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Hormone, Prempro, Premarin News Updates
UN Classifies Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as “Carcinogenic"

Hormones May Not Alleviate Menopause Symptoms

Woman sues companies over cancer

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A federal study found that long-term use of a hugely popular menopause treatment leads to increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and strokes. The massive Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, which was conducted by the National Institutes of Health and included over 16,000 women across the United States, showed that taking a combination of estrogen and progestin, such as that found in the widely prescribed drug Prempro, increased women’s risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke so much that study participants were abruptly ordered to stop taking the combination drugs three years before the study ended.

Other studies released since that time have demonstrated a risk between estrogen only hormone therapy and ovarian cancer, and have substantiated the findings of the WHI investigators.

Another federal study includes findings that long-term use of a hugely popular menopause treatment leads to increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes. This study, called HERS, Heart and Estrogen / Progestin Replacement Study, showed that taking estrogen - Premarin - and medroxyprogesterone - Cycrin, Provera, etc. - in combination (Prempro) actually increased the risk of heart disease during the first year of Prempro therapy for women with pre-existing heart disease. The early increase in the risk of heart disease is believed to be due to an increase in blood clotting from the intake of estrogen.

For 65 years, women have been encouraged to take drugs like Prempro for hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and for their overall well-being. As it turns out, women have been urged to take these drugs based on unreliable scientific evidence. Now, with the WHI results, HERS study, and several subsequent studies, physicians have reliable information from which they can advise their patients about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to long-term hormone therapy.

While manufacturer Wyeth Laboratories has no plans at present to recall Prempro, new guidelines have been issued which advises that Prempro should not be taken to prevent heart disease. The guidelines also caution against long-term use due to the risk of breast cancer, and the recommended dosages have literally been cut in half.

The FDA's warnings of previously unmentioned dangers are perceived by many as a betrayal of women by the government and the billion dollar a year drug industry. According to the consumer watch-dog group, Public Citizen, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) September 9, 2003, announcement of a "Collaborative Campaign to Inform Women About Menopausal Hormone Therapy"(1) does a disservice to women by promoting drug information that is incomplete and thus potentially dangerous.

If you have been taking hormonal replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, and are experiencing problems regarding this (including Prempro), you should contact your physician immediately.  Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-4-MEDLAW if you have questions or concerns.

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