Risks and Effectiveness of Compounded Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: A Case Series

Ruth Davis, Pelin Batur, MD, FACP, NCMP, CCD, and Holly L Thacker, MD, FACP, NCMP, CCD

ABSTRACT

After the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative, attitudes towards management of menopausal symptoms changed dramatically. One alternative that has received much media attention is the use of bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT). The media and celebrity endorsements have promoted a number of misconceptions about the risks and benefits associated with the various forms of BHT. This article will review the available evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of BHT in comparison to conventional hormone therapy. We will also review several cases seen in our midlife women’s referral clinics, which demonstrate concerns for the safety and efficacy of BHT, including unexplained endometrial cancer in otherwise healthy BHT users. Due to the lack of sufficient data to support the efficacy or safety of BHT, we recommend the use of United States Food and Drug Administration–approved regimens in the management of menopausal symptoms.

Author information:

Ruth Davis,(1) Pelin Batur, MD, FACP, NCMP, CCD,(1,2) and Holly L Thacker, MD, FACP, NCMP, CCD(3,4)

(1) Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio.
(2) Primary Care Women’s Health, Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Ohio.
(3) Center for Specialized Women’s Health, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio.
(4) Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

JOURNAL OF WOMEN’S HEALTH
Volume 23, Number 8, 2014
ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2014.4770
642

Article from the Journal of Women’s Health


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