What Is Esterified Estrogens Used For?

Esterified Estrogens Use in Younger Women

Sometimes, younger women do not produce enough estrogen, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the ovaries simply stop working too soon, for unknown reasons. In other instances, certain medications (such as chemotherapy) have affected the ability of the ovaries to function properly. Some women have had their ovaries surgically removed. Or perhaps, the ovaries never started working properly in the first place (which results in delayed or absent puberty). In all of these situations, esterified estrogens can be used as a substitute for the estrogen that the ovaries cannot produce.

Esterified Estrogens Use for Cancer

Very high doses of esterified estrogens can work to relieve the symptoms of certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancer. For prostate cancer, high doses of the estrogens in esterified estrogens work by suppressing testosterone and other male hormones that "feed" prostate cancer. It is not entirely clear how high doses of esterified estrogens work for breast cancer, as estrogen typically stimulates breast cancer cell growth. Esterified estrogens will not cure these types of cancers and should only be used to relieve symptoms when other treatments have failed to treat the cancer adequately. This is known as "palliative" cancer therapy.

Esterified Estrogens Use in Children and Teens

Esterified estrogens is not approved for use in children or teens, as it has not been adequately studied in these age groups. Discuss the risks and benefits of using esterified estrogens with your child's healthcare provider.

Off-Label Esterified Estrogens Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend esterified estrogens for something other than the conditions listed above. This is called an "off-label" use. At one point, hormone replacement therapy (such as esterified estrogens) was used off-label for preventing heart disease and dementia (such as Alzheimer's disease), but these are no longer considered legitimate off-label uses. Sometimes hormones are used to promote youthfulness. Again, this is not generally accepted as a legitimate off-label esterified estrogens use.
Using esterified estrogens to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women is an off-label use of esterified estrogens.

More Headlines in What Is Esterified Estrogens Used For?

↶ An Overview of Esterified Estrogens Uses
↶ Esterified Estrogens Use for Menopause
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
The Top 17 Side Effects of Chemotherapy