Shortage of Injectable Estrogen as Public Health Risk


Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.30.59 PMNew York, NY- Callen-Lorde Community Health Center warns of potential public health risk for transgender women and transfeminine people due to a nationwide shortage of some generic and brand name injectable estrogen.  Makers of the drugs have reported manufacturing delays in getting the medications to the market.

“During times like these, we want to stress that suitable alternatives in pill and patch form exist that are safe and effective for people taking estrogen,” said Callen-Lorde’s Chief Medical Officer Peter Meacher, MD.  “Some people perceive that injections are stronger than pills or patches, but physiologically there is little difference between injection, pill or patch.

Taking a shot once every two weeks makes it easier for some patients to achieve adherence, rather than taking pills every day or wearing a patch around the clock,” said Anthony Vavasis, MD, Callen-Lorde’s Director of Medicine.  “But the safety and effectiveness of taking pills or using a patch while we wait for the injectable medication to be restocked,significantly outweighs the dangers of injecting hormones sold on the street.”

Callen-Lorde understands that some of our patients prefer injectable hormones, and will continue to advocate on behalf of our patients to ensure that the medications they need are available and affordable

About Callen-Lorde 

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides sensitive, quality health care and related services targeted to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay. To further this mission, Callen-Lorde promotes health education and wellness, and advocates for LGBT health issues.  To learn more about Callen-Lorde, please visit

2 thoughts on “Shortage of Injectable Estrogen as Public Health Risk

  1. There is some misinformation here. First, estradiol by injection is much more effective as a feminizing agent than pills – partly due to injections avoiding some of the antagonist effects of metabolized estrone/estriol. Second, pills are less safe than injections, due to their raising inflammatory markers (c-reactive proteins, etc) and having a more negative effect on thrombosis risk. Third, taking shots every two weeks is poor practice and subjects the patients to severe peak/trough effects – once a week is about maximum for practical purposes. Clinics which follow the two week protocol are putting their patients at risk of severe emotional mood disorders. Also, this announcement ignores the fact that there is NO shortage of estradiol cypionate (Depo Estradiol), which is entirely equivalent in safety and effectiveness to estradiol valerate. Too many clinicians are not aware of the alternative, or how to prescribe it. (Its dosage is different from EV.) And finally, a high quality, low cost injectable estradiol valerate is easily available from some offshore pharmacies made by a German Bayer subsidiary, and it would be hoped that a caring and knowledgeable trans treatment facility would identify the source and advise and assist patients in obtaining it reliably instead of simply condemning all alternatives equally as “drugs sold on the street” and forcing their patients onto pills. Some trans women forced onto pills are experiencing severe hormonal disruptions and horrifying partial feminization reversals. I feel that the actions taken by some clinics like this one are weak and serve their patient population poorly.

    1. I cant respond because this is not my sphere of expertise. I think any medical advice should come from a doctor and I dont know the commentators credentials. So I urge anyone reading to be cautious and not do anything without proper medical advice and scrutiny. This may or may not be valuable information and to that end be sure to discuss same with your doctors. The comments on this BLOG are not the opinion or advice pf the publisher. Grateful for all feedback.

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