Most women who are under hormone replacement therapy take estrogen in the form of pills: one per day continuously or one per day for the first 25 days of the month. The most common form prescribed by doctors is Estrace, the closest of the existing equivalents of estrogen, produced by the human body.
When the Drug Is Recommended
Substitution therapy in peri- and postmenopause;
Ovarian hypofunction (primary and also secondary amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, dysmenorrhea);
Secondary estrogen insufficiency (including after ovariectomy for non-malignant diseases or after radiation castration);
Breast carcinoma (some inoperable forms);
Androgen-dependent carcinoma of the prostate;
Climacteric syndrome (“hot flashes”, increased sweating, sleep disorders, irritability, depression, atrophic urethritis and vaginitis), postmenopausal osteoporosis, prevention of atherosclerosis.
Unusual or even undiagnosed genital bleeding or uterine bleeding;
Some thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic diseases in the active phase (except for curing of breast cancer or prostate cancer).
Estrace Should Be Taken with Caution
Thrombophlebitis, thrombosis or thromboembolism (because of taking estrogens in the anamnesis);
Familial hyperlipoproteinemia, pancreatitis, endometriosis;
Strong hepatic insufficiency;
Jaundice (including in anamnesis during previous pregnancy);
Hepatic porphyria, leiomyoma, hypercalcemia which are associated with metastases;
Precaution only for curing of breast cancer or prostate cancer: coronary or cerebrovascular diseases, active thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic diseases (high doses of estrogens used for treatment increase the appearance of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, thrombophlebitis).
Rules of Use and Dosage
A minimum dose of 0.625 mg (or equivalent doses) is usually recommended to prevent the loss of bone mass that may cause osteoporosis, and it is the dose which most doctors will begin the course of your hormone therapy with. However, the most important is maintaining the necessary level of estrogen hormone in the blood, and some women may need only 0.3 mg or their equivalent, while others need more than a standard dose. That is why it is better to consult a doctor.
Oral estrogen is usually taken once a day, but if your symptoms are too strong, you may be prescribed to take it in double doses, in the morning and in the evening, to get more of it in your blood for all 24 hours.
Possible Side Effects
Women may have soreness, sensitivity and enlargement of the mammary glands, amenorrhea, bleeding “breakthrough”, intermenstrual “smearing” vaginal discharge, swelling of the mammary glands, sometimes increased libido;
Men may have sensitivity of the mammary glands, gynecomastia, decreased libido.