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Bioidentical Hormones - risks revisited

The October issue of Endocrine news (1) carries an article that once again tackles the complexity of bioidentical hormones.

The freelance US writer highlights the confusion surrounding "bioidentical hormones" and more specifically the compounded formulations that are promoted as "natural".

The 2015 study by Santoro and Pinkerton (2) estimated that 1 million to 2.5 million U.S. women aged 40 years or older are using compounded hormone therapy. This may mean that custom-compounded products represent a quarter to a third of the market for hormone therapy products. Custom-compounded products lack protections of purity, controlled manufacturing processes, and evidence from clinical trials that products from less-regulated compounding pharmacies do not.

Santoro is quoted as recognising “Maybe 1% of people will have a reaction to all forms of hormone therapy and might do better with compounding” but emphasises the availability of "government-approved bioidentical hormone therapy".

The “Compounded Bioidentical Hormones in Endocrinology Practice: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement” published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in April 2016 (3) is worth a read or review along with Bioidentical Hormones for Menopausal Symptoms and Bioidentical Hormone Preparations - History of Development

 References

  1. https://endocrinenews.endocrine.org/compounding-interests-risks-bioidentical-hormones/ accessed 24/110/2017
  2. Pinkerton JV, Santoro N. Compounded bioidentical hormone therapy: identifying use trends and knowledge gaps among US women. Menopause. 2015 Sep;22(9):926-36. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000420.
  3. Santoro N, Braunstein GD, Butts CL, Martin KA, McDermott M, Pinkerton JV. Compounded Bioidentical Hormones in Endocrinology Practice: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr;101(4):1318-43. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-1271.

Content updated 20 October 2017

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