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Elestrin is a topical medicine (applied directly to the skin) that contains an estrogen hormone. Elestrin is used after menopause to reduce hot flashes. Elestrin is available as a gel in a pump.
How does this medication work?
Menopausal women have lower levels of the hormone estrogen in their bodies, resulting in symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Elestrin provides estrogen to help relieve those symptoms.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Elestrin has been shown to reduce the number of hot flashes a woman experiences. Hot flashes may become less frequent and intense after you start using Elestrin.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use Elestrin exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
You may notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start using Elestrin. Your healthcare provider may also ask you questions from time to time to assess how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Using estrogen-only medicines such as Elestrin may increase your chance of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience any unusual vaginal bleeding while you are using Elestrin. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of endometrial cancer.
Do not use Elestrin alone to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia (an illness involving confusion, loss of memory, and impaired judgment). Using Elestrin alone may increase your chance of a stroke, blood clots, or dementia.
Do not use Elestrin in combination with progestin to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia. Using Elestrin in combination with progestin may increase your chance of a heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or dementia. Using Elestrin in combination with progestins may also increase your chance of developing breast cancer.
More common side effects may include: headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, abdominal (stomach area) cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fluid retention, vaginal yeast infection.
Less common side effects may include:
Vision problems, with symptoms such as double vision, bulging eyes, or sudden new severe headaches.
Elestrin may also cause gallbladder problems, increased blood calcium levels, increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, or increased triglyceride (type of fat in the blood) levels.
Do not use Elestrin if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not use Elestrin if you have unusual vaginal bleeding or have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder.
Do not use Elestrin if you currently have or have had certain cancers, breast cancer, blood clots, or liver problems.
Do not use Elestrin if you had a stroke or a heart attack.
Do not use Elestrin if you are pregnant or think you may become pregnant.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Elestrin. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma; seizures; diabetes; migraines; endometriosis (a common gynecological disorder that may result in sores and pain); lupus (a disease that affects the immune system); heart, liver, thyroid, or kidney problems; high blood calcium levels; if you are scheduled for surgery or will be on bed rest; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Women: Apply 0.87 grams (1 pump) to the skin of one arm once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.
Use Elestrin exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop using Elestrin without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Apply Elestrin in a thin layer at the same time each day to your upper arm. Do not apply Elestrin to your breast, or in and around your vagina. Allow the gel to dry for up to 5 minutes before dressing.
Make sure the spout is moved to the locked position and the cap is placed over the top of the pump after each use.
Estrogens should be used at the lowest dose possible for your treatment only as long as needed. You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly (for example, every 3 to 6 months) about the dose you are taking and whether you still need treatment with Elestrin.
Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to use Elestrin properly.
Do not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are using Elestrin.
Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are using Elestrin without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Do not come in contact with others for at least 2 hours after you apply Elestrin. Wash hands with soap and water after applying Elestrin to reduce that chance that the medicine will be spread from your hands to other people.
Do not go near fire, flame, or smoking until the gel has completely dried. Elestrin contains alcohol, which may be flammable.
Do not apply sunscreen to the area where the gel was applied for at least 25 minutes. Do not apply sunscreen to the area where the gel was applied for 7 or more consecutive days.
If Elestrin is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Elestrin with the following: carbamazepine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, grapefruit juice, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, rifampin, ritonavir, or St. John's wort.
Do not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are using Elestrin. Elestrin may be found in your breast milk if you use it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Elestrin and it is more than 12 hours until your next dose, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is less than 12 hours until your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.
Store at room temperature.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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