ESTRASORB- estradiol hemihydrate emulsion
Graceway Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Rx only Prescribing Information


Close clinical surveillance of all women taking estrogen is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in all cases of undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal vaginal bleeding. There is no evidence that the use of “natural” estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens at equivalent estrogenic doses. (See WARNINGS, Malignant neoplasms, Endometrial cancer.)


Estrogens with or without progestins should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia. (See WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Dementia.)

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary emboli, and deep vein thrombosis in postmenopausal women (50 to 79 years of age) during 5 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE 0.625 mg) combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA 2.5 mg) relative to placebo (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies, WARNINGS, Cardiovascular disorders and Malignant neoplasms, Breast cancer.)

The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a substudy of WHI, reported increased risk of developing probable dementia in postmenopausal women 65 years of age or older during 4 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens plus medroxyprogesterone acetate relative to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies, Warnings, Dementia and PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use.)

Other doses of oral conjugated estrogens with medroxyprogesterone acetate, and other combinations of estrogens and progestins were not studied in the WHI clinical trials and, in the absence of comparable data, these risks should be assumed to be similar. Because of these risks, estrogens with or without progestins should be prescribed at the lowest effective doses and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.


Estrasorb® (estradiol topical emulsion) is designed to deliver estradiol to the blood circulation following topical application of an emulsion. Each gram of Estrasorb contains 2.5 mg of estradiol hemihydrate USP, EP, which is encapsulated using a micellar nanoparticle technology. Estrasorb is packaged in foil pouches containing 1.74 grams of drug product. Daily topical application of the contents of two foil pouches provides systemic delivery of 0.05 mg of estradiol per day.

Estradiol hemihydrate USP, EP (estradiol) is a white, crystalline powder, chemically described as (17ß)-estra-1,3,5(10)-triene-3, 17-diol, hemihydrate. The molecular formula of estradiol hemihydrate is C18 H24 O2 , 1 /2 H2 O, and the molecular weight is 281.4 g/mol.

The structural formula is:

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The active ingredient in Estrasorb® is estradiol. The remaining components (soybean oil, water, polysorbate 80, and ethanol) are pharmacologically inactive.


Endogenous estrogens are largely responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system and secondary sexual characteristics. Although circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions, estradiol is the principal intracellular human estrogen and is substantially more potent than its metabolites, estrone and estriol, at the receptor level.

The primary source of estrogen in normally cycling adult women is the ovarian follicle, which secretes 70 to 500 mcg of estradiol daily, depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle. After menopause, most endogenous estrogen is produced by conversion of androstenedione, secreted by the adrenal cortex, to estrone by peripheral tissues. Thus, estrone and its sulfate-conjugated form, estrone sulfate, are the most abundant circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women. Estrogens act through binding to nuclear receptors in estrogen-responsive tissues. To date, two estrogen receptors have been identified. These vary in proportion from tissue to tissue.

Circulating estrogens modulate the pituitary secretion of the gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) through a negative feedback mechanism. Estrogens act to reduce the elevated levels of these hormones seen in postmenopausal women.



In a multiple-dose study, 125 patients were treated for 28 days once daily with placebo or 1.15 grams, 2.30 grams, or 3.45 grams of Estrasorb containing 2.5 mg of estradiol per gram. The mean change from baseline in serum estradiol concentrations increased in a dose-dependent manner compared with placebo (Figure 1 below).

Figure 1
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Serum estradiol concentrations were also assessed in a second study involving 200 postmenopausal women, who applied either a 3.45 gram daily dose of Estrasorb (containing 2.5 mg of estradiol per gram; n = 100) or placebo (n = 100) for 12 weeks. Trough estradiol concentrations in the Estrasorb treatment group increased from a mean of 8.9 pg/mL at baseline to 58.6 pg/mL and 70.2 pg/mL at Weeks 2 and 4, respectively (Figure 2). Trough levels of Estrasorb remained at a plateau throughout the rest of the study: 67.3 pg/mL at Week 8 and 63.0 pg/mL at the end of the study.

Figure 2
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Application of sunscreen 10 minutes prior to the application of Estrasorb increased the exposure to estradiol by approximately 35%. When sunscreen is applied 25 minutes after the application of Estrasorb, the increase in exposure to estradiol was approximately 15%. (See PRECAUTIONS.)


No specific investigation of the tissue distribution of estradiol absorbed from Estrasorb in humans has been conducted. The distribution of exogenous estrogens is similar to that of endogenous estrogens. Estrogens are widely distributed in the body and are generally found in higher concentrations in the sex hormone target organs. Estrogens circulate in the blood largely bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin.


Exogenous estrogens are metabolized in the same manner as endogenous estrogens. Circulating estrogens exist in a dynamic equilibrium of metabolic interconversions. These transformations take place mainly in the liver. Estradiol is converted reversibly to estrone, and both can be converted to estriol, which is the major urinary metabolite. Estrogens also undergo enterohepatic recirculation via sulfate and glucuronide conjugation in the liver, biliary secretion of conjugates into the intestines, and hydrolysis in the gut followed by reabsorption. In postmenopausal women a significant proportion of the circulating estrogens exists as sulfate conjugates, especially estrone sulfate, which serves as a circulating reservoir for the formation of more active estrogens.

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