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Last reviewed on RxList: 1/30/2017
Estraderm Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 3/28/2016

Estraderm (estradiol) Transdermal System is a form of the female hormone estrogen, used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as dryness, burning, and itching of the vaginal area. Estraderm also reduces urgency or irritation of urination, and is used to treat ovarian disorders, infertility, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Some estradiol skin patches are used to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Common side effects of Estraderm include:

  • skin redness/irritation at the application site
  • nausea/vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • breast swelling or tenderness
  • nipple discharge
  • headache
  • weight changes
  • acne
  • skin color changes
  • increased facial hair
  • thinning scalp hair
  • headache
  • back pain
  • joint pain
  • cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sinus pain, sore throat
  • changes in your menstrual periods, and
  • break-through bleeding

Place the adhesive side of the Estraderm system on a clean, dry area of the skin on the trunk of the body (including the buttocks and abdomen), and replace twice weekly. Select a site that is not exposed to sunlight. Do not apply Estraderm to the breasts. Estraderm may interact with carbamazepine, phenobarbital, St. John's wort, blood thinners, antibiotics, antifungal medications, or ritonavir and other HIV/AIDS medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Estraderm must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. Estraderm passes into breast milk. It may reduce the quality and amount of breast milk produced. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Estraderm (estradiol) Transdermal System Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Estraderm Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, sudden vision changes, problems with speech or balance;
  • sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
  • pain, swelling, or tenderness in your stomach;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • a lump in your breast;
  • numbness or tingly feeling around your mouth, fast or slow heart rate, muscle tightness or contraction, overactive reflexes; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, bloating, constipation;
  • acne or skin color changes, increased facial hair, thinning scalp hair;
  • mild headache, back pain, joint pain;
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sinus pain, sore throat;
  • breast swelling and tenderness, nipple discharge; or
  • changes in your menstrual periods, break-through bleeding.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Estraderm (Estradiol Transdermal)

Estraderm Professional Information



The most commonly reported adverse reaction to Estraderm (estradiol transdermal) in clinical trials was redness and irritation at the application site. This occurred in about 17% of the women treated and caused approximately 2% to discontinue therapy. Reports of rash have been rare. There have also been rare reports of severe systemic allergic reactions.

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported with estrogens:

  1. Genitourinary system. Changes in vaginal bleeding pattern and abnormal withdrawal bleeding or flow; breakthrough bleeding; spotting; dysmenorrheal, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata; vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis; change in amount of cervical secretion; changes in cervical ectropion; ovarian cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; endometrial cancer.
  2. Breasts. Tenderness, enlargement, pain, nipple discharge, galactorrhea; fibrocystic breast changes; breast cancer.
  3. Cardiovascular. Deep and superficial venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; thrombophlebitis; myocardial infarction; stroke; increase in blood pressure.
  4. Gastrointestinal. Nausea, vomiting; abdominal cramps, bloating; cholestatic jaundice; increased incidence of gall bladder disease; pancreatitis, enlargement of hepatic hemangiomas.
  5. Skin. Chloasma or melasma, which may persist when drug is discontinued; erythema multiforme; erythema nodosum; hemorrhagic eruption; loss of scalp hair; hirsutism; pruritus, rash.
  6. Eyes. Retinal vascular thrombosis; intolerance to contact lenses.
  7. Central nervous system. Headache; migraine; dizziness; mental depression; chorea; nervousness; mood disturbances; irritability; exacerbation of epilepsy, dementia.
  8. Miscellaneous. Increase or decrease in weight; reduced carbohydrate tolerance; aggravation of porphyria; edema; arthralgias; leg cramps; changes in libido; anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions including urticaria and angioedema; hypocalcemia; exacerbation of asthma; increased triglycerides.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Estraderm (Estradiol Transdermal)

Related Resources for Estraderm

Read the Estraderm User Reviews »

© Estraderm Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Estraderm Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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