Drug Class and Mechanism of Action of Estrace
Estrace is an estrogen hormone. It acts as replacement for the natural estrogen hormone in females who can no longer produce enough estrogen on their own. In case of treating prostate cancer it acts by opposing the male hormones that is produced by the cancer of prostate.
Therapeutic Uses of Estrace
Estrace is used in the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, dryness of vagina, burning and itching of vagina etc. It is also used in the treatment of atrophy of valva and vagina and in prevention of osteoporosis. Estrace is used in estrogen replacement therapy if ovaries fail.
Estrace is also used for symptomatic relief of breast cancer and in advanced prostate cancer (where it acts as antagonists of male hormones that are produced by cancerous prostate gland in excess).
Direction of use of Estrace
Use Estrace as your doctor directs you to use. If you have any doubts about Estrace ask your doctor or other health care provider.
- Estrace is taken by mouth with a glass of water on empty stomach or with some food. To avoid stomach upset and stomach irritation it should ideally taken on full stomach.
Dose of Estrace, if Missed
If you miss a dose of Estrace, take it as soon as you can remember it. If you miss for long time and it is almost time for the next dose, than skip the missed dose and take the regular dose as scheduled. Do not take two doses of Estrace at a time.
How to Store Estrace
Estrace should be stored between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). It can be stored between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) for a brief period of time and with out any problem. It should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place for long duration of storage. Keep Estrace away from children.
More Information About Estrace
If you have any doubts about Estrace ask your doctor. If you are not getting any symptomatic relief, than consult your doctor or other health care provider. Estrace should be used by the patient only, for whom it is prescribed. If it is taken by somebody without prescription, it may cause harm to that person.
Precautions to be Taken While Taking Estrace
Do not use Estrace or if you are using it, stop it if you have any of the medical problems listed below and consult your doctor:
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients used in manufacturing of Estrace.
- If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, or you are breast feeding. If there is abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- If you have liver disease, deep vein thrombosis, venous inflammation or blood clotting problem.
- If you have heart problem like recent heart attack or stroke.
- If you have breast cancer or breast tumor that can be cancer or any cancer that are estrogen dependent.
- The side effects of Estrace can be increased by grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Consult your doctor if you are on Estrace and want to add grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet and reduce it if you are already having lots of grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet during treatment with Estrace.
Important notes for patients using Estrace:
- Estrace can cause dizziness and drowsiness and these effects are more if alcohol is taken during treatment with Estrace. Do not drive a vehicle or operate any heavy machinery or do any risky works that need constant monitoring, if you are taking Estrace, until you know that you do not get dizziness with Estrace. You should control alcohol drinking during treatment with Estrace.
- Pregnancy and breast feeding: do not take Estrace if you are pregnant and you should avoid pregnancy during treatment with Estrace. If you think you are pregnant or you get pregnant while on Estrace, consult your doctor immediately. It is secreted in the breast milk and you should not breast feed while taking Estrace or if you have to take Estrace, do not breast feed. Discuss the possible risks to your baby.
- Estrace can increase the blood clotting and due to that increase risk of cerebrovascular accidents. It should not be taken if you have any blood clotting disease. This effects are increased if you smoke, especially if you are a woman and above 35 years of age.
- Consult your doctor if you develop vaginal discomfort (may be due to infection due to use of Estrace) or vaginal bleeding of unknown cause which may be a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention.
- You should do regular weight bearing exercise and take regular calcium supplement and vitamin D during treatment with Estrace to prevent bone loss.
- Estrace may interfere with some lab tests and you should inform your doctor before doing a lab test that you are taking Estrace.
- Physical examination and lab tests should be done during therapy with Estrace. If you are a female you should have breast and pelvic exams, periodic mammograms, Pap smear tests etc. at least once a year during treatment with Estrace.
- You should do self examination of breasts regularly as per direction of your doctor and report any lump in breast immediately.
- If you have to undergo elective surgery or you will be confined to a chair or bed for a long period of time (a long air travel), etc. you should inform your doctor, because special precautions has to be taken for these.
- In diabetes patient Estrace may affect blood sugar level. Check blood sugar level regularly because you may need to adjust the medicines for diabetes.
- If you are taking other medicines like azole antifungal (itraconazole), macrolide antibiotic (erythromycin), carbamazepine, antiviral medicine ritonavir, cimetidine etc. you may need additional monitoring.
- Estrace may cause dark patches in the facial skin called melasma. Exposure to sun and sunlamps may cause these patches darker and you should avoid sun. consult your doctor about the use of protective clothing and use of sunscreen during treatment with Estrace.
Possible Adverse Effects
- Consult you doctor if you get any of the commonest side effects and they become troublesome or persists for long period of time than usual. The commonest side effects are nausea, vomiting, headache, alopecia, bloating of abdomen, breast tenderness (pain on pressure), spotting or breakthrough menstrual bleeding, stomach pain etc.
Get immediate medical attention if you are having any of the serious and uncommon side effects of Estrace. The serious and uncommon side effects of Estrace are lump in the breast or discharge from breast; chest pain, back ache, calf or leg pain, calf or leg swelling; depression, fainting, dizziness, loss of memory; mood change, persistent fever; persistent or severe headache, and vomiting; severe breast pain or tenderness; hemoptysis or blood in cough; dark urine, painful or difficult urination; unusual vaginal bleeding, discharge, itching, or odor; weakness of hand or leg, one sided weakness; skin rash, changes of vision, severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin and/or eyes etc.