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What Is Estropipate?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Estropipate is a generic medication commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms that a woman may experience during menopause. These can include vaginal dryness and irritation, as well as hot flashes. It can also help prevent osteoporosis. Estropipate is a form of the female hormone called estrogen.

Women will usually take estrogen for one to five years. Patients must be careful to follow dosing instructions carefully. Adults may be prescribed up to 5 milligrams (mg) daily. The pill should be taken with a full glass of water, with or without food. Taking it with a meal may help alleviate an upset stomach, which is one possible side effect of estropipate.

Serious complications have been linked to estrogen pills. It may increase the risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and heart disease. Estrogen pills may also be linked to increased incidences of breast cancer, dementia, and blood clots. It is recommended that patients review their treatment regimen with their doctors at least twice per year. Patients should be encouraged to use estropipate and other estrogen pills for the least amount of time possible.

Some side effects may occur while using estropipate, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become severe. Patients may experience nausea, stomach upset, and bloating. Headaches, lightheadedness, and dizziness have also been reported. Some women may notice changes in their weight, tenderness of the breast, and changes in sex drive.

More serious side effects may also occur, which require immediate medical attention. Patients may rarely experience trouble breathing, coughing up blood, or pain or swelling of the legs. A sudden severe headache, slurred speech, or sudden vision changes, along with weakness on one side of the body and confusion may indicate a potential complication. Some patients have reported unusual vaginal discharge, breast lumps, and rectal bleeding, as well as mood changes, seizures, and persistent nausea or vomiting.

Before using estropipate to treat menopausal symptoms, patients must disclose their other medical conditions. It may not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Estropipate may be contraindicated for use by those who have a history of cancer, diabetes, or a seizure disorder. Heart problems, a mineral imbalance, and high blood pressure may also preclude a patient from taking these pills.

Estropipate may interact with other medications. Patients must disclose their other medications and supplements, including blood thinners, corticosteroids, and certain antibiotics. Phenytoin, phenobarbital, and St. John's wort may also interact with it.

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