Ethinyl Estradiol

Brand Name Manufacturers

Estinyl by Schering
Estigyn or Etivex by Glaxo (Australia)?
Lynoral by ?

Generic Manufacturers

None

Pharmacology

Synthetic estrogen. Acts on receptors apparently the same as endogenous estrogen but is more potent because the liver cannot break it down as quickly.

Delivery

Oral 0.02mg, 0.05mg, 0.5mg tablets
See comments below

Typical dosage

Pre-op 0.1-0.25mg/day
Post-op 0.02-0.05mg/day

Availability

Approved by U.S. FDA

Indications

Estrogen replacement therapy in females

Contraindications

Active blood clotting disorders. Estrogen-dependent tumors. History of blood clotting disorders associated with estrogen use. History of sensitivity to estradiol or any part of the preparation. Known or suspected breast cancer except in appropriately selected patients.

Adverse reactions

CNS

Dizziness. Headache. Mental depression. Migraine. Spasms of limb and facial muscles.

Eyes

Steepening of corneal curvature. Intolerance to contact lenses.

Gastrointestinal

Abdominal cramping. Bloating. Cholestatic jaundice.

Skin

Blotchy skin pigmentation. Blood eruptions from the skin. Easy bruising. Increase of body and facial hair. Loss of scalp hair. Red skin patches from capillary congestion.

Other

Decreased glucose tolerance. Fluid retention. Increased sensitivity to light. Increased serum calcium level.

Comments

More thrombosis events seem to be associated with ethinyl estradiol than any other form of estrogen, probably because of its very long half-life (with resulting hepatic recirculation) and popularity in birth-control preparations. If you must take it because it is the only estrogen you can possibly obtain, use the lowest dosage you can. Unfortunately, a safe dosage is individual and almost unpredictable: some women have suffered thrombosis on 0.035mg/day, some transsexuals have survived 1mg/day.

The 0.5mg tablets are reportedly no longer manufactured, and remaining stock is rapidly disappearing from the warehouses and pharmacies. In the opinion of the author, it is an excessive daily dose anyway.