ETHINYL ESTRADIOL (Estinyl®) is an estrogen that is essential for maintaining normal female functions. Estrogens are 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.
NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.
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
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
an unusual or allergic reaction to estrogens, other hormones, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
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.
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.
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)
hydrocortisone, cortisone, or prednisolone
imipramine or some other antidepressants
medications for diabetes
raloxifene or tamoxifen
rifabutin, rifampin, or rifapentine
some medications for treating migraines
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.
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You should have a complete check-up every 6 months. You will also need a regular breast and pelvic exam and 'Pap' smear while on estrogens therapy. You should also discuss the need for regular mammograms with your health care professional, and follow his or her guidelines for these tests. If you have any unusual bleeding contact your prescriber or health care professional for advice.
Estrogens can make your body retain fluid, making your fingers, hands, or ankles swell. Your blood pressure can go up. Contact your prescriber or health care professional if you feel you are retaining fluid.
If you have any reason to think you are pregnant; stop taking estrogens at once and contact your prescriber or health care professional.
Tobacco smoking increases the risk of getting a blood clot or having a stroke while you are taking estrogens, especially if you are more than 35 years old. You are strongly advised not to smoke.
If you wear contact lenses and notice visual changes, or if the lenses begin to feel uncomfortable, consult your eye care specialist or health care professional.
In women who still have their uterus, estrogens increase the risk of developing a condition (endometrial hyperplasia) that may lead to cancer of the lining of the uterus. Taking progestins, another hormone drug, with estrogens lowers the risk of developing this condition. Therefore, if your uterus has not been removed (by a hysterectomy), your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take together with your estrogen. You should know, however, that taking estrogens with progestins may have additional health risks. You should discuss the use of estrogens and progestins with your health care professional to determine the benefits and risks for you.
If you are going to have elective surgery, you may need to stop taking your estrogens one month beforehand. Consult your health care professional for advice prior to scheduling the surgery.
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
leg, arm or groin pain
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)
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.