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Did you know that there are two different versions of Estradiol gel on the market, Oestrogel and Oestradose?

Oestradose is a parallel import, and although both are manufactured by Besins, Oestradose is supplied to pharmacies from other companies and therefore does not stay under Besins’ strict control.

We have had many reports from women who say that they experience a return of symptoms when using Oestradose, so if you would prefer to always use Oestrogel then here are a few things that may help to keep continuity of supply:

  • Ask your GP to put the word ‘Oestrogel’ on the prescription rather than 0.06% Estradiol. This is known as a ‘named prescription’ which entitles you to request the specific version that you wish to have dispensed.
  • The pharmacy can order Oestrogel from several suppliers including AAH, Alliance and Phoenix by entering the ‘PIP code’ 217-1775. At the time of writing there is plenty of stock in the UK. 
  • It can be helpful to take an old bottle of whichever gel suits you to check the new prescription against, as the parallel import products are over-labelled with a sticker saying ‘Oestrogel’.
  • Make sure you check the product whilst still in the pharmacy. If you have been given the wrong version, then as long as you haven’t left the pharmacy, you are entitled to ask for a return of your paper prescription.
  • If you had an electronic prescription and the pharmacist is unable to dispense the version that you have requested, they can send the prescription back to ‘the spine’ and give you a token code. This can be taken to a different pharmacy to request a new order.
  • The service may be able to help you locate a pharmacy that can order the version you prefer.

If you find that Oestrodose is effective for symptom relief then we would advise continuing with it.

If you have experienced side effects with either versions you should report these via the Yellow Card Scheme. You will need to enter the batch number of the product as well as other details such as duration of use and side effects experienced.

Last updated: 1st July 2020

Dr Louise Newson

Written by
Dr Louise Newson

Dr Louise Newson is a GP and pioneering Menopause Specialist who is passionate about increasing awareness and knowledge of the perimenopause and menopause, and campaigns for better menopause care for all people.

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