Compounded bioidentical menopausal hormone therapy.
Fertility and Sterility, 08/03/2012
Continuing Medical Education
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Gynecologic Practice and American Society for Reproductive Medicine Practice Committee provide an overview of the major issues of concern surrounding compounded bioidentical menopausal hormone therapy and provide recommendations for patient counseling. Although improvement in long–term health is no longer an indication for menopausal hormone therapy, evidence supporting fewer adverse events in younger women, combined with its high overall effectiveness, has reinforced its usefulness for short–term treatment of menopausal symptoms. Menopausal therapy has been provided not only by commercially available products but also by compounding, or creation of an individualized preparation in response to a health care provider's prescription to create a medication tailored to the specialized needs of an individual patient.The Women's Health Initiative findings, coupled with an increase in the direct–to–consumer marketing and media promotion of compounded bioidentical hormonal preparations as safe and effective alternatives to conventional menopausal hormone therapy, have led to a recent increase in the popularity of compounded bioidentical hormones as well as an increase in questions about the use of these preparations. Not only is evidence lacking to support superiority claims of compounded bioidentical hormones over conventional menopausal hormone therapy, but these claims also pose the additional risks of variable purity and potency and lack efficacy and safety data.