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Climacteric. 2007 Oct;10 Suppl 2:109-14.

New products and regimens (since 2003).

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West London Menopause & PMS Centre, London, UK.


The downturn in the use of hormone replacement therapy since the original publication of the Women's Health Initiative (2002) and Million Women studies (2003) has now stabilized. New products are now being developed which maintain benefits and minimise risks. However, some useful products have been withdrawn by Pharma companies through profitability decisions; other products will regrettably not be launched despite favorable data. New low- and ultra-low-dose oral preparations (containing 0.3 mg conjugated equine estrogens and 0.5 mg estradiol, respectively) appear to maintain benefits for symptom relief and osteoporosis whilst minimizing side-effects and risks. A 14 microg transdermal system appears to maintain bone protection without the need for endometrial protection. New progestogens can minimize progestogenic side-effects through antiandrogenic and antimineralocorticoid effects, e.g. drospirenone, bioidentical progesterone and selective progesterone receptor modulators. A new female androgen patch has been licensed in Europe for treatment of low libido causing distress (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) in surgically menopaused women on estrogen therapy. A non-hormonal option, desvenlafaxine succinate (a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor), for vasomotor symptoms is currently in phase-III clinical trial stage and should be launched in the next year. Additionally, a selective estrogen receptor modulator/conjugated equine estrogen preparation combination currently in phase-III clinical trials is showing encouraging data for efficacy/risks and should provide a further option for women using hormone therapy in the future.

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