Menest

Estrogens

ESTERIFIED ESTROGENS is an estrogen. It is mostly used as hormone replacement in menopausal women. It helps to treat hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis. It is also used to treat women with low hormone levels or in those who have had their ovaries removed. This medicine may also be used in the treatment of breast or prostate cancer.


Commonly Used Brand Name(s): Alora, Cenestin, Climara, Divigel, Elestrin, Emcyt, Enjuvia, Esclim, Estinyl, EstroGel, Evamist, Femtrace, Gynodiol, Menest, Menostar, Minivelle, Ogen .625, Ogen 1.25, Ogen 2.5, Premarin, Vivelle, Vivelle-Dot, Estraderm, Estradot Transdermal, Estradot Transdermal Therapeutic System, Estradot Transdermal Therapeutic System, Estrogel, Oesclim, Rhoxal-Estradiol Derm 50, Rhoxal-Estradiol Derm 75, Roxal-Estradiol Derm 100, Vivelle 100 Mcg, Vivelle 25 Mcg

Estrogens are female hormones. They are produced by the body and are necessary for the normal sexual development of the female and for the regulation of the menstrual cycle during the childbearing years.

The ovaries begin to produce less estrogen after menopause (the change of life). This medicine is prescribed to make up for the lower amount of estrogen. Estrogens help relieve signs of menopause, such as hot flashes and unusual sweating, chills, faintness, or dizziness.

Estrogens are prescribed for several reasons:

  • To provide additional hormone when the body does not produce enough of its own, such as during menopause or when female puberty (development of female sexual organs) does not occur on time. Other conditions include a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), or ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries).
  • To help prevent weakening of bones (osteoporosis) in women past menopause.
  • In the treatment of selected cases of breast cancer in men and women.
  • In the treatment of cancer of the prostate in men.

Estrogens may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

There is no medical evidence to support the belief that the use of estrogens will keep the patient feeling young, keep the skin soft, or delay the appearance of wrinkles. Nor has it been proven that the use of estrogens during menopause will relieve emotional and nervous symptoms, unless these symptoms are caused by other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or hot flushes.

Estrogens are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, estrogen is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Gender identity disorder, male-to-female transsexualism (person who is born as a man but adapts to a woman's lifestyle, sees himself as a woman, and feels like a woman instead of a man.
  • Osteoporosis caused by lack of estrogen before menopause.
  • Turner's syndrome (a genetic disorder).

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it and do not take or use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. For patients taking any of the estrogens by mouth, try to take the medicine at the same time each day to reduce the possibility of side effects and to allow it to work better.

This medicine usually comes with patient information or directions. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

For patients taking any of the estrogens by mouth or by injection:

  • Nausea may occur during the first few weeks after you start taking estrogens. This effect usually disappears with continued use. If the nausea is bothersome, it can usually be prevented or reduced by taking each dose with food or immediately after food.

For patients using the transdermal (skin patch):

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before and after handling the patch.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry, non-oily skin area of your lower abdomen, hips below the waist, or buttocks that has little or no hair and is free of cuts or irritation. The manufacturer of the 0.025-mg patch recommends that its patch be applied to the buttocks only. Furthermore, each new patch should be applied to a new site of application. For instance, if the old patch is taken off the left buttock, then apply the new patch to the right buttock.
  • Do not apply to the breasts. Also, do not apply to the waistline or anywhere else where tight clothes may rub the patch loose.
  • Press the patch firmly in place with the palm of your hand for about 10 seconds. Make sure there is good contact, especially around the edges.
  • If a patch becomes loose or falls off, you may reapply it or discard it and apply a new patch.
  • Each dose is best applied to a different area of skin on your lower abdomen, hips below the waist, or buttocks so that at least 1 week goes by before the same area is used again. This will help prevent skin irritation.

For patients using the topical emulsion (skin lotion):

  • Washing and drying hands thoroughly before each application.
  • Apply while you are sitting comfortably. Apply one pouch to each leg every morning.
  • Apply the entire contents of one pouch to clean, dry skin on the left thigh. Rub the emulsion into the entire thigh and calf for 3 minutes until thoroughly absorbed.
  • Apply entire contents of the second pouch to clean, dry skin on the right thigh. Rub the emulsion into the entire thigh and calf for 3 minutes until thoroughly absorbed.
  • Rub any remaining emulsion on both hands on the buttocks.
  • Washing and drying hands thoroughly after application.
  • To avoid transfer to other individuals, allow the application areas to dry completely before covering with clothing.

