Uses of estradiol

This medication is used for the treatment of certain symptoms of menopause (include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, burning, itching). These symptoms occur when the body is making less estrogen. It is also used to prevent osteoporosis after menopause. Used to treat vulvar and vaginal atrophy in menopause. Also used by women to treat breast cancer. Certain products of estradiol are also used by women who are unable to produce estrogen.

IUPAC name: (17β)-estra-1,3,5(10)-triene-3,17-diol

Drug class: Estrogen derivative

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Products: Gel, tablets, injectables, transdermal patch, topical emulsion

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an over-the-counter drug? NO

Mechanism of action

Estradiol is a female hormone (estrogen), which binds to estrogen receptors and acts by soothing a vasomotor system (such as hot flashes) and urogenital symptoms (including vaginal dryness).

It also shows beneficial effects on bone density by suppressing bone resorption.


Common side effects include vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, weight gain/ loss, breast tenderness.

Serious side effects include unusual vaginal bleeding such as breakthrough bleeding, lump in your breast, increased thirst, change in vaginal discharge/odor, irritation or itching in the vagina, jaundice, severe abdominal pain, swelling in hand/feet/ankles.


Symptoms include severe nausea, vomiting, and unusual vaginal bleeding.


 Following precautions should be taken before using this medication:

  1. If you are allergic to this medication, any other medications, or if you have any other kind of allergies.
  2. Use of grapefruit should be avoided as it may interact with the drug.
  3. If you have or ever had a medical history of breast cancer, ovarian/ uterus cancer, vaginal bleeding, blood clots, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, strokes or heart attack, migraine, high blood pressure (hypertension), seizures, depression, obesity, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol level, hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, high/low level of calcium in blood, endometriosis, porphyria, dementia.
  4. Avoid the use of tobacco and smoking. It will increase the risk of blood clots, high blood pressure, stroke/ heart attacks.
  5. If you are taking any other medication (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
  6. It may cause melasma, avoid going out in the sunlight as it may worsen the effect.
  7. This medication should not be used during pregnancy.

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