ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Estrogen Replacement Therapy
ABSTRACT: The results of recent large clinical trials have led physicians and patients to question the safety of menopausal hormone therapy. In the past, physicians prescribed hormone therapy in an attempt to improve overall health and prevent cardiac disease. Hormone therapy appears to increase the risk of breast cancer when used for more than three to five years; therefore, regulatory agencies now advise that physicians prescribe it only to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal atrophy, with the smallest effective dosage and for the shortest possible duration. Although estrogen is the most effective treatment for hot flashes, alternatives such as venlafaxine and gabapentin are effective for some patients. Herbal formulations such as dong quai, ginseng, kava, and dietary soy, among others, do not appear to benefit patients more than placebo. In contrast to systemic estrogen therapy, topical estrogen therapy for vulvovaginal atrophy is more appealing for certain patients because it does not require the addition of a progestogen for endometrial protection. Some have advocated selective estrogen reuptake modulators as alternatives to hormone therapy for the prevention of menopausal osteoporosis. The decision to use either therapy depends on clinical presentation and a thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits, because both have potential detrimental health effects and both are linked to an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.
Prevention of Osteoporosis and Fractures - Article
ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and low bone density are associated with a risk of fracture as a result of even minimally traumatic events. The estimated lifetime risk of osteoporotic fracture is as high as 50 percent, especially in white and Asian women. The use of caffeine, tobacco and steroids is associated with a decrease in bone density. Cognitive impairment, vision problems and postural instability increase the risk of falling and sustaining a fracture. Medications such as long-acting sedative hypnotics, anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants also increase this risk. Combinations of clinical and radiographic findings can predict fracture risk more effectively than bone densitometry, but often only after the first fracture has occurred. The addition of dietary calcium and/or vitamin D is clearly both cost-effective and significant in reducing the likelihood of fractures. Bisphosphonates reduce fracture risk but at a cost that may be prohibitive for some patients. Estrogen and estrogen-receptor modulators have not been well studied in randomized trials evaluating the reduction of fractures, but they are known to increase bone density. Pharmacologic therapy and the reduction of sensory and environmental hazards can prevent osteoporotic fractures in some patients.
ABSTRACT: Raloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that produces both estrogen-agonistic effects on bone and lipid metabolism and estrogen-antagonistic effects on uterine endometrium and breast tissue. Because of its tissue selectivity, raloxifene may have fewer side effects than are typically observed with estrogen therapy. The most common adverse effects of raloxifene are hot flushes and leg cramps. The drug is also associated with an increased risk of thromboembolic events. The beneficial estrogenic activities of raloxifene include a lowering of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and an augmentation of bone mineral density. Raloxifene has been labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of osteoporosis. However, its effects on fracture risk and its ability to protect against cardiovascular disease have yet to be determined. Studies are also being conducted to determine its impact on breast and endometrial cancer reduction.
Is Raloxifene the Answer to the HRT Story? - Editorials
Options and Issues in Managing Menopause - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Up to 40 percent of postmenopausal women have symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. Because the condition is attributable to estrogen deficiency, it may occur in premenopausal women who take antiestrogenic medications or who have medical or surgical conditions that result in decreased levels of estrogen. The thinned endometrium and increased vaginal pH level induced by estrogen deficiency predispose the vagina and urinary tract to infection and mechanical weakness. The earliest symptoms are decreased vaginal lubrication, followed by other vaginal and urinary symptoms that may be exacerbated by superimposed infection. Once other causes of symptoms have been eliminated, treatment usually depends on estrogen replacement. Estrogen replacement therapy may be provided systemically or locally, but the dosage and delivery method must be individualized. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants, and participation in coitus may also be beneficial in the treatment of women with atrophic vaginitis.
ACOG Releases Practice Bulletin on Osteoporosis - Practice Guidelines