Custom Hormones for Menopause Raises Concern

Dr. Santoro explains the potential risks of this increasingly popular treatment, which is not FDA approved

custom menopause hormone therapy warningsHormone therapy is frequently prescribed by gynecologists as an effective method for the treatment of menopause symptoms, and there are many FDA-approved options available. However, an emerging trend in which physicians craft customized hormones (called compounded hormones) are not approved by the FDA.

Research suggests these concoctions may cause very serious side effects. A 2015 study found that up to 2.5 million women were using this type of hormone treatment, and the number of doctors using the treatment is on the rise.

In an interview for Boston’s National Public Radio (WBUR), Dr. Nannette Santoro, professor and chair at CU’s Department Obstetrics and Gynecology, explains that there’s a lot of false marketing and hype surrounding these new treatment options.”This is the hipster hormone…it’s custom designed for you. We’ll dial you up to what you were in your 20s and you’ll feel like a filly,” she says, imitating the marketing claims of the companies producing these treatments. She adds, “there’s no science” to substantiate the claims that are being made.

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