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What Are the Different Types of Estradiol Tablets?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Estradiol tablets are common, and they differ most in whether they contain other active ingredients and their strength. These drugs may also have distinct shapes or varying colors, and they may be intended for either oral or vaginal use. Some types of estradiol, a form of estrogen, also come in patches, which are worn for a week or more at a time. The drug may also be given in an injection or cream form.

It’s important to distinguish oral and vaginal estradiol tablets from each other, and also from medications that contain two or more drugs. Many birth control pills, for example, combine various forms of progesterone, like drosperinone or levonorgestrel, with estradiol. Some estrogen medications intended for the treatment of menopause symptoms also contain progesterone. Depending on the drug, the level of estradiol in tablets may vary, but could start with doses as low as 0.025 milligrams (mg).

In contrast, many forms of estradiol tablets that do not include other medications begin with doses of 0.5 mg. Pills in 1 mg and 2 mg strengths could also be available. Occasionally, manufacturers make other doses, such as 0.45 mg, 0.9 mg and 1.8 mg. Vaginal tablets, which are often used to combat severe dryness and itching, have much smaller amounts of estradiol, and are usually available in either 10 micrograms (mcg) or 25 mcg.

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Due to the numerous manufacturers of estradiol tablets, patients can expect to see variety in both shapes and colors. Most shapes are either round or oval, and almost all of these medications are scored, though they usually aren’t split in half. Estradiol tablets might be plain white in color, or they could be light to dark yellow, pink, green, or blue. People getting a prescription may want to be observant if they have any unusual reactions to yellow-hued pills, as these may contain a dye called tartrazine, to which some individuals are allergic.

The other inactive ingredients of estradiol tablets also vary. Most contain common stabilizing agents like cellulose or lactose. If a person does have sensitivity to inactive ingredients, they’re sometimes able to find a manufacturer that uses a different recipe to create these pills. For example, it’s not that difficult to find estradiol tablets without tartrazine.

Oral or vaginal tablets are also not the only way that estradiol can be delivered. Patients can receive injections of it, or they may wear a transdermal patch that disperses the drug through the skin, eliminating the need to take pills everyday. Estradiol cream is an alternative to vaginal tablets, and some women find its application more soothing for ongoing dryness.

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