The natural level of estrogen in women begins to decrease as they age, subjecting them to extreme discomfort and mood swings. The purpose of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is to restore the chemical balance of estrogen, and sometimes progesterone, testosterone and progestins, in women to help ease the symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, osteoporosis, and vaginal dryness.
Millions of women in the United States use HRT therapy each year, which involves the use of drugs such as Prempro, Premphase, Premarin, and Provera. It is delivered to the body via patches, creams, tablets, troches, vaginal rings, IUDs, gels, or by injection. HRT is generally provided either from one to five years as short-term relief for menopausal symptoms, or longer-term to reduce the risk of osteopenia, which can lead to osteoporosis.
In 1997, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) began an estrogen-alone trial and estrogen-plus-progestin trial to determine the therapies’ preventative qualities against heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer. But in February 2004 and July 2002 respectively, both studies were halted early because the health risks of the conjugated equine estrogen and progestin studied, which is the most common type of each, exceeded the benefits.
Several other studies have had similar results, concluding that HRT can be harmful and significantly increases the risks to patients of serious medical conditions. Some of the serious conditions that are potential side effects of HRT include:
- Invasive breast cancer
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Ovarian cancer
- Gall bladder cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Severe depression
Women who are contemplating undergoing HRT should be aware of its risks and benefits. The benefit of preventing osteoporosis has increasingly come into question. It may also be advisable for those who are undergoing HRT to increase their frequency of mammograms.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a medical condition as a result of having been prescribed HRT, you may be entitled to compensation. You may wish to consider consulting with an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney who specializes in HRT lawsuits and can fully evaluate your case.
Videos on Prempro
"Everything You Need to Know About Prempro": This video gives a quick overview on hormone replacement drugs, and discusses how dangerous Prempro is.
"Prempro: The Plaintiff's Perspective": This video discusses how Wyeth, the manufacturer of Prempro, did not perform adequate testing on the drug, and was not truthful about its effects. Two women who had developed breast cancer due to Prempro also share their stories.