Side effect reporting

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Common side effects of HRT, which may affect up to 1 in 10 patients, include:

  • Nausea, abdominal pain, headache
  • Breast swelling or pain, breast enlargement, menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding, vaginal discharge
  • Weight change (increase or decrease), water retention with peripheral oedema

Please refer to the Patient Information Leaflet for the list of other side effects.

When not to use Oestrogel (estradiol-17β):

If any of the following applies to you. If you are not sure about any of the points below, talk to your doctor before using Oestrogel.

Do not use Oestrogel:

  • If you have or have ever had breast cancer, or if you are suspected of having it
  • If you have cancer which is sensitive to oestrogens, such as cancer of the womb lining (endometrium), or if you are suspected of having it
  • If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • If you have excessive thickening of the womb lining (endometrial hyperplasia) that is not being treated
  • If you have or have ever had a blood clot in a vein (thrombosis), such as in the legs (deep venous thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • If you have a blood clotting disorder (such as protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency)
  • If you have or recently have had a disease caused by blood clots in the arteries, such as a heart attack, stroke or angina
  • If you have or have ever had a liver disease and your liver function tests have not returned to normal
  • If you have a rare blood problem called “porphyria” which is passed down in families (inherited)
  • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to oestradiol or any other ingredients of this medicine.

If any of the above conditions appear for the first time while using Oestrogel, stop using it at once and consult your doctor immediately.

Stop using Oestrogel and see a doctor immediately

If you notice any of the following when taking HRT:

  • any of the conditions mentioned in the ‘Do not use Oestrogel’ section above
  • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice). These may be signs of a liver disease
  • a large rise in your blood pressure (symptoms may be headache, tiredness, dizziness)
  • migraine-like headaches which happen for the first time
  • if you become pregnant
  • if you notice signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • painful swelling and redness of the legs
    • sudden chest pain
    • difficulty in breathing

For further information regarding HRT and cancer or HRT and cardiovascular risk please click here for the Patient Information Leaflet for Oestrogel or here for public information from NICE (NG23)

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the patient information leaflet.
You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

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