Estradiol, Ethinyl Estradiol tablets
What do estradiol or ethinyl estradiol tablets do?
ESTRADIOL (Estrace(R)) and ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (Estinyl(R)) are estrogens that are essential for maintaining normal female functions. Estradiol is normally produced by the ovaries. After menopause, the ovaries decrease their production of this hormone. Estrogens can help relieve symptoms of the menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness and irritation), and help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis (a loss of bone mass, so that bones become brittle and easily broken). Estrogens can also help improve female functions in women with hormonal imbalance or problems with their ovaries. Estrogens may also be given to certain men or women with inoperable breast cancers or prostate cancer. Occasionally these medications are used for other purposes. Generic estradiol and ethinyl estradiol tablets are available.
What should my health care professional know before I take estradiol or ethinyl estradiol?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• blood vessel disease, blood clotting disorder, or suffered a stroke
• breast, cervical, endometrial or uterine cancer
• fibroids in the womb, or endometriosis
• heart, kidney or liver disease
• high blood lipids or cholesterol
• high blood pressure
• high level of calcium in the blood
• mental depression
• tobacco smoker
• vaginal bleeding
• an unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, other hormones, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take estrogen tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If the tablets upset your stomach, take them with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals; estrogens work best when taken at the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
• For all uses of this medicine:
Before starting this medication, read the paper on your prescription provided by your pharmacist or health care professional. This paper will tell you about the specific product you are taking. Make certain you understand the instructions.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with estradiol or ethinyl estradiol?
• some antibiotics used to treat infections
• some medications used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection or AIDS
• ascorbic acid/vitamin C supplements
• barbiturates or benzodiazepines used for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions)
• grapefruit juice
• hydrocortisone, cortisone, or prednisolone
• imipramine or some other antidepressants
• isoniazid (INH)
• medications for diabetes
• mineral oil
• raloxifene or tamoxifen
• rifabutin, rifampin, or rifapentine
• some medications for treating migraines
• thyroid hormones
• tricyclic antidepressants
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking estradiol or ethinyl estradiol?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• breakthrough bleeding and spotting
• breast enlargement, tenderness, unusual discharge or milk production
• chest pain
• leg, arm or groin pain
• nausea, vomiting
• severe headaches
• stomach or abdominal pain (severe)
• sudden shortness of breath
• swelling of the hands, feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain
• vision or speech problems
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• change in sexual desire
• mild stomach upset
• mood changes, anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, or emotional outbursts
• increased or decreased appetite
• skin rash, acne, or brown spots on the face
• vaginal yeast infection (irritation and white discharge)
• weight gain