Treats hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Also treats prostate cancer in men, and treats lack of estrogen caused by a disorder of the ovaries in women.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to hormone medicines. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor. You should not use this medicine if you have a history of cancer of the breast, ovary, or uterus. Do not use if you have liver disease or a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.You may receive this medicine once a week, once every 2 weeks, or once every 4 weeks.
- If you have not had your uterus removed (hysterectomy), you may need to use another hormone medicine together with estradiol. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about all medicines you are using.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not allow the medicine to get cold.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- It is unlikely that you will become pregnant while you are going through menopause. But, you should know that using this medicine while you are pregnant could harm your unborn baby. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away. If you have recently had an infant, tell your doctor if you are breast feeding.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have asthma, epilepsy, migraine headaches, heart disease, or kidney disease. Also tell your doctor if you have endometriosis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, lupus, porphyria, or an underactive thyroid.
- This medicine should not be used to treat or prevent heart disease or stroke. In fact, hormone therapy can increase your risk of certain heart or blood vessel problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, blood clots, or circulation problems.
- Your risk of heart disease or stroke from this medicine is higher if you smoke. Your risk is also increased if you have diabetes or high cholesterol, or if you are overweight. Talk with your doctor about ways to stop smoking. If you have diabetes, keep it under control. Ask your doctor about diet and exercise to control your weight and blood cholesterol level.
- This medicine may also increase your risk of other medical problems, including certain types of cancer. Talk with your doctor about how these risks might affect you.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests. This medicine may also affect the results of certain medical tests.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
- Breast changes or lumps.
- Chest pain, or coughing up blood.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Pain in your lower leg (calf).
- Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
- Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Joint pain.
- Breast pain or tenderness, discharge from your nipples.
- Hair loss, increased hair growth, or skin changes.
- Mood changes or depression.
- Problems or discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- Weight gain or loss.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013