A Look Back at the Top Women’s Health Advances in 2019 and an Eye Towards 2020!
By: Holly L. Thacker, MD • Posted on December 06, 2019
The year 2019 saw many advances and approvals of new women’s health therapies from contraception to postpartum depression to menopause to osteoporosis to migraines. The end of the year is a time to take stock of what has happened in the last year, while planning for an exciting new year.
New Therapies for Women
New Injectable Medication for Low Libido/HSDD
- Vyleesi®/Bremelananotide is a new on-demand injectable therapy.
- The first oral HSDD medication Addyi®/Flibanserin had the alcohol prohibition lifted.
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
- Bijuva® (estradiol/progesterone in coconut oil) is taken orally after dinner to treat postmenopausal women desiring bio-identical therapy.
New Contraceptive Options
- Slynd® (Drospirenone) is an oral non-estrogen progestin daily therapy.
- Annovera® yearly vaginal ring system of ethinyl estradiol and segesterone acetate.
- Both contraceptives will give more options and convenience for busy women.
IV Rapid Onset Medication for Postpartum Depression
- Zulrussao® (Brexanolone) is an expensive, new quick acting option for postpartum depression.
New Nasal Spray for Depression
- Spravato®/Esketamine a nasal spray for treatment resistant depression.
New Bone Building Monthly Injectable
- Evenity®/Romosozumaub is a novel monthly injection for 12 months that has bone building (anabolic) and anti-resorptive effects. The dual acting drug is one of Cleveland Clinic's top innovations for 2020.
New Migraine Therapies
- Reyvow®/Lasmiditan is an oral tablet for treatment of migraine with or without an aura.
- A new device called Nerivio Migra is a wearable neurostimulation device.
Other Notable Advances in the News
New Drug for Cystic Fibrosis
- Trifafta®/Elexacaftor/ivacaftor/teracaftor is the first triple combination therapy for cystic fibrosis - a severe pediatric and young adult inherited disease.
Global Consensus Statement on use of Testosterone
Flailing libido in postmenopausal women give women’s health physicians guidance in treating women with off label testosterone.
Emphasis on Managing Genito-urinary Syndrome of Menopause in Breast Cancer Survivors
- There is a renewed emphasis on treating genito-urinary syndrome of menopause in breast cancer survivors receiving endocrine therapy.
Cost Effectiveness of Treating Urinary Incontinence
- There is cost effectiveness of treating urinary incontinence in women with pelvic stimulation devices.
- During 2019 a new device Attain was FDA cleared for both urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence.
First American Woman to Give Birth with Donor Uterine Transplant
- For the first time in America, a woman gives birth after uterus transplant from a deceased donor. This baby girl delivered at Cleveland Clinic made history.
Some Cautionary News in 2019
There were some negative medical news in 2019, including:
- transvaginal mesh recall
- certain breast implant recall due to an increase in the risk of lymphoma
- generic zantac recall due to carcinogen contamination
- fluoroquinolone antibiotic being associated with heart valve problems
An Eye Towards 2020 and Beyond
- Virtual Healthcare: A rapid advance of virtual visits, telemedicine and e-consults
- New Osteoporosis Patch Study: In general, Osteoporosis is undertreated. Severe anabolic options like daily injectable, monthly injectable and hopefully in the future a 10 minute daily patch therapy for Tymlos®/Abaloparatide may be available.
- Hot Flash Therapy: Future specific hot flash therapy with Fezolinetant (a KNDY neuron 3 receptor antatgonist) in study appears very promising.
- Therapy for Obesity: New advances in medical therapies for obesity remain key to reducing several chronic disease.
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