Ethinylestradiol is used as a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in post-menopausal women. It is used to treat symptoms caused by low levels of estrogen in the body.
It may also be used to prevent osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones), especially in post-menopausal women. It helps to stop bone loss and also helps to increase bone mass.
It is sometimes used in younger women when the ovaries fail to make enough estrogen.
This medicine is also used to treat problems associated with menstruation.
Ethinylestradiol may also be used to help manage symptoms in patients with prostate cancer.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Ethinylestradiol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Ethinylestradiol may be taken on a cycle basis for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember and take the next one at your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. heart attack, stroke or chest pain
- blood disorders e.g. blood circulation or clot problems
- have or have ever had breast cancer, or if you are suspected of having it
- have or have had a tumour that may be affected by oestrogen e.g. endometrial cancer (cancer or the womb)
- a condition where the lining of the womb builds up more than usual (endometrial hyperplasia)
- unexplained vaginal bleeding
- liver disease or a history of liver disease wherein liver function tests have failed to return to normal
- porphyria (an inherited disorder that causes skin or nervous system abnormalities)
as Ethinylestradiol may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Ethinylestradiol if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Ethinylestradiol may cause harm to your unborn child.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not take Ethinylestradiol with medicines used to treat hepatitis C that include ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, dasabuvir, glecaprevir, pibrentasvir, sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, voxilaprevir.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- gallstone (abnormal stone-like mass formation in the gall bladder)
- endometriosis (abnormal growth of tissues outside the womb)
- uterine fibroids (noncancerous growth of tissues in the womb)
- high blood pressure
- increased blood lipids
- loss of hearing
- thyroid disorders
- history of seizures
- severe headache or migraine
- kidney disease
- systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation)
- hereditary or acquired angioedema (condition that causes swelling of the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, or genitals)
- family or personal history of thromboembolism (blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot)
- family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Pregnancy test must be done before treatment to know if this medicine is suited for you to take.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure regularly.
- Routine physical examination that includes breast exam may also be needed.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Ethinylestradiol may cause any of the following side effects: headache, migraine, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, mood changes, and breast tenderness, pain, enlargement, or secretion.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- changes in the nipple, lumps in the breast, dimpling of the skin
- spotting or vaginal bleeding
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Ethinylestradiol with medicines used to treat hepatitis C such as ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, dasabuvir, glecaprevir, pibrentasvir, sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, voxilaprevir.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine
- medicines for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. nevirapine, efavirenz
- modafinil (medicine for sleep disorders)
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- theophylline (medicine for asthma)
- imipramine (medicine to treat depression)
- St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Ethinylestradiol.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.