If you are using the Evamist® transdermal spray:

  • Spray the medicine on your skin on the inside of your forearm, between the elbow and the wrist.
  • Do not allow your child to touch the area of the arm where the medicine was sprayed. If you cannot avoid to come nearer with your child, wear clothes with long sleeves to cover the application site.
  • If your child comes in direct contact with the arm where the medicine was sprayed, wash your child's skin right away with soap and water.
  • Do not allow your pets to lick or touch the arm where the medicine was sprayed.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

    For conjugated estrogens

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For treating breast cancer in women after menopause and in men:
      • Adults—10 milligrams (mg) three times a day for at least 3 months.
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), or symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—0.3 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month. Your doctor may change the dose based on how your body responds to the medication.
    • To prevent loss of bone (osteoporosis):
      • Adults—0.3 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month. Your doctor may change the dose based on how your body responds to the medication.
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism or for starting puberty):
      • Adults and teenagers—0.3 to 0.625 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating ovary problems (failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—1.25 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—1.25 to 2.5 milligram (mg) three times a day.
  • For injection dosage form:
    • For controlling abnormal bleeding of the uterus:
      • Adults—25 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle or vein. This may be repeated in six to twelve hours if needed.

    For esterified estrogens

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For treating breast cancer in women after menopause and in men:
      • Adults—10 milligrams (mg) three times a day for at least three months.
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy) or inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), or to prevent loss of bone (osteoporosis):
      • Adults—0.3 to 1.25 mg a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating ovary problems (failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—1.25 mg a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism):
      • Adults—2.5 to 7.5 mg a day. This dose may be divided up and taken in smaller doses. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—0.625 to 1.25 mg a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—1.25 to 2.5 mg three times a day.

    For estradiol

  • For oral dosage form:
    • For treating breast cancer in women after menopause and in men:
      • Adults—10 milligrams (mg) three times a day for at least 3 months.
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries), or symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—At first, 1 to 2 milligrams (mg) one time per day for at least 3 months. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month. Your doctor may also need to change the dose based on how your body responds to the medication.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—1 to 2 milligrams (mg) three times a day.
    • To prevent loss of bone (osteoporosis):
      • Adults—0.5 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
  • For topical emulsion dosage form (skin lotion):
    • For treating symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—1.74 grams (one pouch) applied to the skin of each leg (thigh and calf) once a day in the morning.
  • For transdermal dosage form (skin patches):
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), symptoms of menopause, ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries), or to prevent loss of bone (osteoporosis):

        For the Climara patches

      • Adults—0.025 to 0.1 milligram (mg) (one patch) applied to the skin and worn for one week. Then, remove that patch and apply a new one. A new patch should be applied once a week for three weeks. During the fourth week, you may or may not wear a patch. Your health care professional will tell you what you should do for this fourth week. After the fourth week, you will repeat the cycle.

        For the Alora, Estraderm, Estradot, Vivelle, or Vivelle-Dot patches

      • Adults—0.025 to 0.1 mg (one patch) applied to the skin and worn for one half of a week. Then, remove that patch and apply and wear a new patch for the rest of the week. A new patch should be applied two times a week for three weeks. During the fourth week, you may or may not apply new patches. Your health care professional will tell you what you should do for this fourth week. After the fourth week, you will repeat the cycle.

    For estradiol cypionate

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism):
      • Adults—1.5 to 2 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle once a month.
    • For treating symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—1 to 5 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle every 3 to 4 weeks.

    For estradiol valerate

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), symptoms of menopause, or ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—10 to 20 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle every 4 weeks as needed.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—30 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle every 1 or 2 weeks.

    For estrone

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For controlling abnormal bleeding of the uterus:
      • Adults—2 to 5 milligrams (mg) a day, injected into a muscle for several days.
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), or symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—0.1 to 0.5 milligram (mg) injected into a muscle 2 or 3 times a week. Your doctor may want you to receive the medicine each week or only during certain weeks of the month.
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—0.1 to 1 milligram (mg) a week. This is injected into a muscle as a single dose or divided into more than one dose. Your doctor may want you to receive the medicine each week or only during certain weeks of the month.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—2 to 4 milligrams (mg) injected into a muscle 2 or 3 times a week.

    For estropipate

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For treating a genital skin condition (vulvar atrophy), inflammation of the vagina (atrophic vaginitis), or symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—0.75 to 6 milligrams (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—1.5 to 9 milligrams (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • To prevent loss of bone (osteoporosis):
      • Adults—0.75 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day for twenty-five days of a thirty-one–day cycle.

    For ethinyl estradiol

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For treating breast cancer in women after menopause and in men:
      • Adults—1 milligram (mg) three times a day.
    • For treating ovary problems (female hypogonadism or failure or removal of both ovaries):
      • Adults—0.05 milligram (mg) one to three times a day for 3 to 6 months. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.
    • For treating prostate cancer:
      • Adults—0.15 to 3 milligrams (mg) a day.
    • For treating symptoms of menopause:
      • Adults—0.02 to 0.05 milligram (mg) a day. Your doctor may want you to take the medicine each day or only on certain days of the month.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Use of this medicine before puberty is not recommended. Growth of bones can be stopped early. Girls and boys may develop growth of breasts. Girls may have vaginal changes, including vaginal bleeding.

