Saturday, November 18, 2006

Premarin, hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones vs. synthetic hormones... This post is a public service in the interest of finding truth, if that is possible, and is not meant as medical advice. Conduct your own internet search for more information from a variety of sources.

Net the Truth Online

November 2001
A Dose of Reality: Premarin Exposed
by Ray Kellosalmi, M.D. and Tracy Basile
Of the thousands of FDA-approved prescription drugs on the market today, only one is made from urine. As its name implies, Premarin is made from pregnant mares’ urine. Since the mid-1990s, this fact has become more widely known among the ten million women who currently take this form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and among those women who have found, in its place, a wide range of alternatives.

Only since the 1950s and‘60s have middle-aged women flocked to their doctors seeking relief for a host of symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, depression, and fatigue. Since that time, Premarin’s manufacturer, Philadelphia-based Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Home Products, has become the key player in what has come to be known as the menopause industry. Last year, the HRT drug — along with its "family" of products, PremPro, PremPhase and PremPac — earned the company $1.9 billion.

Wyeth’s push to get menopausal women on HRT is no secret. They have hired the world’s largest public relations firm, Burson-Marsteler, and have poured millions of dollars into advertising. Over the years, they have financed thousands of studies using Premarin, but as Maryann Napoli of the Center for Medical Consumers in New York City indicates, most of these studies, until recently, were observational, which by definition are weak and biased. "The more sinister message," she says, " is that as soon as a woman hits menopause, she’s on her way to getting heart disease and hip fracture..."

Perils of Premarin
By mipmup, 8:33 pm, Tue 7 Nov 2006

Makers Of Prempro, Provera & Premarin Being Sued In Class Action Lawsuit? Cary Miller Sep 10th 05
Having recently noticed a few ads popping up on Cancer NewsWatch alluding to an apparent Prempro lawsuit, I decided to do a little digging. For those of you who don’t know, Prempro, along with Provera and Premarin, are hormone replacement drugs which until recently were widely used to help relieve symptoms in women going through menopause. I say “until recently” because hormone replacement therapy is quickly falling out of favor due to a couple of recent studies showing that the dangers of taking these drugs far outweigh any potential benefits. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) put out a press release highlighting the dangers of HRT in July of this year.

And sure enough, it looks like there’s a class action lawsuit in the works, as one of the links I followed during my digging-around took me directly to the web site of a law firm that is handling legal claims against the manufacturers of Prempro, Provera and Premarin. While I wouldn’t be caught dead quoting class-action lawyers, here’s a bit of information from a very reputable source–the National Institutes of Health (NIH.) It’s sobering, to say the least.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women due to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The large multi-center trial, a component of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases in coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking placebo pills. There were noteworthy benefits of estrogen plus progestin, including fewer cases of hip fractures and colon cancer, but on balance the harm was greater than the benefit. The study, which was scheduled to run until 2005, was stopped after an average follow-up of 5.2 years. …

Specific study findings for the estrogen plus progestin group compared to placebo include:...

You can read more about this study at: NHLBI Stops Trial of Estrogen Plus Progestin Due to Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack of Overall Benefit

estrogen replacement therapy (ES-truh-jin rih-PLAYSS-munt THAYR-uh-pee)
ERT. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or to women who have had their ovaries surgically removed. Hormones are given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Bioidentical Hormones and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric
Just a quick note to let everyone know that I and a few of our community members were featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

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