A transdermal gel containing estradiol, Oestrogel, also known as the Oestrogel Pump-Pack is made in the UK by Besins Healthcare. It replenishes the diminishing levels of the female hormone oestrogen in postmenopausal women who had their last period at least six months ago, and can also be utilised to treat women at risk from osteoporosis if they are unable to take other available treatments.
- Bottle issues 64 measured doses
- Odourless gel, non-greasy and non-staining
- Non invasive, continuous form of HRT
The menopause generally starts for women in their forties or fifties but can begin as early as the late thirties in some cases. The cycle whereby the lining of the womb prepares itself for pregnancy by building up and then shedding itself (the menstrual cycle) first becomes uneven as the ovaries stop producing eggs, with periods eventually stopping completely.
As this process is taking place, the levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen fall, which causes a number symptoms for most women in response to this change. They can be physical (for example, hot flushes, discomfort during sex, headaches, joint stiffness and palpitations) but they can also be emotional and psychological (such as abrupt changes in mood and difficulty concentrating and remembering things). Women who are postmenopausal are also at risk from osteoporosis, which leads to a weakened bone structure.
The menopause can be a trying time but most women find their symptoms generally mild. For some, however, they can be much harder to deal with and find that the menopause is inhibiting the routine of their daily life. In cases such as this a course of HRT may be recommended to reduce the severity of symptoms. Oestrogel is one of those treatments and you can buy it online from our UK based pharmacy.
Oestrogel contains the active ingredient estradiol which counters the falling levels of oestrogen in the body, easing menopausal symptoms. When the gel is rubbed into the skin it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Once you have started the treatment, you should visit your doctor for regular check-ups at least once a year.
This item can also be used as a treatment for osteoporosis if you are at increased risk of developing the condition and are not able to take other available medicines for it. Examples of why this may be the case might be because you have a history of osteoporosis in your family or have started your menopause early.
Oestrogel is only recommended for use on its own by women who have had a hysterectomy. If you have not had one you will be prescribed a progestogen which you will need to take alongside this medicine for around 12 days of each monthly cycle. This will prevent the levels of oestrogen in your body causing the lining of your womb to grow excessively, which can cause endometrial cancer.
Follow any special directions given to you by your prescriber as closely as possible and read the information leaflet issued with your medication fully before you use it. In doing this you will maximise the benefits of the treatment and reduce the possibility of complications or side effects.
- Use as prescribed by your medical practitioner.
- Remove cap from canister and stopper from spout of bottle.
- Press down on the plunger several times until the gel is produced from the nozzle. The pack will then be prepared to dispense (however you should not use this first dose).
- Pushing down the plunger once will release one measured dose of the gel.
- Apply the gel once daily, preferably at the same time each day.
- Spread over a large area the skin on each shoulder, inner thigh or outer arm.
- Use on a dry, clean, unbroken area of the skin.
- Do not use on the breasts or near the genitals.
- Allow five minutes for the gel to dry before putting on your clothes.
- If you forget a dose and it is more than twelve hours until your next one, apply the gel and then continue the schedule as normal. If it is less than twelve hours before your next one, skip that dose and then continue as normal.
- Do not take double doses to make up for a forgotten dose.
This list of directions are only intended as a guide. You should read the patient information leaflet in full before commencing treatment as they offer more comprehensive instructions.
Even though you may not experience any while using this item, you should still know what all of the side effects are before commencing the treatment. You need to seek medical advice at once if you have any signs of the following: chest pains, breathing difficulties, swelling or redness in the legs (all signs of a blood clot); migraine type headaches when you have not had them previously; jaundice; symptoms of a sharp rise in blood pressure, like headaches, tiredness and dizziness; or pregnancy.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Water retention, weight gain or loss, abdominal pains, feeling sick, changes in breast size, pain or swelling in the breasts, vaginal discharge or bleeding, endometrial hyperplasia (the thickening of the womb lining), period cramps, or menstrual spotting or bleeding.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Being sick, vertigo, mood disorders, depression, migraines, wind, feeling weak, severe skin itches, benign breast or womb tumours, or blood clots in the veins.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Intolerance to glucose, hypertension, acne, skin discolouration, changes in sexual desire, abnormal results of liver function tests, aggravation of epileptic fits, milky discharge from the nipples (galactorrhea), or anaphylactic reaction in those with a history of allergic reactions.
This list of side effects is not exhaustive. For a more detailed listing please refer to the patient information leaflet which is supplied with this item.
Taking it with other medicines
Remember to tell your prescriber about any other medicinal treatments you are taking. It doesn’t matter whether you have a prescription for them or not. Oestrogel may not work as well as it should if you are using anticonvulsant medicines for epilepsy (phenytoin, phenobarbital, and carbamazepine), herbal treatments with St. John’s Wort, skin care products that contain alcohol, dermatologic cleansers and detergents, medications for the skin and scalp, HIV antivirals (efavirenz nevirapine, nelfinavir and ritonavir), and antibiotics used to medicate tuberculosis, such as rifampicin and rifabutin.
Conditions to look out for
You should not use Oestrogel if you have these conditions, or have ever had them in the past: breast cancer; suspected breast cancer; untreated hypodermal hyperplasia (excess growth of the womb lining); unexplained vaginal bleeding, a blood clot in the vein or blood clotting disorder; stroke; heart attack; angina; the rare inherited blood disease porphyria; a liver disease where the liver has not returned to its normal level of function; or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Your doctor will take extra care prescribing this item if you have or have ever had the following: fibroids inside the womb, growth of the womb lining which has taken place outside the womb; abnormally thick growth of the womb lining; hypertension; fluid retention; diabetes; gallstones; asthma; epilepsy; migraines or serious headaches; a disorder of the liver; systemic lupus erythematosus; or high levels of blood triglycerides. Special attention will also be given if you have a family history of breast cancer or other forms of oestrogen responsive cancer or are particularly prone to blood clots.
It is crucial that you see your doctor regularly (at least once a year) to check how well this treatment is working.
HRT and cancer
More information can be found in the leaflet provided on HRT and cancer risk.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This gel must not be used by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant using this treatment, stop using it and speak to your GP right away.
Can I still drink alcohol?
This gel should not be affected by alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Your capacity to drive will not be affected. However if you experience severe side effects that could hinder your driving you should avoid it and speak to your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
No, Oestrogel is for use by postmenopausal women only. Should you become pregnant, stop using it forthwith and seek medical attention.
How should I store it?
It should be stored below 25°C, out of the reach of children. Do not use after the expiry date.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Oestrogel contains estradiol, ethanol, carbomer, triethanolamine, and purified water. Do not use this product if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
This item is available by prescription only and will only be issued if a medical professional thinks it is appropriate for you. It’s easy to buy Ostrogel online using our service, simply complete the assessment form which will be reviewed by one of the team at our UK based pharmacy.
Is it right for me?
The HRT product you use will be determined by your GP during a face-to-face consultation. They will then initiate a prescription for suitable treatment where appropriate.
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