This medicine may be used to start puberty in teenagers with some types of delayed puberty.

Geriatric

Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of estrogens. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment, especially stroke, invasive breast cancer, and memory problems.

Pregnancy

Estrogens are not recommended for use during pregnancy or right after giving birth. Becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy is not likely to occur around the time of menopause.

Certain estrogens have been shown to cause serious birth defects in humans and animals. Some daughters of women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy have developed reproductive (genital) tract problems and, rarely, cancer of the vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) when they reached childbearing age. Some sons of women who took DES during pregnancy have developed urinary-genital tract problems.

Breast Feeding

Use of this medicine is not recommended in nursing mothers. Estrogens pass into the breast milk and their possible effect on the baby is not known.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking any of these medicines, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with a medication in this class or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

For all patients

  • Asthma or
  • Calcium, too much or too little in blood or
  • Diabetes or
  • Epilepsy or seizures or
  • Heart problems or
  • Kidney problems or
  • Liver tumors, benign or
  • Lupus erythematosus, systemic or
  • Migraine headaches—Estrogens may worsen these conditions.
  • Blood clotting problems, or history of during previous estrogen therapy—Estrogens usually are not used until blood clotting problems stop; using estrogens is not a problem for most patients without a history of blood clotting problems due to estrogen use.
  • Breast cancer or
  • Bone cancer or
  • Cancer of the uterus or
  • Fibroid tumors of the uterus—Estrogens may interfere with the treatment of breast or bone cancer or worsen cancer of the uterus when these conditions are present.
  • Bulging eyes or
  • Double vision or
  • Migraine headache or
  • Vision changes, sudden onset including or
  • Vision loss, partial or complete—Estrogens may cause these problems. Tell your doctor if you have had any of these problems, especially while taking estrogen or oral contraceptives (“birth control pills”).
  • Changes in genital or vaginal bleeding of unknown causes—Use of estrogens may delay diagnosis or worsen condition. The reason for the bleeding should be determined before estrogens are used.
  • Endometriosis or
  • Gallbladder disease or gallstones, or history of or
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides, or history of or
  • Liver disease, or history of or
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas) or
  • Porphyria—Estrogens may worsen these conditions. Although estrogens can improve blood cholesterol, they can worsen blood triglycerides for some people.
  • Hypothyroid (too little thyroid hormone)—Dose of thyroid medicine may need to be increased.

For males treated for breast or prostate cancer:

  • Blood clots or
  • Heart or circulation disease or
  • Stroke—Males with these medical problems may be more likely to have clotting problems while taking estrogens; the high doses of estrogens used to treat male breast or prostate cancer have been shown to increase the chances of heart attack, phlebitis (inflamed veins) caused by a blood clot, or blood clots in the lungs.

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine does not cause unwanted effects. These visits will usually be every year, but some doctors require them more often.

In some patients using estrogens, tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of the gums may occur. Brushing and flossing your teeth carefully and regularly and massaging your gums may help prevent this. See your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Check with your medical doctor or dentist if you have any questions about how to take care of your teeth and gums, or if you notice any tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of your gums.

Although the incidence is low, the use of estrogens may increase you chance of getting cancer of the breast, ovaries, or uterus (womb). Therefore, it is very important that you regularly check your breasts for any unusual lumps or discharge. Report any problems to your doctor. You should also have a mammogram (x-ray pictures of the breasts) done if your doctor recommends it. Because breast cancer has occurred in men taking estrogens, regular breast self-exams and exams by your doctor for any unusual lumps or discharge should be done.

If your menstrual periods have stopped, they may start again. This effect will continue for as long as the medicine is taken. However, if taking the continuous treatment (0.625 mg conjugated estrogens and 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone once a day), monthly bleeding usually stops within 10 months.

Also, vaginal bleeding between your regular menstrual periods may occur during the first 3 months of use. Do not stop taking your medicine. Check with your doctor if bleeding continues for an unusually long time, if your period has not started within 45 days of your last period, or if you think you are pregnant.

Tell the doctor in charge that you are using this medicine before having any laboratory test because some results may be affected.

Check with your child's doctor right away if your child starts to have the following symptoms: nipple or breast swelling or tenderness in females, or enlargement of the breasts in males. Your child may have been exposed to Evamist® transdermal spray.

Do not allow your pets to lick or touch the arm where Evamist® transdermal spray was applied. Small pets may be sensitive to this medicine. Call your pet's veterinarian if your pet starts to have the following symptoms: nipple or breast enlargement, swelling of the vulva, or any signs of illness.

They need to know if you have or ever had any of these conditions:

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine at the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

A patient package insert for the product will be given with each prescription and refill. Read this sheet carefully each time. The sheet may change frequently.

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. Do not take double or extra doses.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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