting others touch the skin wait for about 1-2 hours where the medication was applied. If someone accidentally touches the gel, have them wash the area of contact on their body with soap and water as soon as possible.

What are the side effects of Estradiol?

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Thinning scalp hair
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose or sneezing
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Vaginal itching or discharge

What are the precautions in using Estradiol?

  • Avoid applying this medication to broken and irritated skin.
  • If you are using this gel for the treatment of symptoms around and only in the vagina, products are applied right inside the vagina. It must be considered before medicines are taken by mouth, absorbed through the skin, or injected.
  • Do not let others apply this medication to your body.
  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding women. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication before using it. This should only be used when needed.
  • Inform your doctor what herbal products you are taking especially St. John’s wort.
  • Plan to avoid excessive or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Remember to allow time between applying sunscreen and applying this gel. Estradiol gel may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.