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First Aid for Estrogen Overdose

First Aid for Estrogen Overdose

Brain & Nerve
First Aid

What is Estrogen Overdose?

  • Estrogen Overdose is the accidental or intentional consumption of a medication containing the active ingredient estrogen at higher than the prescribed dosage
  • Estrogens are sex hormones responsible for the development of the female sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics. They also play a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The medication also helps treat postmenopausal osteoporosis and hypogonadism in women
  • The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)

What are the Causes of Estrogen Overdose?

  • Intake of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy medications in higher than the prescribed dosages can result in Estrogen Overdose
  • The medication may be taken orally, administered as an injection or via the vagina, or may be applied topically
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm

Note: The drug can interact with other prescribed or non-prescribed medications in the body. Such interactions may enhance the therapeutic effects of the drug or other medications being taken, resulting in undesired side effects (such as an overdose).

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Estrogen Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of Estrogen Overdose may include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Fluid retention causing swollen feet
  • Dramatic change in mood or temperament
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urine discoloration
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Vaginal bleeding that occurs in excess a few days following the overdose incident

How is First Aid administered for Estrogen Overdose?

First Aid tips for Estrogen Overdose:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency help number for suitable assistance
  • Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or your local poison control center) immediately, for instructions on how to deal with the overdose
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • Try to extract relevant information including the affected individual’s age, weight, general health status, dosage and make of drug containing estrogen, and the time of intake
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
  • Stay with the affected individual until medical help arrives
  • Avoid any home remedies, which may only worsen the condition
  • Always try to take the medication strip/bottle/container to the ER

The emergency medical health professional might perform the following steps towards treating the condition:

  • Conduct blood and urine tests, obtain an electrocardiogram (ECG), and undertake imaging scans, as needed
  • Medically manage symptoms and provide breathing support, if necessary
  • Administer activated charcoal to avoid absorbance of drug in the body, in rare cases
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line

Who should administer First Aid for Estrogen Overdose?

First Aid can be administered by a healthcare provider. It usually involves stopping the further intake of estrogen and management of symptoms associated with overdose. 

What is the Prognosis of Estrogen Overdose?

  • The prognosis of individuals with Estrogen Overdose is usually good, and no major complications are noted
  • Acute cases of Estrogen Overdose are not known to generally result in severe toxicities

In general, overdoses are common situations in the emergency departments. A majority of the cases are often not fatal when appropriate treatment is given.

How can Estrogen Overdose be Prevented?

Estrogen Overdose can be prevented by:

  • Exercising caution and regularity in consumption of birth control and hormone replacement medication
  • Consult a healthcare provider if a dosage is missed
  • DO NOT continue to take medications beyond the prescribed dose duration before checking with and obtaining permission of the consulting physician
  • Avoiding any self-medication
  • Avoiding alcohol while taking any medication
  • DO NOT recommend or share medications you are taking with others who may have similar or near similar health conditions
  • Keeping medications out of reach of children in child-proof containers

It is important to give your healthcare provider a complete list of prescription and non-prescription medications that are being currently taken. This will help them in assessing the possible drug interactions within various medications and help avoid/prevent accidental or unintentional toxic drug effects.

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow the recommend steps
  • Do NOT induce vomiting unless recommended by the Poison Control Center
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On the Article

Subramanian Malaisamy MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP (USA) picture
Approved by

Subramanian Malaisamy MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP (USA)

Associate Chief Medical Officer, Medical Editorial Board, DoveMed Team


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