A new Scientific Statement issued by the Endocrine Society advises clinicians to avoid using compounded hormone medications to treat menopausal symptoms, female sexual dysfunction and other hormone conditions.
Sometimes called bioidentical compounded hormones, these products are typically a mixture of hormones. Compounded hormone medications are prepared by licensed professionals or facilities specifically for an individual's use. Compounded medications are meant to be an alternative when an individual does not have access to or has an adverse reaction to a medication approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
|See comment from Australasian Menopause Society here|
Compounded hormone medications can be unsafe when inappropriate practices are used. More than 60 people died from cases of fungal meningitis attributed to compounded medications in a 2010 case.
"In extreme cases, advertisers have marketed compounded products as being able to prevent the ravages of aging and implied they are risk free," said Nanette Santoro, MD, and the chair of the Society task force that developed the statement. "Few, if any, of these claims are supported by science."
Widely available hormone treatments that are 100 percent chemically identical to the native hormones found in the body and that are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) offer effective and safe options for people with hormone disorders, and those approved treatments should be prescribed whenever possible, Santoro said.